June 20th, 2006


cannery woes

For some reason I've got this blast from the past story stuck in my head this morning, so I'm going to write about it instead of working on my book. :)

My last year of college we were hanging out at our apartment with a couple friends. For some reason I mentioned having worked for several years at Cook Inlet Processing, a cannery out in North Kenai. "Really," said Brent, an East Coast guy I'd known for three or four or five years at that point. "I worked there for a summer."

"Really!" said I. "What'd you do?"

"I worked upstairs."

Now, 'upstairs' meant putting boxes together. It was the cleanest, least smelly, easiest job* in the cannery. In the four summers I worked at CIP, I think I spent two days upstairs. "Ooh," I said, "y'know, my last year there, some kid who got a job at the cannery because his dad knew the owner came in and got that job, working upstairs. We were all so frigging pissed off."

"What year was that?" Brent asked.

"1990," I said. "*Man* we were pissed off. Some goddamned punk kid who hadn't done his time just waltzes in and gets the easiest job in the cannery. We were--"

Right about then I noticed Brent was looking stricken. I said, "Oh, no way," but indeed, way. The loathsome SOB who got the upstairs job 'cause his daddy knew the owner was Brent, whom I'd met independently two or so years later. Small world indeed. :)

*The egg room was easier, but not nearly as clean or !smelly, so upstairs won for least suckful cannery job.

miles to Isengard: 116.5

back to where I was...

Hit 20K on HOUSE OF CARDS again. I'm about 300 words further along in wordcount than I was last time I hit 20K, and at the same place in the story, except it's MUCH MUCH BETTER now. MUCH MUCH better. I thought the proposal was crap when I turned it in, but I thought that might've been because I was so freaking tired of the HoS ms that I just had no feel at all for what I'd done on HoC. No, I was right, it was crap, but now that it's all fixed and I have new ideas that cropped up during the last (please please god let it be the last as in final as opposed to last as in I haven't had to do another one yet) revision of HoS and I'm actually kind of excited about this book. I think it has the potential to be good.

I was muttering to people earlier about this scene I had to write. Rather, this scene I wanted to skip, which is difficult to do legitimately when you're telling a story from a relatively tight 3rd person POV. I do have a second POV character, but I couldn't bow out of the scene by switching to him because he's asleep, and the only way to switch to him would be to jump several hours forward in time, and I really needed at least one more scene with the main POV character before I did that. (These books do not hop back and forth that much in time.) So whine whine whine because I feel like implying or announcing that a scene in which vital information is going to be passed on is about to happen, and then not letting the reader see that scene because it has information I don't want the reader to have yet, but that the character needs, is cheating. (It's not, really. I do feel that it's basically a convention of storytelling that one ought not cheat a reader out of information like that by dropping the relevant scene in order to have it come up later, but if it's a rule, great, ok, fine, I know about it and now I'm breaking it.)

I've now handled it to my satisfaction, but bitching about it reminded me of Mom being bemused at me getting in a futher over things like that. She reads a lot (mysteries, mostly, so none of the writers I know who are reading this need feel impunged), and consequently reads a lot of bad books, and she thinks I must be working a great deal harder than many of those authors, because I *do* worry about things like that.

Dithering between watching The Aviator, which is our !netflix movie, or De-Lovely, which soundtrack I've been listening to much of the day, this evening. It's a hard life. :)

ytd wordcount: 187,300