My best friend–the one I went to New Mexico and Arizona on a research trip with a couple of years ago–came down to the island on Friday with her husband, because she didn’t want to drive through the big-city traffic by herself. My fella was out of town on business, but her guy did very well staying out of the way. 😉
I took them out to lunch at my favorite “local’s hot-spot”, and then we went downtown to see the hawk show they were having for FeatherFest. (This bird is actually a Sea Eagle, and he’s checking us out.) After the hawks and a walk around town to look in a few shops, we had ice cream at the son’s favorite ice cream parlor. (Mine, too. But I won’t let myself go there unless we have company in town.) We drove around the historical district a little bit, and then headed back to the house for a little while.
B and I (we sign our e-mails by initials only–I think I started it because I’m bone-lazy, but our little group all started doing it, since we all have names with different initials–and now we call each other by our initials) had exchanged a few pages for critique, so we went out on the back covered patio to go over our pages, and while we were out there, it rained. We were under the roof, so we didn’t get wet, but after an hour or so, it started getting cold and we went in. Had supper at Tortuga’s Mexican Restaurant and watched the wind blow the palmettos around. Then we went back home again and plotted a book for B.
She brought her sticky notes and her big foamcore plotting board and her tape recorder (which kept stopping intermittently unless she smacked it–we decided it had become masochistic…) and a spiral notebook and her AlphaSmart. I never realized just how much equipment was necessary for plotting a story. 😉 She had a huge cowboy boot box for the sticky notes, because the first time we tried plotting with sticky notes, we kept saying things like “We need more colors–we need a color for the villain, and for the hero’s internal conflict, and for the suspense subplot, and for–” So every time she sees sticky notes in the store, she checks to see if they’re a color she doesn’t have already. I think she has enough sticky notes to last the rest of her life.
By this time, we were really tired, so we went to bed. Her fella had crashed a while back–the driving stress tuckered him out.
Saturday, we got up, drove to McDonald’s for some breakfast take-out, and after we ate it, we plotted a book for me. Of course, I have more books plotted than I have time to write, and am having to take a week off working on Old Spirits to drive back to the panhandle this week and supervise the moving of the rest of the furniture, so I’m going to be writing even less (which upsets me no end), but we plotted yet another book for me. While we were plotting, her hubby went out walking down the seawall. He went into every souvenir shop along the way, and wound up walking all the way to 6th Street. Which is almost 5 miles from our street. And then he had to walk back. We’d have come to get him if he’d called, but he never did…
B and I went out and walked a couple of miles on the beach-or maybe only one. I was too busy talking and looking at all the birds to pay attention. I even saw some terns. We did walk out on one of the jetties–one with a paved walking path. It was quite chilly, or we might have gone walking earlier, but we wanted to wait for it to warm up. And we still wore out windbreakers to go walking. We weren’t really hungry, so we went back to the house and had peanut butter cheese crackers and watched movies, then went out to one of the better seafood houses on the island for supper. (Had the charcoal grilled/fried shrimp combo–very good.) The man in the house was snoring by 10 p.m., because of his 10-mile hike…
Sunday, we got up and did speed-writing drills. We wrote 10 opening sentences. Not opening sentences to anything in particular, just opening sentences. Then we switched pages, and drew numbers, and wrote scenes to go with the opening sentence that matched that number. I got one that said, “Oh, honey, with a package like that, I’ll do ya for free.” (B is a stinker, because she KNEW I would have to write from her sentences, and put that one in just so I’d have to write something beginning with that… :P) It was a lot of fun, and we laughed a lot.
After that, I had mentioned a free reception and tours of one of the big mansion museums on the island, so we went to that–looked at all the stuff on display in the basement, and went upstairs to look at the living area and take pictures on the spiffy-cool front porch and such. (This is B and her fella on one end of the porch–yes, it’s a round gazebo-y area.) Then we went to eat at a Louisiana-style seafood place downtown, and look at the stores on that end of the street. And then, alas, it was time to say goodbye.
Most of the time, there are at least three of us on our Writers’ Weekends, but our third couldn’t get away this time. But since, despite his ten-mile hike and aching legs, her husband had a good time on the island, I don’t think I’ll have a lot of trouble convincing them to come back. Maybe if my fella’s here next time, the guys can go fishing. I know mine likes to fish, and I think hers does too… We didn’t even ride the ferry or go out to the state park. And maybe our third can come next time too… Can’t wait.
Now I have to just get busy writing Old Spirits, so I can write another couple chapters of Thunder, and get a little farther toward finishing it, and then I can write Time Catch, and then I can write the third, still-nameless blood-magic universe book, and then I can write this book we just plotted. Sometime in 2010, maybe???