Whenever I travel, Drake always comes with me... whether my husband does, or not. Drake is a traveling Duck and he loves to see new places and meet new people. Except that he's usually quite shy at public appearance events, and so few realize that he's sitting on my shoulder, taking it all in, quacking his observations in my ear. But he has a good time, and he's a good traveling companion - we listen to audio books while driving, and he never complains about where we eat.
While in Muskegon this past weekend, Drake and I had some time to write together on Saturday morning. Our intention was to write after the event Friday night, and then more on Saturday morning, but we were both a little tired, and instead, we watched a little mindless television, and went to bed early.
I woke up at about eight o'clock Saturday morning, with Drake quacking ferociously about a new plot outline he wanted me to write down. I told him he had to wait until after a shower and breakfast. "Check-out isn't until eleven, we've got plenty of time," I said. But all through breakfast, he wouldn't let it go. Drake can be quite a nag when he doesn't get his way.
So I grabbed a cup of cocoa, and we went back upstairs to our room, pulled out the laptop, and began to make notes about a new novel. It's a historical novel, one that's been bouncing back and forth between Drake and me for quite some time... but neither of us could quite get a hand - or a flipper - on what it should be about. There were vague sketches of characters and a flimsy plot line, but nothing concrete. That all changed on Saturday morning.
Drake quacked loudly and with much enthusiasm; as usual, I silently took dictation.
The story revolves around a mystery centered at the Library at Alexandria sometime around 300BCE or so. What we came up with has a solid beginning and end, with the middle still working itself out of my imagination and Drake's beak. We have an idea about the major conflict, but we're still working to refine it. We've got the major characters: the protagonist, the romance character and a few extras... but we're still trying to nail down the antagonist. We need to be careful with the bad guy... it's important that we get him right, otherwise the quest to get the mystery solved is going to be pretty dull.
We've been knocking this around for a while and have our setting(s) solidified, and we've done some research on the locations and timelines (Kindle is a great resource for people and ducks who have no patience). And we've ordered another book that's not available digitally - but that's okay, we bought it mostly for the pictures, anyway. Our location(s) is on another continent, so picture books are as close as we can get to total immersion on an emerging author and Duck Muse's salary.
Drake and I are extremely excited about this new story... we've finally found the hook, and now it's ready to be written. The only problem is, I had other plans for NaNoWriMo this year.
Drake has been quacking relentlessly about this new book., going so far as waking me up three times last night, trying to get me to remember the details. He insists that we put The Last Strand aside for November and concentrate on this new, currently untitled work, instead. I remind him gently that we've got a self-imposed, publicly announced deadline for The Last Strand.
He reminds me, not so gently, that NaNoWriMo is supposed to be about NEW projects. "And besides," he quacks, "if this story is better, your readers will forgive you for writing it instead of finishing the sci-fi thingy right away. They just want a new book from you, and they want it to be good. They don't really care all that much about which genre it lives in."
We're still arguing about it.
NaNoWriMo begins in just two days... and I must choose between two projects that excite me. Or... I have to figure out how to write both of them simultaneously.
I could sure use your help on this one...
Diana Kathryn Plopa
I love being in love; writing; reading; mammals of nearly every kind, and especially micro-humans! Come enjoy my world with me - Secret Decoder Ring not required!!