Thursday, November 21, 2013

Attack of the slugs, and a snippet

No, not the giant banana sized slugs of Vancouver. Not even the tiny ones that live here.

The me slugs, wherein I veg out. Tuesday night I was a wreck getting home. Two hours in the car after a massage pretty well undid all the work Alexis did. I pretty well ate, did some stuff that needed to be done, and went to bed.

Wednesday wasn't much better. Our yoga class has a week off, and I missed it, though maybe it's just as well. I stared at the novel a bit, then ended up wandering into watch an episode of Sherlock. Slept very badly for reasons I won't go into here.

Tonight I tried a spin session even though my legs feel like noodles. Predictably enough that didn't go so well. Long stretch session after. Then I set up this heated vibrating seat cushion Linda got me and settle in to write. This scene is work, but it's sort of necessary. Up to 55600 or so words.

Here's a snippet from the opening scene. The setting is the Chinook half ironman as the main characters finish.

The pro men finished, with a bit of a gap to the pro women who were being hotly pursued by the elite age group men. A few other men came in. Ronnie burst around the corner, grimly focussed, and pushing hard. A few seconds later the reason why appeared, or rather, the reasons. Two other girls appeared, putting every effort into catching her.

The three instantly started yelling encouragement to Ronnie, and ran to the finish line to watch. Ronnie beat them down the chute, just holding off the other two girls to win the women’s age group race. She took a few steps slowing down and bent over. Rather than try to give out the finisher medal, one of the volunteers held out a bucket. Ronnie took it and moved out of the way towards the aid table. After a few sips of water, and pouring the rest over her head, neck, and then down her top and pants, she handed the bucket back.

She exchanged congratulations with the other two girls, and accepted her medal. She found Thomas, Janice, and Betsy. “I need a minute here. Go keep an eye out for Penny. I passed her not that far back and she should be along any minute. She was struggling a bit and could use the encouragement.”

They walked back up the course to meet up with Penny and ran along with her.

“You’re limping a little, are you ok?” Betsy asked.

“My right knee is sick of this game, and there’s gonna be a huge blister on my left foot. I should be able to make it. Thomas, am I on track for 6 hours? I can’t do the math in my head anymore.”

He’d already taken his phone out. “Maybe. I know you can run that if you’re fresh. Stay strong!” They all spanked her butt.

A little while later Ed and Hardisty appeared, still running together all the way to the finish, with their usual competitiveness not making an appearance. They reasons why came clear when they all met up outside the finishers corral.

Ed nearly collapsed on some shady grass, Hardisty slowly kneeling down. “Oh boy did that ever get hot out there!” Ed moaned. “I hope you told Penny to drink till her tummy sloshes.” He rubbed water on his face.

Janice was looking over the scrapes. “These need to be washed out, honey, and I think you’ve got some sunburn making it worse. They have a skin clinic set up near the med tent. Let’s check it out when you’re ready to get up.”

“Sure. I’ll need a few minutes.”

Betsy had opened the fabric cooler bag and pulled out some treats. “Cold chocolate milk for each of you. Ginger chocolate chip cookies. Some of those peanut butter date power balls that you all like.”

The guys sat up as things were handed out. Ronnie had joined them and started snarfing her share down. Her tummy had had some time to settle, but the guys were still cautious. “Those are so good after a race Betsy. Thanks for bringing them. Oh, no thanks, no more now. I’ll wait till Penny comes in and has some. Then help finish them off. Wouldn’t want them to go bad on the trip home or anything.”

Everybody smiled. For a skinny girl Ronnie had a big appetite. They hung out in the shade a little while, the guys gradually perking up, talking about the race a bit.

Thomas looked at his phone. “I’m going to go watch for Penny. I’ve been keeping an eye out ad haven’t seen her so far, but it’s coming up on 6 hours. She could make it.”

“I think I’ll keep my tender skin out of the sun,” Hardisty said. Bring her back over here, and I’ll guard the goodies. Everybody else trooped off to the finish line.

In the end, Penny didn’t quite make the 6 hour mark, trying to limp on both feet at once. Still, she crossed the line with a big grin, as it was a huge improvement over last year. Everybody congratulated her, joining in for a big group hug. The non racers had long since come to terms with bodies and clothing icky with sunscreen, sweat, and sometimes other bodily fluids.


  1. Are there two different characters named Penny, one of whom finishes earliest of their crowd and one coming last? If so, I assume the difference is made clear earlier in the scene/novel.

    1. Something I didn't say is that the running part of the race is two laps. Only one character named Penny, and one named Ronnie. Ronnie wins the women's race, right after passing Penny, who was just about to complete her first lap. It then takes another hour and a bit for Penny to finish. Ed and Hardisty finish their race between them.

      Raw draft and all. I'm going to finish up the basic story ending this weekend and send it off to NaNoWriMo for work count. I'm well over the 50K so that shouldn't be a problem. Then start to go through and fix all the things that have been niggling at me. Get it in the right order. Build an age timeline for my characters and make sure they all age at the same rate. (Anyone know of software that does that?)

  2. Hey - it's a slugfest over here on Canada's East Coast, too! Big difference, my friend, you got your 50,000 words in before the giant slug piñata was busted open signalling the start of the Fiesta!!

    Nice snippet - loved that last line about the sweat, sunscreen and bodily fluids ;)

  3. Glad you liked it! There are a few lines I really like. What a great idea for a party piñata! Hmmmmm. With little black licorish candies. Yes I know thats spelled wrong. I'm pre coffee and pre shower and pre breakfast here. My advice is for you and Janice and any other buddies in the same boat to hole up in the La Have Bakery, and not come out till you're done. I mean the stories are done. The coffee and goodies will keep you well field. They might even start calling you writers in residence.

  4. I liked the snippet too, Keith. And great idea about holing up at the Bakery - except I promised Husband I'd do some prep for our party so I'll have to limit writing to short bursts fit in around other stuff today. Given how quickly you wrote those 55,000 words, I'm not surprised you've been feeling a little less motivated this week but I'm sure you'll be back in the groove soon. Good luck!

    1. I'm up this morning, coffee on the go. I think I've got a grip on what I'm going to do here. Nothing fancy for the NaNo verification. Today I'll save what I've got, as is. Then work with a copy to put it all in the correct order, which won't be too bad, since it mostly is already. I need a scene in one of the character's library, and I think I know what and where that is. Plus a wrap up scene. I think I'll leave in just a hint to the other novel I've been working on, which could be flashback scenes about Ronnie, and a potential sequel.


Looking forward to reading your comment!