Thursday, September 12, 2013

Writing Retreat Report

This retreat has been one of the most productive ever. I'm getting good pages written every day, and more importantly, I had a conceptual breakthrough that showed me what I was doing wrong in several chapters as we approach the end. The realization meant I had to back up and go at those chapters differently, but that's how these things go sometimes. This change will affect how I write much of what is to follow. I feel so confident of this that I'm going to give you a sneak look at a crucial scene near the end of the book. Here it is. Don't tell anyone what happens, though. This is probably about 850 manuscript pages into the book.

I'm also getting outdoors and exercising—alternating between rollerblading and biking on some of the excellent bike trails around here. I rode for the first time on the lovely Cape Cod Rail Trail, which winds through the central part of the Cape. It was on this ride that I saw my dream setting:

House by a lake (okay, a pond), with private floatplane drawn up to the shore. Does a dream house get any better than that?

Several times now, I've taken to the Cape Cod Canal bike trail, which is about the most scenic and relaxing afternoon/evening outing ever. It's also an outlook of choice for the Cape Cod Central Railroad's excursion trains. Here's where they stop to turn the trains around for their return to Hyannis. And by that, I mean that they uncouple the engine from the front and take it around and attach it to the rear, making it the new front.

Here they are, hitching it up.

And away they go. I don't know what that E-unit locomotive is doing on the back end. It looks like it's acting as a booster. But I wouldn't have thought the train long enough to need it. Anyway, it's a nice-looking engine, grumbling farewell as it moves off.

I didn't think until too late that I could have taken a nice movie of its departure. Oh well, maybe next time.

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At 6:22 PM, Anonymous MaryA said...

Sounds like you're having a great (and well-deserved) vacation, Jeff. Any story inspiration in railroads...??

At 12:15 AM, Blogger Jeffrey A. Carver said...

Maybe. I'm reading a Turtledove story right now, set on a train on an alien planet, where there are zones of magic and zones of technology. In the magic zone, the train is pulled by dragons.

See my next post, for the inspiration on the water.

At 2:00 PM, Anonymous MaryA said...

A train pulled by dragons!
"Smokestack" (aka "Smokey") and "Puff", of course! And Puff resents his/her nickname because he/she keeps self in top condition and resents any implications otherwise. "Puff", indeed!

At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Rich said...

I have some suggestions to make about that page.

At 5:32 PM, Blogger Jeffrey A. Carver said...

I would expect nothing less.


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