Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Posting on a Tuesday? What?!

Does everyone here know about Dracunculiasis, which people in places with no access to clean water can contract by drinking water that contains guinea worm larvae? The infected person becomes a host to a worm that, a year or so later, decides to leave by erupting through the skin of the leg. To keep the worm moving, the people treating the infected patient will allow the worm to bite a matchstick, then rotate the matchstick so that the worm is wrapped around it. They continue to wrap the worm around the matchstick incrementally as it slowly emerges, until finally, from hours up to a week later, the worm has left the body. Breaking the worm in the extraction process is not a good idea, since the remains of the worm can cause problems in the patient’s body.

That’s pretty much how writing my outline has been.

The upshot is, from objective reading of my outline so far, it seems much more in line with the traditional format of the detective novel. Less meandering, less navel-gazing, less weird uncertainties about motivations or progression of events. I really like how it’s shaping up in this draft. Of course, the actual writing writing hasn’t started yet; I’m very much itching to do so, but I know the importance of finishing the outline. I carefully wrote down most of the good ideas I was having during my research month+, and when I came back to visit my vault of genius I learned that I didn’t actually write down all that much: I had inflated it in my memory. My outline must be complete, because I know that I’ll accidentally get to the end of it, flying along, then go back to it to figure out where to go next and realize that I left myself hanging.

But yes! I did start writing my outline last Friday. I put on my music and turned off the faucet that likes to spew forth uncertainties, distractions, and the idea that I have a choices in the matter. I learned that writing an outline with kittens frolicking in your lap is actually possible. (Not easy. But possible.) Made easier by moving the work station upstairs, where kittens get easily bored.

The tragedy happened when I finished for the day: I brought my laptop back downstairs and plugged it in. Found out the next day that it hadn’t charged at all: finally, however-long-worth of kittens using my power cord as a toy had finally done it in. (At least, I hope and believe that’s the problem.) A new power cord is on its way to me as we speak, but in the meantime, Branden has kindly allowed me use of his Chromebook. And Google Docs, amiright? Why would you use anything else? Or at least, anything stored locally?

And so, today, I am back to the grind of the outline, as soon as this post is posted.

But that’s hardly exciting. The exciting thing I have to report is this: This coming weekend, Branden and I are visiting Seattle, mostly for fun but using my novel as an excuse! I really, really shouldn’t write a book set in a place I’ve never been. And even though we will only be there about two days, I’m hoping to squish a bunch into the visit. I’ve been aimed at the Chihuly museum, the troll under the bridge, and the library; is there anywhere else we should endeavor to visit?

I’m hoping to finish my outline in short order and get to the meaty meaty writing. Wish me luck, everyone!


Codeface said...

The coolest thing I ever did in Seattle was the "Seattle Underground" tour. There's a whole level of the city underground! Not sure if the tour still exists, but it's detective-worthy!

Elly Conley said...

Ooooh, sounds like a must-do. Thanks, Code! *scribblescribble*