Monday, August 10, 2015

Abstract Thoughts: What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Writings of the Muse

Renee and the family headed south this summer to spend some time hanging out on the beach with relatives. Renee isn't really a beachy person, but the vacation was nice. And, to be truthful, these days anything that fascinates the children for hours on end and then leaves them happy but exhausted at the end of the day is an instant winner in her book.

Plus, the scenery was lovely. Long-Suffering Husband took this picture from the hotel balcony on our last morning there:

Triple rainbow!

Of course, everyone who has ever spent time in Florida knows the weather there is fickle at best. Two hours later, almost to the minute, Renee snapped this one:

Thankfully, unlike the rainbows, the waterspouts did not come in triplicate.

(Renee's "Fishwife" beta readers will understand--sort of--why she took a break from high-tailing it back to the relative safety of the hotel to stand there like an idiot and snap a photo. She's just that stupid dedicated to her craft.)

Renee only spent a week in Florida, all told, but travel does. . . interesting things to her anxiety and OCD, so the reality is that the trip really took three weeks. One week to prep. One week to actually go. And then one week to recover. It's a process.

I was supposed to be using all the downtime during those three weeks while Renee was thinking about other things to work out what to do with "Dates". We ran into a bit of a problem with "Dates". It didn't want to be short enough. At about the 20% mark of the story we were already at the target word count and it didn't look to be getting any more concise from there.

Also, it was boring.

*sigh* I hate it when ideas fizzle out like that. At least we caught it early.

So "Dates" is off the project board and shoved into the story graveyard. Bits of it will probably be broken down to fertilize new stories in the future. The circle of life and all that.

This, of course, left me at something of a loose end for the vacation. I mean, what's a Muse to do with all this free time and no story problems to puzzle over? Particularly when the trip involved days and days of driving and Renee and I do some of our best problem solving behind the wheel.

We like to talk while she drives. Yes, out loud. Yes, it's weird. Yes, we know that.

What to do? What to do?

Um. . .  I might have invented an entirely new world in a genre Renee has never written in before. As one does.

And so the "Timeliners" universe was born. It's all science fictiony and there's time travel and alternate universes and floaty noncorporeal entities and a whole host of other cool stuff we've never worked with before. Renee wrote out six pages of notes when she got home, detailing everything we'd discussed.

No more mental notes for me, thank you very much.

There's no character or story for this world and there's a ton of research still to be done, so it's not an official project yet, but it's nice to have something in the hopper.

Some people come home from vacations with embarrassing stories, kitschy tchotchkes, and possibly a lousy t-shirt for a loved one. I brought home an imaginary play land in a fractured space-time continuum. :-)

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