Words/Time: 11 hours revising “Pithea” with my sisters, for the 61st and final meeting of the Tri-County Sisterhood of the Traveling Book. It was our 5th marathon meeting, and we spent all day (minus some other chatter, and breaks for lunch and supper) working out all of the questions, issues, and last-minute changes to my very first novel.
This means that draft 4 is officially finished! My plan now is to read through it one more time at a more even pace, since draft 4 was done in a somewhat disjointed way by 3 people who didn’t always agree, over the course of a year. I’ll read through it, not looking to line edit or rewrite, but just to enjoy it and to watch for disrupted flow or something that just doesn’t sound right.
After that…I might just be able to declare it ready.
Words/Time: 7514 revising “Pithea” with with two of my sisters at the 4th marathon meeting of the Tri-County Sisterhood of the Traveling Book (42nd meeting overall). We got through 24 pages of double-spaced text, which was amazing. We were actually surprised by how far we went, as we did talk about unrelated things quite a bit early on, and some more throughout. And we spent a while outside doing various related and unrelated tasks.
Our first venture outside was to feed chickens and gather eggs. My parents have a few dozen chickens in their backyard, and they were out of town this weekend. One of my sisters was taking care of the chickens and dogs (and plants) while they were gone, so my other sister and I went out to see if we could help with the chickens when it was time to feed them. As soon as we opened the coop, most of them ran out, but this one apparently likes to roost more than the others, so we had to…help her share her eggs with us. A stick was involved, and I was the one brave enough to risk getting pecked to get the 5-6 eggs she was guarding.
The following video was our second outing. We had decided we should act out a conversation in the book that was carried on while walking. The original point was to find out how long it would take, so following events could be planned correctly. But my sister decided it would only be done right if someone was carrying something heavy, as one of the characters who was involved in the conversation was indeed carrying an unconscious friend. The 50+ pound dog food bag was the best thing we could find. I didn’t think about taking video until the “conversation” was over, and by then, the one carrying the bag was having a rough time of it. So she switched it up a bit.
Then we did further research into the best ways to carry someone, and went back out to test out another specific moment in the conversation. At that point, we switched to a 40-pound chicken feed bag, and she carried it across both shoulders. It went much better, not just because it was lighter, but because it was more evenly distributed. And because the chicken feed didn’t shift inside the bag as much as the dog food had.
With warm months upon us and a lot more outdoor things to be doing, we may not have another marathon meeting for a while. But this one left us on a stellar high.
Words: 4264 revising “Adventures in Pithea” with two of my sisters at the 3rd marathon meeting of the Tri-County Sisterhood of the Traveling Book (33rd meeting overall). We got through 15 1/2 pages of double-spaced text. We also ground up and brewed oregano for an experiment, played with figurines, and possibly finalized an important element in my story world that, until now, was confusing and I was never really comfortable with. It was a smashing success.
The whole meeting was just an excuse to play with toys.
Words: 3644 revising “Adventures in Pithea” with two of my sisters at the 2nd marathon meeting of the Tri-County Sisterhood of the Traveling Book (27th meeting overall). We got through 11 1/2 pages of double-spaced text. We also talked at length about how to work out some of the mechanics of my fantasy world, and we did come to some conclusions that will hopefully lead to more clearly written scenes in the future.
The Words: 2045 written today. I had to squeeze some in during the afternoon and then a bit more before we had another Skype meeting of the TCSTB (revising a novel I finished earlier this year). And I wanted to share this picture from the marathon meeting we had at the house of one of the TCSTB members on Saturday.
We acted out some fighting scenes to make sure they made sense in the text. The bear represents a large reptilian creature. The blanket on the floor is its victim, and the red is a sweatshirt that has been laid across the body to symbolize blood. This is before we rushed in to attack the reptile.
The Story: Lex and Leahna went on their first push toward the mercenary base with the militias that have already been in the desert for months. They didn’t make it very far, and Leahna stayed behind to help the wounded or near-death after the rest had retreated. But she went on to do the same for the mercenaries who had been wounded and left behind. That led the man who had led the charge scrambling to find somewhere to take the unexpected prisoners after she restored them to health. Thus we meet Juris, the leader of one of the country’s militias. He is a key player in another story of mine. For now, though, he is second-in-command of the militias fighting in the desert. He has explained to Lex and Leahna that most of the militias did not choose to participate in the raid of the desert hideout because they discovered that the hideout was basically a town. And moving against a town in their own country could incite a civil war (especially since another, not secretive town nearby seems to have some connections to this band of mercenaries). So two militias stand alone against this “town.” It’s a good thing Lex and Leahna showed up when they did.
Total word count: 93,806
The Words: 1919 written today, in the wee hours of the morning before I went to bed. I spent the rest of the day at my sister’s house, having a marathon meeting of the TCSTB (revising last year’s novel). Memorable quote from tonight’s meeting: “How are we supposed to help you stab a bear if we don’t know how power works?”
The Story: Lex and Leahna are traveling back to the desert to help the militias who have already been there for months, fighting what has turned out to be a large force of mercenaries. Rusalki, the leader, is not above using very unethical, illegal, and unnatural means to win the battle. Thus Lex and Leahna felt that their advanced abilities would be very helpful and even necessary, despite both being sought after by the authorities.
Total word count: 87,741