Happy Hump Day!
I’m back home from the family holiday, and it feels good to be snug in my little apartment once again. Flying always takes a lot out of me, especially when I have to deal with layovers (and Santa Barbara airport is so tiny that I almost always have at least one layover), so all I want to do today is curl up with a blanket and a good book and do absolutely nothing. The instructor that I’m TA’ing for is wonderful and told me to go ahead and take today off, so I plan to devour one (or two!) of the Georgette Heyer regency romance novels I have sitting on the shelf. Grading and thesis-work will commence tomorrow once I’m rested up.
The second half of the trip was absolutely wonderful. We left my grandfather’s house in southern Nevada Sunday afternoon and made our way to the Las Vegas Strip, where my parents renewed their vows to mark their 25 wedding anniversary.
The event turned into a mini-Jamison reunion, with my mom’s younger brother and sister, niece, and father in attendance.
All in all, it was a wonderful trip, especially because it was the first family vacation that we’ve taken since I moved out of the house for grad school, three years ago. Now that my sister has moved out to go to college, finding time for all four of us to be together is a major challenge. It’s good to be back in Santa Barbara and to have a little quiet time (three women in one family = lots of squabbling), but I do miss having all of them around. However, I don’t have to despair for long: summer session ends next Wednesday and fall quarter doesn’t begin until the 3rd week of September, so I’ll be driving back to San Francisco next weekend. I will have six weeks for lots of family time, and even better, lots of non-school time. I’ll also be able to work on the thesis without other distractions, which means that I should be pretty productive.
Now, for my ROW80 check-in. I didn’t have internet access Sunday-Tuesday, so I basically worked my smartphone to the bone. I now know how to utilize my Twitter app, the WordPress app, the MS Word app, and the copy/paste function — all incredibly useful tools for when I’m on-the-go. I also managed to write for an hour or so each night since the last check-in. Yesterday was the exception, as I was basically was sitting in an airport or airplane for six hours straight with nothing but my ipod, a blank notebook, and pen (that sounds like some sort of desert island challenge!), so I did a lot more brainstorming.
The breakdown, project-by-project:
Thesis: I took a break from the behemoth that is my thesis for the last few days. I have a check-in meeting with my advisor by the weekend, so cross your fingers that her feedback is favorable!
Strange Bedfellows: The characters for this story won’t shut up, so at the moment I am a slave to their whims. However, I was able to put a hold on the snappy and snarky dialogue to focus on developing the first couple of chapters, which is good, because I’ve been writing scenes out of order, just to get them out of my head. I added another 1400 words to this, which brings the current MS up to about 12,700 words. I went through my notes the other day and realized that this project took over my life at the beginning of July, so yeah, I’m a little shocked at this total word count.
Path to the Peacock Throne: I haven’t written anything new, but I devoted all of yesterday to working on backstory, world-building, and character development. There’s a lot of stuff that goes down in this tale before the story even begins, so the challenge is (1) getting the details all straightened out and (2) finding a way to allude to the backstory without a major infodump. I now have many handwritten pages with notes about systems of magic, and fictional civil wars, and my MC’s personality. She is shy and a bit aloof, I think, with a secret wish to travel and explore the world. She’ll get her wish in Act 2, though not quite in the way she imagined.
That’s all from me right now. Off to do a bit of bloghopping, and once I am done with that, to grab a book and enjoy a decadently lazy day.