Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Nearly Done with Kat
Not a great day. My oldest cat, Lady Jane Pudge'ums, has not be well for a while. The vet person just came and got her, and I don't expect her to come back. The vet checked and she is very nearly 18, so this isn't even unexpected. But still... you want the little guys to last forever.
It has been a hard few days, and really this is the best choice.
So, I am looking back at writing again and trying to do something to keep busy. I am almost up to 50,000 words on Draw the Line. I realized I was having an odd problem with the 500 words a day -- I wasn't really moving the plot forward in many cases, but rather dealing with 'right now' in the story. I also realized I had resolved one conflict far too early. I'm writing the rest of the story as though that conflict was still ongoing, and then I'll edit the first part of the book to reflect that change.
I am very nearly done with Kat Among the Pigeons. Then I go for a massive fast edit so that it's really done, since I'm entering it in the Knight Agency contest. I don't think the editing is going to be a lot of trouble. I've been very good in this rewrite and I hope that it shows. I'll soon find out. At any rate, I'm going to be editing about 35 pages a day, which is an insane amount, but as long as I don't have to do much else, I can get it done.
Here is a little snippet from Kat:
A little later, some of the cats came in. None of them had liked the feel of rolling magic, either, but they stayed at their work.
"No more to report," Jules said, scratching at his ear where something had bitten him recently. He looked bothered, so I reached out and did a quick repair job. "Wow. Thanks, lady. That feels much better. Can you make all the teeth fall out of every dog in town?"
"I'll think about it," I said. "I'm a bit tapped right now."
He snorted. "Yeah. Can see that. The northern part of town lost all power while I was out there scouting around. Looks like it's working down through the rest of town. I saw power crews out, but they haven't found the trouble yet."
I had been a little distracted, but those words drew me back. "They haven't found the nests of peripix?" I asked.
"Nope. I keep thinking they should. But it's like they look at them and don't see anything at all."
"Hidden. Magic," I said, which again pointed to someone purposely doing these things. I couldn't find a trail to him though, even when I knew where to look. That made everything all the more frustrating again.
Cato had been standing by the door. He suddenly growled and then backed up. I came out of the chair, knowing there had to be trouble.
Aletta ran up to the porch -- breathless and looking startled by the cats, or by me already on my feet and stepping forward. She lifted a hand and gasped for a moment before she spoke, standing there on the porch. The ward wouldn't let her inside.
"Okay, you're right. Something odd is going on out there. I started doing my own checking, Kat. It's out of hand. What's The Edge doing so close to town?"
"I don't know," I answered. I wished I had an answer that sounded wise and strong. I accepted with relief that she'd come to me, at least.
"I tried to go see," she said. "I couldn't get very close. I saw something up there -- something big and dark. I don't know what it was, but I realized I had better come back and get you. It's near The Edge, and I think it was casting magic."
"You can find it again?"
"Let me get my coat and we'll go."
She nodded, looking relieved.
"I'm going with Aletta," I said to Cato and the other cats as I stepped back into the house. Cato gave her a wary look. "She found something, and it could be what's causing the trouble."
"Kat --" Cato began.
"I have to do it. Keep things calm here, okay?"
"Yeah." He looked glum.
I walked over to the birds and told Gaylord the same thing. He looked over at my shoulder and shook his head.
"She looks like trouble, boss," he said, his voice softer than usual.
"She is trouble. But at least she's trouble I know," I answered.
Shakespeare nudged my hand with his beak. It was as friendly has he had ever gotten. "With loitering eye, till I have felt, the letters -- with their meaning -- melt, to fantasies - with none."
Was he trying to say something? He looked into my face with more earnestness than I had expected, almost as though he would begin to speak at any moment --
"Kat," Aletta said, impatient.
I grabbed my coat and went with her out into the cold night.