Thursday, October 21, 2004

Denver and reflections on Rashid

Wonderful anniversary trip last weekend. Frank and I drove to the Rocky Mountains and visited Estes Park. Threw snowballs at each other. Trail Ridge Road was closed, due to bad weather, already in October. Since it’s still about 88 degrees in Florida, we forget it’s autumn, approaching winter elsewhere. It began snowing as we left the park, much to our delight. Snow!

Met up with fellow Leisure author Pamela Clare for dinner. Oh, Pamela is sooo much fun! She's incredibly humorous, charming, down to earth and just a lovely person. She gave me a cover flat to her hot hot hot next book, RIDE THE FIRE. Wowzer! Nice John DeSalvo cover, very hot, very compelling. I can't wait to read this book. It's going to be incredible!

This week, playing catch up. We returned home from our delightful trip (having arisen at a not so delightful 3:30 a.m.) to find our living room and kitchen flooded. The fridge leaked. Sigh…

The workshop on Story Magic last weekend, most excellent, dude! My right brain needs a framework for plotting. I’m a seat of the pants writer and sometimes scribble scenes as they come to me, which is fine, but I need a disciplined method for framing a story. I’m quite excited about trying to use it to write Rashid’s story.

Finished revisions for Cobra and read over the m.s. Sigh… I truly like this book. It’s darker than anything I’ve written, but the romance, ah, the romance… I didn’t think I was going to like it as much as I do. I kept getting that wonderful gut-wrenching twist which means I’m emotionally drawn into the book. And saying aloud, “Oh!” Tia, lying at my feet near the computer, kept glancing up as though to say, “Oh what? What’s wrong? You have that funny look on your face. Are you well? Can you stop making those noises and fetch me a doggy biscuit now?”

Rashid keeps invading my thoughts. I can’t push him away. He’s so complex, he fascinates me. I have NO idea where this character came from. He just sort of popped up while I wrote COBRA. And he keeps shifting, like Egypt’s sands, eluding me, teasing me with his actions. It’s amazing how this happens. I suddenly decided to make him fascinated by steam trains. A little of this comes from my own fascination with them, but his interest is far different. Rashid is drawn to their mechanical fuctions. They are impersonal, and efficient but cold iron monsters. They operate. They are logical and consistent and predictable. Unlike real life, or human beings which can inflict cruelty at random. He’s suffered so much in the past, agonized over why he was ill-treated as a child, and he finds comfort in the orderly, logical operation of indifferent machines. He grew up fascinated by them in Egypt, watching the locomotive speed across the sandy plain, fixating on its mechanical compulsions. It seemed to him, a helpless boy, powerful and invincible. Nothing would stop it. He imagined himself as the machine, chugging along, blowing steam, threatening to blast over all who dared to step in his way and hurt him.

Oh, and a very nice surprise. I teased Frank last weekend that he didn't get me flowers for our anniversary. He said what was the point when we would have to leave them? After we got home, got the water up from the flood, etc., and he went to the store, guess what he brought home? Yup. Flowers. Sigh... he's such a romantic.

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