I took a stab at doing some fiction writing on my lunch hour.
My protagonist (I’ve named her Abby temporarily, after the mom of my cat Velcro) and her dad are still on the hydrofoil out of Naples, and I’m using this time to start to establish the family and the relationships.
Much like me, my protagonist has motion sickness in boats, so she’s bored. She can’t read because she . . . . Actually, her motion sickness is more like Alex’s and Thomas’s. Abby cannot read in a moving vehicle. I can, so long as I’m completely wrapped up in what I’m reading. Neither Alex nor Thomas can do this in most situations.
My motion sickness comes from a mismatch between what I’m seeing and what my inner ear is feeling. I do pretty well with open windows or in the front seat or, again, if I’m distracted.
Anyway she’s bored and her dad’s keeping up a conversation with her, telling her what they’ll experience there and things. Abby wants to be back home helping her mom, who is a jewelry designer, open her first showroom.
I really only know two cities well — Chicago and San Antonio, so I’m setting Abby’s home in Chicago. I figure that it’d be more likely that a diplomat of some sort would have a home base in Chicago than in San Antonio.
Even though it’d be nice to put them in San Antonio. I remember a couple of years ago reading an article about how the city has been trying to encourage “creative class” jobs in San Antonio and how it’s just not working.
Heck, they can’t even keep corporate headquarters here. In the last few years, we’ve lost the headquarters of both the La Quinta hotel chain and AT&T. Both left here for Dallas, because Dallas has better infrastructure for large corporations and also is better connected to the rest of the world.
San Antonio’s airport is better than it was, but it’s no DFW. Additionally, if you look at a map of San Antonio, the perimeter of the city is 330 degrees of not much, and 30 degrees of congestion in the form of US 281, Interstate 35 and Interstate 10. More or less. I’m not going to pull out a protractor. It could be 320 degrees of not much and 40 degrees of congestion.
But if San Antonio wants more “creative class” jobs, having Abby’s mom be a world-class jewelry designer opening her first showroom would help raise awareness there.
I know it might be more realistic to put the family of a diplomat in New York or DC or somewhere like that, but I don’t really *know* those cities like I know San Antonio. It’s likely that this book may be set entirely on the island (I’m toying with calling it Santa Chiara, after St. Clare of Assisi, St. Francis of Assisi’s BFF). But what happens if I finish the book and discover that the story of Abby doesn’t end there and we have to follow her home? That home better be somewhere I know well.
Abby is going to, of course, have friends. One is a young man who is like Snuffleupagus. No one else will see him for a long time, if ever. Is he the missing prince? Is he a ghost? Is he just shy? Or does he just have lousy timing when it comes to everyone else? Her other friend is a young jewelry designer who makes friends with Abby, then realizes that Abby is her mother’s daughter and that her mother is kind of the friend’s hero, but the friend is trying to figure out how to be “Hey, your mom’s my hero” without sounding like that’s the only reason they’re friends.
I’m still working on what happened with the Prince and where he is going and what’s going on and things like that. It’s kind of funny because like nobody reads this blog and so I’ve been like “Let’s talk about plot points of my novel; no one is ever to read that either.” But I’m going to keep plugging away at both novel and blog and hope that someday I’ll be able to make the money I need to pay off my mortgage.
Speaking of money, here’s today’s Gratuitous Amazon Link. Ooh! Palace of Stone, the sequel to Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale! Britta’s wedding is coming up and the other girls from the Princess Academy are coming to the capital to help with the festivities. Miri is particularly excited because she is going to spend a year at the university.
Hm. One of my plot bunnies that I’ve been feeding for the last . . . 10 years? It started out as alternative history, but I would be telling brown people’s stories and aside from a thin line leading me to a Krai of Russia on the border with Mongolia and a rumor that my father’s mother’s family have Rom ancestry, I’m so white I disappear in front of a blank wall. So I’ve been, like, “Fantasy?” But I don’t really have room for magic in this world. But the Princess Academy books are fantasy despite not having spellcasting and things. The magic is that the people of Mount Eskel can communicate through some kind of kinship with Linder, the stone they harvest. I wonder if I can use something along those lines . . . .