If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Latest installment in collaboration debacle

I caught up with Scott on-line last night. Bottom line? We desperately need a face-to-face. A long one, starting with alcohol and a good fight so we can get down to business.

I took the idea from the last chat and ran with it. I got the touch-down (almost 6,000 new words) and was heading toward the field goal when I got clotheslined. (Edited to remove spoilers which probably won't be in the final product anyway. The black type is clarification or you'll be hopelessly lost. I was at first, and I've been writing the silly thing.)

SC: well I read what you sent and I liked it, just a slight problem maybe

EJ: what?

SC: well what I wrote a while back about Stephan not getting sacked in the first place

SC: She won the battle

EJ: Did Gravity help her win?

SC: remember she allowed for Gravity to help and before she was attacked by him (it was a military exercise, to test Stephan's forces) she saw the attack from Parek and defeated her (Parek's) forces badly

SC: you don't remember talking about this in a previous chat

EJ: not about Stephan winning the battle, no

SC: I have the whole thing written

EJ: shit

SC: Let me send it to you and see if it refreshes your memory

EJ: please

SC: email sent

Indeed it was sent: The whole document of the cobbled-together manuscript. 204 pages. I almost threw up on the keyboard. Instead, I took a deep breath:

EJ: ok, quick question. Can you throw me a bone about how far into this I’m looking?

SC: RED, just before you had Stephan coming out of her coma. (Don't panic. It wasn't a coma; she was wounded and woke up. )

I seem to be beating my head on solid objects lately. This project is either going to make or break me, but that's the way it is with most things, I suppose. It would, however, be much easier if neither of us had anything else to do, aside from maybe cooking dinner and walking the dog.

Oh, changing subjects (careful of the whiplash), and before I forget, congratulations to TSgt(Sel) Danny, who gets to remove the (Sel) from his rank as of next Monday. Enjoy your pay raise, my friend. You have earned it many times over.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

The first step to recovery....

I may have mentioned that I've been doing some research about authenticity of my rendezvous gear, costumes in particular but other gear as well. Rendezvous are not as picky about authenticity as re-enactments, but (like my father before me) I do like to be as accurate as possible. Part of what I've learned recently is that the preferred fabrics were wool and linen. They were cheaper to make and raw materials more available than cotton in the 18th Century. Cotton was imported and, therefore, quite expensive. I have also learned that cotton insulates, where wool and linen wick moisture from the body and keep one cooler. I would like to have know THAT before we went to Iowa! So what are all of our costumes made from? Cotton.

I have progressed somewhat in my sewing skills and sallied forth to locate new fabric. Linen is generally available only in the spring here, and what I did find amongst some upholstery fabric was $15.00 a yard. I just can't justify $30.00/petticoat. Wool is just as bad, being a fall fabric, and most of what I found of both were blended with synthetics. I'd rather not have a fire hazard in camp, thank you.

I'm not sure what made me think of it. Maybe it was sheer frustration when I popped over to E-Bay to have a quick look. You have to search with the right key words, but they do have a respectable amount of linen and a bit of wool, and there seems to be enough competition to keep the prices down. Just this week I bought 10 yards of linen for $6.50 a yard, and I put in a bid on two yards of wool which, if the bid stays the same, will shake out to about $4.50 a yard with shipping. I should have enough sewing to do through the winter to keep me out of trouble! I have two shirts in progress and a short gown (for me) and a waistcoat (for Eric) planned, plus I want to experiment with ladies cap patterns. Oh, yeah, and a couple of chemises, too. Can't forget those.

Now let me put this in the proper perspective. I was doing the Snoopy dance at getting $6.50/yard linen. Six months ago, I was buying my cotton at Walmart from the dollar tables when I could find solids or appropriate patterned fabric. I hesitated to spend more than $3.00 a yard, and I only did that on rare occassions.

So now the question becomes, am I becoming a fiber junkie, an E-Bay addict, or a glutton for punishment for sewing all these clothes that will be worn no more than four times a year? (Did I mention I'm doing mostly hand sewing?) Sometimes it's hard to say.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bass turd!!

I chatted with Scott the other night about our soon-to-be archnemesis: Book 2. It's been a frustrating process for both of us. We can work long distance, but it's so much easier if we can get together occassionally. When we do, the ideas fly, we can nail down plots and twists, and the process is pure bliss. However, right about now, I'm ready to swear off collaboration altogether. If it's this frustrating with my second best friend ever, how much harder would it be with someone I don't know as well?

Anyway, once we got past the gritching and squabbling and excuse making , we started to toss ideas around. I could feel the magic starting when he told me a little tidbit about one of our original characters that I didn't know, and it started to flow just like in the old days. It's amazing what happens when I beg for just one character to maim and kill. I volunteered to work on that part of it. Yesterday I sat down and wrote more than 4,000 new words. My rough estimate is that I paused to think and re-read approximately every 700 words and walked away once for lunch. I left myself in a good spot to pick it up tonight.

I found myself, as I often do, thinking ahead to what happens next as I was going to sleep last night. I was happy with the direction of the story, but then it hit me in the gut: our new, wonderful, delicious plot twist is going to cause me to rewrite more of Rogue Pawn. I'm already rewriting the last quarter (almost) because Scott didn't like the ending that he'd suggested, and now, because a particular character is also in Rogue Pawn I'm going to have to axe some scenes or completely rewrite them because she would not do in Rogue Pawn what she does because she's with somebody else at the same time in Book 2! Forking asprin munching bass turds! (Sorry, creative non-swearing was a must when my kids were toddlers.)

Confused yet? Let me 'splain. Rogue Pawn is a spin-off of Book 2. I know, it doesn't make sense to write the spin-off first, but it didn't start as the book it finished as. When I started, it made sense, but then it went a different way and I couldn't stop writing just because of that. It's about one of the new main characters, which made things easier in some ways when writing Book 2. I just took the major plot points and rewrote them in someone else's point of view. It was more editing than writing, but it got us a lot of new material quickly. My plan was to rewrite the ending (when we figured it out what it was) and then give it a quick polish so I could start agent hunting. That's going to be difficult now. Stupid might be a better word.

The new plan, as of this morning, is to finish and polish one of my Christian fiction pieces and start agent hunting. I'm fairly certain I saw some in my guide that take both Christian fiction and science fiction. Since I'm leaning more toward the Christian fiction these days, that's probably smarter. I hope. If nothing else it will keep me from flying to Dallas to strangle Scott.