Today marks several things on my calendar. One of course is the turning of the days, as after today the nights will start shrinking and the days expanding. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter, but I also like warm days where the sun stays up longer and I can open all my windows without freezing into a solid block of ice.
Today is also the start of my long holiday vacation, during which I intend on doing a lot of work on my current manuscript. Yesterday was my actual official start of the vacation but you can probably guess what I did: work. I had a photo shoot in Chicago that needed to be done, as well as a time-lapse camera which had to be mounted and turned on to capture a project.
Time sensitive things wait for no vacation.
But today, on this chilly and ice-stormy Chicago Winter Solstice, I put another couple thousand words on the manuscript and slipped past the 50,000 word mark.
This novel, which I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, is tentatively titled “A Wild and Untamed Thing,” and is about a character named after my favorite cat, Wellington. In the story, he was born a kitten, but then changed to a human boy when only a few days old — so Wellington has grown up a human, but only externally. Internally he’s all mixed up — a magical chimera — something he’s had to run away and figure out on his own. Finally having come to grips with it, he returns to his home, a small coastal town deep in the heart of Humboldt County, California, surrounded by giant redwood trees, pot farms, witches, Sasquatch, and magic … to solve a mystery, and to heal some of the wounds he left.
One of which is his son, a black cat named Shadow born from a human mother, who from all outward appearances is a normal cat but internally has the brain and intelligence of a human.
Wellington’s nemesis in this, I think, is the most truly evil character I’ve ever worked on — and I can sum it up with this: I have never written a rape scene before, but in this manuscript, I’ve had to tackle it — and as ugly as that is, I made it even uglier. This guy is the worst of the worst, because he’s thoughtful, intelligent, and justifies it all to himself. He thinks he’s the good guy.
So, anyway, that’s what I’m doing on this winter solstice. What are you up to?