Monday, February 16, 2015

Goal 2: Done. Now about Goal 3...

Goal 2: Write and edit this year's Sekrit Solstice Science-Fiction Fantasy Story Swap (a holiday short story exchange) by Feb 14th, 2015.

A day late, but as of last night, the short story is off to the story exchange host. I had a blast writing it. I can't say too much at the moment without risking the person its for bumbling into this post. I can say that with the final addition of a few sentences to make the ending (hopefully) a bit more satisfying for my giftee, it's all done. I'm sure I'll find more to edit and clean later. For now though, it's time to focus on Goal #3.

About Goal #3...

When I wrote it, I made it specific: I was to outline and write the novel that tied in to Goal #1's short stories. It's a story I like with vibrant characters I'm looking forward to playing with, and there's a professional writer who's waiting for me to get off my butt, finish it, and do something with it. He's offered me a plug to his fans when I do have it complete. Pretty cool, right? Most likely, I'll see him at a convention in June, so I made Goal #3 with the intent of being able to see him there and say "It's done. Well, the first draft is."

And then I heard a knocking on the inside of my skull, and a plotbunny that's equally developed poked its head into my ear and said, "Write meeeeee."

So now my dilemma is, which one do I write?

Story 1, the misadventures of a superpowered tax collector who tracks down villains in their hideouts and the mad supervillain who moves in with him while he has his lair rebuilt. A comedy of Odd Couple proportions.


Story 2, the tale of a teenaged girl necromancer raised in a Death God cult going through a rebellious phase right before she's expected to summon said god's undead dragon to terrorize the world on her 16th birthday. Not your usual "chosen one/rebel teen" story.

Both heavy on comedy with romantic elements, they should be entertaining to write... as soon as I can choose between them. Currently, the plan is to outline them both and see which one goes further. It'll be a bit more difficult than I anticipated (only one week each to outline, equivalent), but no matter which one wins getting written now, I win overall, because I'll have a second story ready to go outline-wise.

So, readers, with those two brief descriptions, which story do you think you'd like to see?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Goodbye to an old home

I came home last night to a Facebook alert that an old friend had tagged me in a post. Curious, I proceeded.

"At the end of this summer, a very important place will be closing permanently. This place played a huge role in my life as I was growing up, and did the same for many of my friends. Friends I wouldn't have even met without this place."

I didn't even have to click the link she provided or look at the other people she tagged. I knew who they were. I knew where she meant. The place we met many years ago: Camp Ocala, our 4-H summer camp.

From ages 8 to 18, I spent a week every summer swimming in the lake, sleeping in the cabins, playing games around the campfire, and singing the silly songs engraved on the heart of every child who attended. I learned tennis, archery, line dancing, and arts and crafts. I was hurt, humiliated, loved, lost, respected, and educated at that camp. I caught every bug possible from six- and eight-legged (Bug Camp, fun) to parasitic and viral (chiggers, lice, colds, and flu, not as fun). I made some of the greatest friends I've ever known in the dining hall, and strengthened relationships with the ones I already had over candy bars at the canteen. Two of them were guests of honor at my wedding.

And at the end of summer, it'll be all gone, for everyone, forever. No more kids cannonballing off the floating dock. No more whistles lost to the lake's depths. No more singing for our supper (and breakfast and lunch) at the top of our lungs in front of the dining hall to be granted the privilege of eating first. No more first loves on the dance floor for Wednesday night's dance. No more Thursday night shaving cream fights in the cabins while the counselors were out having theirs, even when we weren't supposed to (everyone knew the good counselors-in-training smuggled in their own shaving cream.)

I remember the layout of that camp better than I remember some of my own houses or apartments. Many of the people and the places have inspired my own writing. I wouldn't trade a single memory for anything, not even the bad ones. I sincerely hope the 4-H can find another place for a camp so other children can experience what so many of us did, feel the same love and inspiration I did for many years to come, but wherever they go, it won't be Camp Ocala. It's closing its doors, and it's taking a part of my heart with it.