Thursday, May 29, 2008

Leave the rest for the crows

Not quite 1,500 new words in the last two days, but that includes some cutting of excess baggage, some shuffling and reshuffling of scene order in an attempt to get a better feel for the flow of Crowmaker's opening, and a lot of note-scribbling as I continue to develop and expand backstory information. I could've limped through a short story with the sketchy information I previously had, but I am now harboring a fledgling novel. I'm sitting at 22,250 on total word count right now--that's damn near 25% of a novel, which is right about where this particular portion of the novel should weigh in. I maintain my stance of cautious optimism.

The title of today's blog is a line from a song whose inspiration has formed the glue which took my random set of ideas and dream fragments and turned them into what is growing up to be Crowmaker. The song is "One Blue Sky," by Sugarland. (YouTube alert! Don't click at work!) Yes, it's country. Yes, I actually listen to country. Yes, you can laugh if you like. Then go listen to the song anyhow. I like to think it's pretty good whatever label you want to slap on it. (Music is like that sometimes. So are books and movies and people. Go figure. And if you still don't like it, that's OK, too. Different drummers and all that.)

And because I am in a "God, I am so enamored of this story I can't stand to not share with anyone" kind of mood today, here's a snippet from the rough draft:

The raft drew close enough for Ein to spot a gun belt around the stranger's waist. Ein took a step back, figuring she should go and holler for Udale or Big Fraze or maybe even the preacher boy, Had. That's when the figure on the raft looked up, and Ein could see by the soft lines of her face that the stranger was female. The woman's black eyes fixed right on Ein, but that wasn't what froze Ein in her tracks.

Dark lines criss-crossed the stranger's face and neck, shaded by the floppy felt hat she wore but still the deepest, most living blue Ein had ever set eyes on. Ein stared, trying to decide if the lines moved, and after a startled second she recognized them for what they were.

Birds. Crows.

Ein craned her neck, forgetting all about the stranger as she searched the cloud-ridden sky for the sleek, dark shape so familiar to Ein from her father's journals.

I hope you'll all forgive my giddiness and not mistake it for boasting or pride. It's a strange thing, but I think everyone here will understand what I mean when I say that most of the time what I write feels less like something I can brag about and more like something I am grateful for because it happened to show up on my doorstep and allowed me to be the one to write it.

More musical influences tomorrow (maybe). Also tomorrow, the return of the fishing guys. Can you all say, "Mmm, fish fry and potato salad. MMMMM."

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