It’s my day off. The first I’ve had to myself in a very long time.
And I’m sitting in the lobby of Starbucks. And not just any Starbucks, but MY Starbucks. I’m sipping iced coffee like a madwoman hoping that if I just keep typing I’ll come across the solution.
I’m not stuck. Not really. I’ve just hit a road block. My brain has proposed a very logical thought that is preventing me from getting Val to the main plot of the story.
This isn’t anything new. It just means that I’m not familiar enough with either my characters or my setting. And since it’s been less than a week since I’ve started this story, it’s probably both.
I tried to write today at home. When I say “try” I mean to say that I looked at my laptop sitting on the floor of our computer room and cringed. The house is too empty. Too quiet.
My day started by going to the gym with a friend. We did our usual butt-kicking thing, and then I did something I have never done before. I used a tanning bed.
I know, I know. It’s horrible for me and I’ll probably get skin cancer. But you all forget, I’m from ARIZONA! Now I’ve been in Oregon for almost 10 months. It’s 80 degrees back in AZ. It was 52 degrees here today.
Forgive me if I could use a little UV.
So I used a tanning bed. And it was AWESOME! I laid there for five whole minutes (don’t worry, I applied sunscreen) and felt like I was at home. It didn’t take much creativity to imagine that the hot air blowing through the bed was the summer wind whipping at me as I drove down the deserted I-10 in a stripped bare Jeep Wrangler. In fact, that’s where I spent those five minutes. I was traveling at 60 miles per hour, blaring Muse and baking under the desert sun. All was right with the world.
And that’s how I’ve felt all day.
Those five minutes of heated escape have lent me a sense of joy I haven’t had in months. If tanning is wrong, I most definitely don’t want to be right. It was as if my skin were empty. I felt almost itchy and sallow. I don’t know how to explain it, but my skin felt thirsty in a way I’ve never known. And now I just feel like I’ve soaked in everything I’ve ever wanted. Sun-soaked. Quenched. Even now, eight hours later, my skin is still warm to the touch. I’ve absorbed it, and I’ll be damned if I let it go so readily.
Anyway, back to the story.
Without giving too much away, Val is trying to sneak in somewhere, and my brain can’t quite figure out how she can do it. She’s not going to succeed the first time. Or even the second or third time. But I need her to fail in a way that teaches her more about the place but doesn’t get her killed. It’s all a bit vague and frustrating. Eventually, after trying and failing so many times, she’ll realize that she can’t get in alone, and will have to get Ethan to help her.
That in an of itself will be a whole ‘nother problem. But, I’ll deal with it as it comes.
In order to avoid this current problem I spent much of my day reading Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. I’m sure I’ve raved about him in the past, but it can never hurt to remind you all just what a genius he is. This is my second time reading Mistborn and I love it even more! All the details and character development that sucked me in the first time have come even more to life. It’s as if I never knew these characters or what the story was really about. Not really.
It makes me very anxious to re-read Warbreaker and Elantris.
Sanderson is a fiction god, and I worship him daily. Can we just leave it at that?
Anyway, before I get sucked into endless raptures of Sanderson’s works, I have a story to write.