With my part in the final editing of Lest Camelot Fall done (except maybe for some line edits) and still waiting to hear back whether anyone likes the synopsis I came up with for The Secret Project, I'm back at work on Copper Heart - though not exactly how I expected. I'm learning again to my good cheer that you should write when you can. The results can be surprising.
My normal work day runs from 4 in the afternoon to about half-past midnight. This is actually ideal for me because I'm not by any stretch of the imagination a Morning Person; this way I can get up when I choose, write through the late morning to early afternoon, then go into work. This changes when the campus is on a break, like now for Christmas, and suddenly I go into work at 8:30 a.m., meaning I'm working through my prime writing hours. So I adjust to writing in the evening instead.
But that didn't necessarily work out so well this week. There were other things needing my attention first as soon as I got off work. I found my free time starting well into the night instead, when my attempts at writing haven't been so hot. (How I can be a Night Person while doing my best writing in the late morning and early afternoon, I suppose I'll never know. Maybe my brain percolates while I sleep and I wake up ready to hit the keyboard. Anyway.)
My default assumption this past Monday was that I wouldn't be doing any writing, especially since I was sleepy (having come to the library at 8:30 that morning after closing it 8 1/2 hours earlier). But then I walked Tucker the Big Dog around our neighborhood on a chilly night. Not only did the cold walk snap my brain awake, but--as is often the case when I go for walks--I started having Book Thoughts, and by the time I got home I had most of the next scene in my head and was rarin' to write. So I did, and in the next hour managed to not only pull off 1600 words, but words that I thought were much better than those I'd written the day before...during my normal writing time.
I tried it again last night, when I didn't get home till after 8 pm, since I had a pretty good notion of what came next, and did another 800 pretty decent words.
Lesson to self: Apparently as long as I don't have to stare at a blank screen with a blank Writing Brain, I can write at most any time between midnight and 9 am when I have any awake left. And no matter what I may think of what I get down during those odd hours, as the authorly saying goes, it's better to have a page full of words that you can rewrite or toss than an empty sheet.
Meanwhile, since apparently I don't have enough writing-related stuff on my plate, I'm once again looking over small presses while contemplating the idea of trying to publish a collection of my published poetry. Now if I could just write the poem that the collection would be named after I might be golden.
PROGRESS REPORT FOR 12/15-17/13
New Words: 3400 (1000 / 1600 / 800) on chapter 3 ("The Seekers, 1882") of Copper Heart. 10-year-old Agustin Alvarez comes up with a less-than-unique way to solve a family problem, and sets himself on a dark path as a result.
Unless I'm forgetting something, once this particular storyline is finished, in another couple thousand words or so, I have Geronimo's final campaign, then a two-part epilogue, and Copper Heart will be finished.
Total Words: 127300.
Book Year: 1885.
Reasons For Stopping: Getting ready for work / Sleepy / Sleepy.
Mammalian Assistance Poor Vegas the Writing Assistant is quarantined while we make certain he's not sick. In the meantime, Nate has come in briefly to clear any Snollygosters out of the Writing Room for me.
Exercise: Walks with Tucker around the neighborhood; one campus walk with Laurie and the dogs.
Stimulants: Sunny Delight, original flavor.
Today's Opening Passage(s):
Sunday: The victory had been a great one, Carlos reflected, and one he actually never expected to win despite how hard he and Eva labored for it. Mexican farmers once again winning a battle against Anglos over water rights — the most important right in the desert as far as they were concerned — not with a song this time, but in court.
Monday: Agustin Luis Maldanado Alvarez might have only been ten years old, and this was not yet something he could necessarily put into words, but deep down he was aware that twice he had been saved from death.
Tuesday: Agustin came back into his own mind when he heard what sounded like his name on the wind.
Darling Du Jour: And Agustin was likewise aware that had he not acted, this might have been his third escape from death — or this time around Death might be especially perturbed with him and make a greater effort to kill him. The previous two escapes had not made him more religious like it did his sister Carlotta, as his mother hoped, but got him thinking that maybe Death wasn’t all that interested him, or maybe even came to like him a bit. Respect him.
That if Agustin was bold enough, Death would slip on by him and leave him untouched.
None of this came out of Agustin’s mouth when his screaming father demanded to know why he had shot the Anglo, though. It wasn’t close enough to the front of his mind. Foremost in his thoughts and what he told his father instead was, “He chased off Miguel and his family.”
For Agustin, that was the crux of the matter. Miguel Arpaio was his closest friend, and Miguel was being forced to go far away, maybe never to be seen by Agustin again.
Non-Research / Review Books In Progress: The Golden City by J. Kathleen Cheney / j_cheney ; The Given Sacrifice by S.M. Stirling.