September 30th, 2008

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Nose to the Grindstone

3177 words today so far.

Likely that won't be all.   The downside of a 5000+ word day is that the story may decide to keep you up all night and dump 20,000 (at least) words' worth of new stuff on you as you lie there turning like a hot dog on a spit.   One revelation after another, all the way through the projected three volumes.

No, I did not get up and write it all down.  I was just a wee tad tired, as the hours passed, and I kept saying, to my Plot Daemon, "Look , that's really interesting stuff, but can you hold it until tomorrow?"  No answer but another large lump of plotstuff down the chute into my head.  I let the story find out that I can have 5000 word days, so it sees no point in doling out Story fact, it would like to discover that I can write lots more lots faster.

So although almost 3200 words came before 11 am,   it's no good quitting for the day, because very firm nudges are coming from the story itself.

This is what I get for prodding the Plot Daemon in some recent books,  nagging, demanding, begging, nagging again.  "Plot--I need more plot!" I would say and the Plot Daemon would grumble at me.  "Ye'll get it when ye need it, lassie, and no a moment before.  Now get away wi'ye!  Put yer fingers on yer keyboard and quit bletherin' at me."

So now the Plot Daemon is chortling happily as I stagger along with more plot than I can pack away into pages. Serves me right, he says.

Anyway.  A daskdraudigs has been dealt with.  A dangerously depressed person has been rescued from that depression.  A safe storage place for wine, apple brandy, and oilberry oil has turned out not to be that safe.   Someone has corrected the Lady of the Ladysforest and lived.  Someone else asked for a quick death and got it.   And we're about to find out even more about the Verrakaien.

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

A snippet

Orientation:  the Halveric steading, southern Lyonya; the time is sunrise in autumn.  The situation is a lot better than it was two hours ago.  POV Kieri, now king of Lyonya.  For those not familiar with the story, Kieri's grandmother is the elven Lady of the Ladysforest and older than many hills.  Aliam is his oldest friend.


    For the first few steps, his legs felt shaky, but then firmed.  He could think of nothing to say at first; he put an arm around Aliam's shoulders.  "I seem to have made a mess of your house," he said after a long silence.

    Aliam prodded him in the ribs, as of old.  "You seem to have saved our lives, you mean.  Don't try to play humble, my liege." And into Kieri's ear.  "I can't call you Kieri with her around; she'd skin me and eat me."

    "I don't eat humans," his grandmother said austerely, without looking at either of them.  "No elf would touch man-meat.  Call him Kieri if you wish; I do."

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

80 acres: new species

This is another small one, just barely over an inch long, and looking very much like a fragment of grass stem--in this drought, there are lots of shortish broken-off pieces of dead grass.

But as I was walking on the trail back from Fox, having checked the water and refilled the bird feeder, I saw something sort of skitter in front of my feet.  Took a picture before I even bent down closer, in case it took off (lesson learned from the tiger beetle, which *did* fly away as soon as I bent over.)   

Meet something called the "Minor Ground Mantis."    On the left, the entire critter.  That sort of "chicken wire" or "herringbone" effect on its top is a pair of folded wings.  On the right, the head...and notice how it keeps the front "grabbing" legs tightly folded up against the body.


The long wings (they reach almost to the tip of the abdomen) mean it's an adult male.  The species is Litaneutria minor.    Despite the wings, this fellow preferred to escape capture by jumping and then skittering and he was very good at it.

I've now seen and photographed three native mantid species on the place: Scudder's Mantis (a grassland species, clinging upright to a grass stem) and the beautiful big green female Stagmomantis sp. I posted awhile back on that purple flower.  I don't know how many kinds of mantis we might have.