Category Archives: bicycles


I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here before, but I usually don’t get writer’s block. I’m not going to say I never get it, because sure as shooting, I’ll come down with a raging case next blink of my eyes, but I can’t remember having a lot of trouble writing, except once when I got into a knock-down drag-out argument with my hero who refused to do something until I pointed out to him the situation, and he finally admitted that he probably would do what I wanted him to do–but he’d be real upset with himself the next day.

There you go–I’m queen of the run-on sentence. Anyway, like I said, I don’t usually just come to a complete and grinding halt and find myself unable to write another word. I get the stupids. That’s where every word that flows out of the pen is just … stupid. The narrative is stupid. The dialog is stupid, the characters are Stupid and everything is just Stupid, STUPID, STUPID! However, this week–okay, today–it’s been rough going. I kept having to stop to figure stuff out.

It wasn’t so much that I had to stop for research, though I did need to be sure that people have to go before a magistrate to have a bail set, and that solicitors are the ones who accompany someone for bail, in England. But I could have fudged that. Left gaps till I had time to do more thorough research. (Besides, I have a source in the newsroom–Ian the Brit answers all kinds of questions willingly for me.)(And I’m going to have to break down and get a historical map of London. Sigh.)

Where I really ran into problems was when I realized I didn’t know exactly how the magic worked that I was using. I hadn’t thought things through, and I needed to. I needed to know how magicians interacted with the spirits they call, and what the morality of the magic was. That stuff was important. And I figured out that conjury was as inherently moral as sorcery, in my universe. I even had to understand the rules for heaven and hell.

I still don’t know everything about how this magic works. I need to look up some of the stuff I figured out for the previous book, but took out of the pages. I can’t find it in notes or deleted materials–I may not have typed it into the computer. In which case, I KNOW it’s in the first draft tucked away in its 3-ring binder…somewhere. I don’t think I’ve moved the binders yet. In which case, they’ll get moved down here in the next couple of weeks, when we move all our furniture to the island. But it might be here…

Anyway, it’s frustrating when I have to stop and work out stuff I really should have worked out earlier–but I sorta thought I already had. I mean, I wrote a whole book set in this universe. It just didn’t occur to me that I’d be writing about a different kind of magic in more detail than I had in the previous book. And honestly, even if I had worked out stuff about conjury ahead of time, I would still be discovering things about it as I write. I never know all the secrets till I get there. Sometimes, I do make them up. But sometimes, they just sort of…come.

All kinds of things bubble up out of that swamp, and I never know what it will be next.

Manticores have made a recent appearance…

Oh! AND, I have ridden my new red Schwinn bicycle all the way to 39th Street today!! That is 53rd Street to 39th Street, plus the two blocks from the subdivision–and back again. Farther than I’ve been able to take myself before. My knees may whine for the next few days, but I got past 45th Street, which means I rode more than 2 miles.

Beautiful Day

Actually, it was a whole beautiful weekend. Saturday was Absolutely Gorgeous, here in island-land. A cold front blew in on Sunday, but it was still really nice. Just jacket nice, instead of shirtsleeve nice.

Oh, I have to share–I went out one day last week to walk along the beach, instead of riding the bicycle. Wore the flip-flops, since it’s been warming up, and did my usual “walk barefoot on the sand, put on flipflops to cross the jetties” trick. The weather was beautiful–just breezy enough to be cool and comfortable. But that water was COLD!!

And I didn’t even get into the water. I just walked on the wet sand. Still cold. Cold, Cold COLD!

Interesting tidbit–I was walking along and noticed swirls and waves of what looked a little like those flat-bottomed glass beads you can get at the craft stores to glue on stuff. (They had some on the wall at Tortuga’s Mexican Restaurant.) But they weren’t beads. They were little bitty, thumbnail-sized jellyfish. Every so often, a big twelve-inch jellyfish would be washed up, but mostly, there were just these waves of baby ones. I was very careful not to step on even the little ones, because those jellyfish can sting like wildfire, and I didn’t have my shoes on. There were so many of them, it was kind of hard not to step on them sometimes…

The boy and his girlfriend and the granddog came to visit and they actually went to the beach and got in the water. Brrrr! I have pictures. (Of Dolly the dog, not any people) I’ll have to download and post them.

And we all went bike riding. The fella brought the last of the bikes down from the panhandle house, so we had a bicycle for everyone. And I made it past 61st Street before the knees gave out! That may have been partly due to the fact that the seawall sidewalk was very crowded and I kept having to slow down to get around bunches of people taking up the whole sidewalk, but I rode Past 61st Street. That’s at least as far as riding past 45th Street going the other way, so I made my goal. Went out the very next day to ride again, and didn’t make it that far, so I obviously have more “building up” to do on the legs, but it’s a start…

The writing is chugging along. I feel like I’m not getting anywhere, but really, I am. I guess I feel that way because I keep having to go back and fill things in. What I wrote today, I’m worried I may have to take out and condense. I feel like I ought to Know what to leave out and what to put in when I write it…but I don’t. I just throw it all in, and then have to slash and burn when it comes time to revise. Less planning, less clothing, more doing.

Onward and upward.