Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Entering the Pyrenees, Ardor in August and a Book Recommendation

Today is Stage 16 of Le Tour and we get our first of three days in the Pyrenees. Today's stage (profile below) starts out hilly, but ends up massive. I love the mountains and Le Tour, and I'll be sorry to miss the beginning of this while I go for my semi-annual dental checkup and cleaning. Fortunately I have a very early appointment, so I'll be at my TV to enjoy young men and their bicycles within an hour after the broadcast begins.

Today we enter the Pyrenees and take no prisoners. It starts easy
and slow, like the Pastorale of a symphony, but by the end, the
tympani is being pounded and all instruments are forte.  

I got my characters farther along in my morning write yesterday, but submission deadline for Ardor in August is Sunday and I have a lot of editing to do. I'll have to write like a little maniac today and tomorrow and then edit from there. That will leave me four days of writing time next week to be able to finish my word count goal for Camp Nano by the end of the month. I'm cutting things close here, but I did for Sultry September too and I still love what I ended up writing for that.

I've been trying to whip my story into shape little bit by little bit. I need
to step it up to meet the end-of-the-week deadline. 

This time my assignment was easier, but in some ways that made it harder. I know - it doesn't make a lot of sense, but here's my thinking:  When an assignment is more difficult, it pushes me to think hard about boundaries, characters and how to fit the whole thing together. That's how I managed to write last year's Mobius - An Exploration of Evil and the previous year's challenge story Dream Lover. (WARNING - If you want to read these, I'm fine with it, but they are NC-17 and they are slash. Just follow the links if you want to read outside of your box.)

Writing requires decisions on plot and direction of the story. Do my
characters do this? Or do they do that?  No choices left - they will
do as I tell them! 

So as I was saying, this year's assignment is much easier in terms of the character pairing, but because of that, it's been harder to pull together. I was hoping for hot and heave and I've gotten angst and sorrow. I'm not sure I'm altogether happy with what I've written so far, but I also know that editing can produce miracles. That's what I need - a quick miracle.

Come on fingers, don't fail me now...

So, I'll write quickly in my free mornings for the next few days and turn it in on time because I don't miss deadlines. I'm hoping my recipient will be happy with my efforts and that's really the goal of the fic exchange.

The photo shows Mike Parsons surfing down a 65 foot or larger
wave at Cortes Bank. The Bank, only 100 miles off the California
coast near San Clemente Island, throws up huge waves because
of the ocean floor topography. These guys are nuts, but
also very skilled and total adrenaline junkies.

I'll finish today's post with a book recommendation. I'm not exactly sure where I swept up the book "Ghost Wave: The Discovery of Cortes Bank and the Biggest Wave on Earth," but I've been reading it and it's really fascinating. It got me to look at lots of big wave surfing pictures last night, so I've ended this post with amazing pictures of waves 60-75 feet high and the men who are brave enough to surf down them. Really phenomenal and totally crazy.

The ocean scares me a lot, and this might be one reason. Here, at Cortes Bank, is
a photo of Peter Mel surfing a huge 65 foot wave that's breaking up
behind him. The sheer power of this water is beyond belief., and this
isn't at a shoreline, it's 100 miles out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. 

Here's Robert Brown, dwarfed by an 85 foot wave at Cortes
Bank. As you can see from the map at left, Cortes Bank is directly
east of San Diego. 

Have a productive and happy Tuesday and I'll be back tomorrow.

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