Let me set the scene. Denny’s. Eleven o’clock at night. I had to wait for my “usual” booth–table 14. It’s the only table in the restaurant with an outlet right at the base of the bench seat. My spot.
It happens almost every night these days. I walk in, they point to “my table” and tell me to go ahead. Now and then, someone has the audacity to be sitting there already. Then I have to wait at another table. That was last night. The wait, I mean. Someone appears with a Coke. It could be anyone but the cook. I think he’s the only one who hasn’t yet. I’m trying not to be offended. Uppity guy, that cook. 😉
I show up with two bags. My purse and my fabulous tote bag–the one my friend Rachel made me. The one that has half the books I’ve written on it. Because she’s cool that way. Unzip the purse… pull out the laptop. Dig into the little insert pockets and voila! Earbuds. BTW… I LOVE my purse insert that I got from Amazon a few years ago. I think I paid 5.00 back then, and it looks as good as the day I bought it. Now you get two in a pack for 7.90 in the color I chose. Great deal, and it organizes everything so nicely!
Back to the story. Writerly people sometimes call those little asides, “Plot Bunnies”. That’s a literary term for, “SQUIRREL!” (as an aside, another “squirrel” moment: I got my purse insert cleaned out because I mentioned it here. So thanks.)
Now this is where everything got interesting last night. First, I plugged in the earbuds and called up my music playlist. I believe my first choice last night was The Soul of Erin (The cover is mislabeled as “Sound of Erin” Hmph. This is not correct. I have the album–the VINYL album. I know this stuff.)
I opened The Vintage Wren and started to write. That lasted… fifteen seconds? You know, long enough for me to figure out I had NO more of my audio notes transcribed? *insert whimper here* Off goes “Mother Machree” and in comes “Chautona chatter plus road noise.”
Spent an hour transcribing notes.
**SQUIRREL MOMENT** I switched to “MY” table as soon as the lovely ladies who held it hostage from me released it without ransom. I’ve got mad negotiation skills. Or maybe just an evil eye. Or patience. It could be patience.
Yes, by this point it’s midnight. It took me until one-thirty to write the day’s chapter in The Vintage Wren. That includes making two quote memes for today’s sharing. Just sayin’. In the interest of full disclosure and all that jazz. Here’s proof.
I ordered “my” custom burger. For the record, it’s a “Build your own burger” in case you ever want to try it. I choose the burger patty, Swiss cheese, grilled onions, mushrooms, and bourbon sauce. With broccoli instead of fries. No bun–nothing else. YUM.
While I ate, I searched for my Madeline notes. Um… gone. Seriously. The things are GONE. But, my audio notes are there. So, I started listening. (can you stand the excitement here? I mean, this is intense stuff. *rolls eyes at self*)
The ideas–things I’d forgotten I wanted to do–flowed through the wires, into the earbuds, and into my brain. I typed. Yep. More transcription. Um, this is supposed to be PRODUCTIVE time. Ahem. *whimpers again*
Just as I thought I was about done, I hear something at the end. A tiny little detail I wanted to add to The BIG CLIMAX scene. And I’d forgotten ALL ABOUT IT.
Something in the scene referenced something else I’d forgotten–a HUGE CLUE. Um, folks. Let me just remind you (because I think I need to beat it into my head again). THIS IS A MYSTERY!!! (not a murder mystery, but a mystery nonetheless) Um, you can’t leave out vital clues in a mystery and expect it to make any sense. I don’t know about you, but I hate mysteries where you get to the end and a huge chunk of the how and why just happens to appear with zero foreshadowing. Um, the fun stuff about mysteries is trying to figure it out YOURSELF.
Guess who has to do some adding and rewriting now?
So what’s that 20k reasons and prevailing nonsense in the title of this thing? Let me tell you. That’s how many words I have until the book is done. Every word needs to count. And I’m DETERMINED not to add another 10K words just because I have to add a few scenes. I can cut if I have to I can. But I WILL NOT INCREASE WORDCOUNT.
Madeline… Will I have any sanity left when I’m done with book one?
Murphy… that guy tries to interject his “law” into everything. He got me this time, but I WILL prevail. I WILL.
One word at a time.
One clue at a time.
One book at a time.
Until next time…