So, yesterday was my local, land-based RWA chapter meeting, about 40 miles away up on the mainland. I always leave work early, because there’s some serious construction on the freeway around NASA, and there’s some serious rush hour traffic leaving the island at “regular” quitting time, and I hate rush hour traffic. So I was driving along, maybe 10 miles off the island, and I noticed I was having to pull the steering wheel really hard to the right to keep the vehicle straight on the road. Bad enough I realized something was seriously wrong. Then somebody pulled alongside me, pointing at my left-front tire and mouthing things like “flat tire.”
So I thanked them, and pulled over to the right lane, hunting for an exit–which was very close, as was a business driveway I could pull into. It was thumping really bad by the time I got stopped. When I got out and looked at it–eek! The tire was shredded all the way around.
Of course, I’m off the island. I have no clue what’s around me or any place I can call, so of course, I call the fella. As I am talking to him, this young man pulls up and asks if I need help. Those of you who know me–or have been to my website and seen my picture–know that I am so white, I practically glow in the dark. Even my hair is white. (Okay, it’s more silver, and it looks even silverier in photos, because it reflects the flash…) The two guys who stop, because a second man stopped before the first one could get out of his car–a young black man, and a biker. Okay, the biker worked for the local hospital, but still…
Chris and Gary worked and worked to change the tire on my massive beast of a vehicle. (Yes, I drive an SUV. I drive the least of anyone in our family, so I get the beast.) I didn’t even hold the lug nuts. Just watched–and okay, I did unwrap the spare. It was all zipped into a carpet cover. Otherwise, it was all them. They were true gentlemen, and I appreciate so much what they did for me.
I drove on to my RWA chapter meeting, listening to the road thumps all the way there, praying I didn’t lose another tire, and trying to remember whether they’d replaced the spare too, when they recalled the original tires… (Never did remember.)
At the meeting, Kimberly Frost, author of Would-Be Witch, spoke on “Scene and Story.” And it helped me out with this book I’m working on, the third blood magic universe book.
See, I started the story with one scene. And then I decided a different scene–even though there are no monsters–might be a more dynamic opening. So I set the original opening scene aside, and wrote this other scene as my opening to the book.
But then, Kimber said that our opening scene needs to connect with the main conflict in the book. So, of course, I started thinking–does it?
And I realized that the Original opening scene Does, while the New Opening scene does Not. See, the working title of this book is Harry & Elinor Fight Monsters. And the Original scene has Harry and Elinor fighting a monster. The New scene has them dealing with a secondary bad guy, and it’s mostly Elinor, not Harry & Elinor together. It’s an important scene, because it creates a lot of complications to the story. But it’s not the Main conflict. So– I flip-flopped the scenes again, and now I’m up to 50 pages along. I’m still tweaking the opening, but at least it’s only tweaks now, and not trashing and completely re-writing. (Though I wouldn’t have trashed it. Just moved it to later…)
And that’s where I am today. The older son and grandboys may get to come visit tomorrow. Cross your fingers.