Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Subtle changes

This photo is of Dockweiler Beach, just to the west of LAX. Jets taking off to the left and to the right, and people down below sitting around a campfire ignoring it all...or watching, maybe. I took it with my iPhone so it's kind of messy...but I like the feel of it.

Amazing how a shift in location or change of action can reinvigorate a story and character. OT was beginning to sound pretty ABC...not extremely so, but edging towards a pedestrian feeling...when my day in Palm Springs injected fresh ideas into it. I drove everywhere I had Jake going, got the timing down, saw a Panda Express I referenced is in the same location as Home Depot, had dinner at a really uncomfortable CPK in Palm Desert (since when did their menu have EVERYTHING with chicken?), and saw how much of OT still works and what needs tweaking.

So I spent the plane ride reworking sections of the first two parts to fit the new reality. It wasn't easy to do, because there was a pair of twin boys of just over 1 year who were tag-teaming their screaming fits. But having something to concentrate on...and having my earbuds plugged in and Depeche Mode cranked up to nearly 8 on my laptop...made the flight livable.

I really think airlines should start training flight attendants on how to shut kids up. The parents were overwhelmed (they had two other kids with them) and lots of evil looks were being cast. I'm beginning to see the wisdom of having a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, like the guy next to me had. He slept through the flight. Didn't hurt he was cute, so I was able to cut some low-key glances at him.

Anyway, the rewrite cut anther 500 words from the count on this section, and I'm finally seeing the story hone down to what it's meant to be least, what I think it's about, today. Who knows what it will be by the time I get done?

But that's the joy of writing...


Michael said...

I'm trying to get into the habit of writing just a little every day. Whether it be for a school project or just fun. For the latter, it's just bits and pieces but I have some stories in my head I know I'll want to get out at some point, though I don't feel particularly rushed. I'm still in the "life research" phase I guess.

I'll be enjoying a 9-10 hour flight to Germany and back in two weeks. I've never been in the air that long and really hope I'm not sitting next to kids or terrible adults.

JamTheCat said...

I am so glad to hear this! Keep the writing going!!

As for babies on your trip...there probably will be. My suggestion is, either get a pair of noise-cancelling headphones or some good headphones that will plug into an iPod with lots and lots of music, and have a good book to read and a neck rest to use to sleep. These days, you can't count on the entertainment system to work. You can also check with the airline to see if they offer power on your flight. Some do, some don't.

The really problematic people are usually towards the front of the plane, so when I go on long flights, I try to get the last row to one side or the other, especially if they have just two seats in them.

So where are you headed? Paris? Rome? Berlin? London?

Michael said...

Germany. It's for a work trip so I probably won't get to explore or have too much fun but I'm excited to be going there for the first time.

I've been enjoying some very questionable, mainstream literature lately. Just started Stephen King's "Revival". Long book that will probably get me through the flight.

JamTheCat said...

Germany's cool! I've been to Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, Lubeck, and Munich...liked Berlin the most. Even working, you'll have fun.

Suggestion -- let your bank know you'll be in Germany and will want to use your debit card there, then don't take much in the way of Euros. If you get cash out at a German bank's ATM, the exchange rate is usually better than at a currency exchange and the fee is smaller. Plus that way you have access to money whenever you need it, because not everybody takes credit cards there and a lot of those who do require a card with an electronic chip instead of a swipe card.