Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

ROW80: Packing, ugh.

I’m currently sitting in the midst of overflowing suitcases, bags of books, stacks of books that won’t fit into bags, and a few pairs of shoes with no home. Ugh.

The last day of summer school is today, and my original plan was to drive to my parents’ house near San Francisco early Thursday morning.  Trouble is, I started getting antsy Tuesday afternoon, eager pack up my truck, hit the road, and feel the wind in my hair.  Once I get that notion into my brain, well, there’s really no way to hold myself back.

So here I am, doing a terrible rush job at packing.  I really only have one rule at the moment: grab everything, put it in some form of container (suitcase, paperbag, etc.), and rope it into the back of the truck with bungie cord.  I only have 3 bungie cords, so I’ll have to get creative — it’ll be like one of those terrible logic tests.  We’ll see how this goes down.

Needless to say, this will be a short update.  I had all sorts of interesting archival tidbits to share (including mugshots I found of lady pickpockets who preyed upon wealthy men in San Francisco during the 1880s!), but I’ll save those for Sunday.


Blogging: Looks like Mondays around here will be dedicated to a post on world-building and inspirations.  I’m focusing on the elements of the world I’m creating for Path to the Peacock Throne, my fantasy WIP.  My post on costuming went up the other day, and I’m proud of it for all the pretty pictures.  Architecture, I think, will be next Monday’s topic, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Writing: I finally gave 750words a try, and wow.  The researcher in me was seduced by all the stats that were automatically generated: not only a graph showing my word count, but colorful pie charts that demonstrate the overall mood of the scene (mine: DEATH) and countless other things.  I kinda want to steal whatever algorithm thingie that they use to figure out all of this stuff, because it would make the data analysis for my thesis (a textual analysis of 1920s etiquette books) so much easier.

I’ve been working on tell me no lies since Sunday night, and wow!  I went from zero words to roughly 4900 words since then, so I’ve definitely exceeded my nightly writing goals.  I’ve got some loud characters on my hands, and a steampunk world that is coming together.  It takes place in the late 19th century, where San Francisco’s harbors are now home to airships.  Robots are utilized by the police in their investigations, and two female-owned, Moulin Rouge-esque saloons dominate the nightlife on the Barbary Coat (the Belladonna and the Palace Grande).  There are loose women and wealthy bohemian playboys, opium and booze, and a cynical chanteuse torn between a strait-laced detective and a rakish air pirate.  I actually just found out about this love triangle last night — always nice discovering something new about your plot, isn’t it?

Thesis: Met with my advisor on Sunday and she had nothing but complimentary things to say about the first chapter of my analysis section.  There are weak points, of course, but overall she tells me that I’m on the right track.  The best thing that she had to say: “I am just having so much fun reading this!”  Squeeee.

I’ve only got one more substantive chapter to write, and I actually think I’ll be done with the first draft by the end of summer break.  As this coincides with the end of Round 3, I will make this a goal.


Unless I fail at getting the rest of my things together, I’ll be on the road by 5 pm and back at my parents’ by 10 pm.  I downloaded Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander audiobook to keep me entertained, and with a little caffeine to get me going, I should be grand.  Comments will be sparse from me till the weekend, when I’ve recovered from the travel lag, but know that I am offering warm fuzzies and happy thoughts to all!


  1. You do have a lot going on! Enjoy feeling the wind in your hair….

    Sounds like you’re moving along and making progress.

  2. Hope you’ve arrived safely in SF. And that you’ll visit one of those wine and book pairings at the library. 😉 Thanks for your comment on my blog!

    You’re writing steampunk set in SF! Write fast and send it to Laurie McLean at Larsen Pomada. It’s JUST what she’s looking for. Seriously. Drop everything else. Slow blog for a while. Once a week is fine. It’s been working for me for two and a half years.

    • Anne, thank you so much for the tip! I’ve just started working on this steampunk tale, but as I have the next month off from school, I’ll definitely try to whip it into shape and send it along to Laurie.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Safe travels. Glad you liked 750words. It always tells me I’m “Upset” but I think it is because I type crisply and don’t worry about fixing typo’s. I’ve also had it tell me I’m a certain way when I’m typing notes for my WIP that have nothing to do with me. LOL! It’s all fun and the main point is to just write.

    Keep up the great work (and wow! so much, I’m impressed).

    • Thanks, Gene. I love the quirky little stats that 750words provides, especially the fact that the mood of everything I’ve written for the past week seems to be ‘death.’ It’s particularly apt, given that I’m writing about a serial killer. 🙂

  4. Ooh, Outlander! Be careful, you don’t want to veer off the road in the excitement of listening to that! Hope you have a great drive.

    A textual analysis of 1920s etiquette books? That sounds so exciting! I’d love to see the primary sources for that – old etiquette books are always so funny/interesting/whimsical.

    • Haha, there was no veering off road, but quite a bit of fanning myself! Roughly 4 hours of the drive passed by in a flash, and it was absolutely wonderful.

      Yes, I am a little in love with my thesis (even more now that I know what I’m doing). I’ve been thinking about writing up little posts about some of my research, especially because the old books are really fun to talk about.

  5. Have a good drive! I love audiobooks, they definitely help the drive go by faster. Every summer my family and I spend a week down the shore and on the way we always get an audiobook. Last year we made the mistake of not looking up the book ahead of time and just picking one off the shelf. Yeesh it was the most bizarre plot (and totally not age-appropriate for my younger brother). Live and learn, right?

    Great job getting all that writing done and good luck hitting all of your goals! I’m going to check out 750words just because I’m obsessed with result-type charts. We’ll see how it goes!

    • I’ve pretty much decided that I’m never, ever going to undertake a long drive without an audiobook again. Lol’ing at your story, though — I will definitely remember to check out the book ahead of time!

      Yes, do check out 750words. I’ve been having a blast with it over the past few days.

  6. Wow you’ve been very busy! I LOVE visuals like graphs and charts – they motivate me so much more than just writing down a number. I never seem to get as excited as when I see it done up all cool and fancy-like.

    Safe travels 🙂

    • I totally agree, Marie — nothing like charts and graphs to make reaching writing goals feel a little more rewarding, and a lot more fun. Thanks for dropping by!

  7. You’ve officially made me tired. You are busy. Love your steampunk world — sounds exciting and vivid and lurid. Oh, my. I’ll have to check out 750words, you and Gene have me intrigued.
    Happy driving!

  8. Ruth Nestvold

    July 27, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Good luck on the packing and have a safe drive! Your steampunk story sounds like great fun, btw. I’m getting a huge kick out of mine!

  9. A love triangle…..sounds delish…especially in the setting you tell of. I’ve never heard of this 750words…I’ll have to look into it.

    Glad to hear Path To The Peacock Throne is moving along. I’m absolutely looking forward to those mugshots on Sunday…….

    Enjoy visiting your family. Be safe. ~ Nadja

  10. Ok you are the second person today I’ve heard mention this 750words thing. I’m gonna check it out now. Great job on those goals and be careful with those bungees!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Kait. I’ve been using 750words for daily focused free-writing, and it’s been working out really well. I definitely recommend it.

  11. Ooooh… stats. The Engineer in me rejoices. I checked it out and have a question: Do you write your scenes in there and then, like, copy them to a larger document? I wish I could get something like this for an addon in Word or something. I do most of my writing in there just because it’s where I’m comfortable… but ooooh stats. 🙂

    GJ on the goals…. love it when a world comes together.

    • Hey, Matt. I’ve just started using 750words, so I’m still finding my ‘groove,’ but at the moment I’ve been using it for my free-writing. Once I’m done for the day, I copy and paste whatever I’ve written into a scrivener doc (my word processor choice), and do any edits there. Apparently 750words also has an export function, but I have yet to use that.

      And I agree — if word, or some other word processing program, could generate the same stats as 750words, I would be all over it!

  12. Brilliant news that your thesis advisor was full of praise! I am always so impressed with how much you have going on and how much you stay on track with everything! Very motivating.

    I hope your journey home was fast (but safe!) and you get settled in to your summer.

    • Thanks much! Yes, the advisor praise makes me extra motivated to get things wrapped up with the thesis. And the journey went well! Lots of swooning over Gabaldon’s wonderful prose. 😉

  13. You are one busy lady! Nice job staying on track and happy travels!

  14. Congrats! Sounds like you’re doing really well. 😀

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