Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: Recovering from Vacation

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 Happy Couple

The event turned into a mini-Jamison reunion, with my mom’s younger brother and sister, niece, and father in attendance.

The family (except for me, as I am taking the picture)

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.

8 Comments

  1. Sounds like you had a great time, it’s always a good sign when characters start speaking for themselves.

  2. I’m a great fan of dialogue that hits the mark with wit and snap! When it comes to you…you must get it down.
    The world building/magic systems/civil wars of your other work, Path To The Peacock Throne, sounds time consuming, but quite interesting. I have a world of my own in the formulation stage, and it’s a challenge to take the loads of myth and legend I’ve perused and turn it into a cohesive backstory to set the stage for the novel I plan to tackle once I finish and publish two novellas. And, like you, I worry about information dump.
    Glad to hear you had a great time with your family, but it is certainly great to get back home. A day of indulging in a good romance (or two) is just the thing to recuperate!
    ~ Nadja

  3. I have said it before but I will say it again, I am amazed by how productive you are on vacation! It is amazing! Glad you have had a good time and been productive too.

    I have a long summer ahead of me too (2 more days then holiday!) so I hope once the day job isn’t tiring me out I will be able tog et more done.

    Keep up the good work!

    • So happy to hear that you’ve got a holiday coming up as well! I took a little time off from the thesis, and it’s great how much more ‘bandwidth’ I have to devote to creative endeavors. Good luck with your work!

  4. Very productive week! Don’t you love it when the characters won’t be quiet? Makes for some great writing. Best of luck on your thesis!

    • I live for my characters’ conversations! Their activity led to some really amusing moments where I was walking down the Strip and getting distracted by the conversations happening, er, inside my head, rather than all of the glitz and glamour around me. 😀

  5. Glad to hear you enjoyed your vacation! Kudos to you to getting in some writing 🙂 Hope the thesis is smooth sailing for you!

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