I’ve been pondering this post for a few days, and while walking Buttercup today, I think I figured out an answer. I’m not talking about the mountains in Eastern Europe. I mean a species of people in a sci-fi story I wrote four years ago.
Funny how time can slip past; four years ago Buttercup had just been added to our extended family. Now she’s the old lady dog, hanging out with my hubby and me while her folks and Little Miss holiday down south. She’s happy to spend most of her time sleeping on our sofa, although she loves an early morning stroll, during which I think I nailed the physical characteristics for a group of humanoids that while not central to that draft, certainly required more fleshing out than I had originally provided. A couple of months ago (Jeez, has it been that long already, talk about time speeding right along!) I read through that tale, written in early 2013, before I’d started The Hawk. I do want to get back to it, tentatively titled The Earthen Chronicles, but first a couple of points required my attention. The Carpathians’ appearance is one, others still niggles in the back of my head. For now, I’ll take a small victory, because who knows when I’ll get back to that draft….
Right now I’m looking after a dawg, managing a little sewing, occasionally glancing at my grandson’s handiwork, still on the little quilt wall. The Burrito is home now, but his decorations remain, and I found myself playing around with those tantalizing triangles, coming up with some designs that I might sew into squares later this evening. The triangles are mostly the same size, but a few are smaller, lending themselves into the corner positions. I have no idea what I’ll do with these squares once they are made. But I don’t know about the fate of the Carpathians either, although at least I can picture them in my head.
(Truthfully, it’s the Dorlinians who matter most in the story, and other than their horizontally striped eyes, they look just like you and me.)
That’s one difference between writing and quilting; once I choose fabrics, I have a fairly good idea of how the quilt will appear. Of course, it still has to be sewn together, but the hues and patterns are always in front of me. It’s vividly shaded, subtle, or a mix. When writing, especially science fiction, world-building demands one hell of an imagination. Easy to consider the Dorlinians, although their eyes are a bit off-putting. But beyond the Carpathians having 1-2 extra upper limbs, what distinguishes them? Their life spans are longer than humans, but nowhere near the one thousand years a Dorlinian exists, or the Taapsychs, who also live for upwards of several hundred years. (Taapsychs are like Ewoks, but taller.)
I’m lucky that in my initial draft, the writing is fairly cohesive, plot twists already in place, not that I remember writing them now, but four years ago I had a good grasp on where the story was going (And some great notes for subsequent novels tucked away in a notebook, thank the Lord!). What I did not possess was much of a notion about the Carpathians, bless their hearts (Wait, do they have hearts? Uh sure, of course they do….). In the draft they come off as rather aloof, although maybe if your lifespan was one-tenth of your neighbors you might exhibit similar traits. Not that the Taapsychs and Dorlinians have much to crow about; both species are homeless, why the project being developed in our solar system is so darn important….
But before I can get back to that saga-in-the-making, I need to finish my current behemoth, and I’m *hoping* to return to revising The Hawk on Monday. Between watching my grandson, then the grand-basset, I’ve had a couple of weeks away from the work. And while I’m grateful for the blessing that are those members of my family, I’m itching to edit, which one of these days will lead to writing, God willing. I can’t believe it’s already April, where has 2017 gone? My big quilt wall still sports the same collection of florals and solids, no writing has occurred. This year has been one devoted to the care of family, but not like how 2015 was. That was a mix of starts and finishes, while now it’s about little lives’ (and some not so youthful) continued journeys. But then my writing isn’t anything new, nor is the sewing. I’m middle aged, ahem, and so are many of the elements which keep me busy. And that’s FINE, let me just say. Not every day needs to be filled with beginnings and endings.
Some parts of life are formed by shallow dips and small rises. By little mug rugs and endless, I mean, necessary revisions. By toddlers’ growth and aging hounds investigating the garden. And by dreaming up a species of folks who I might (or might not) get to one of these days. I hope The Earthen Chronicles does become my next WIP, not merely because I know what the Carpathians look like, but that the story forced me to come up with that species’ appearance. It’s a tale that matters, at least to me, and that’s why I bother writing in the first place. Life is full of little and large purposes, but I don’t spend too much time fretting about this or that. Sometimes the reason is immediate, like looking after loved ones. Sometimes it sits in a flash drive for four years or on the quilt wall for several weeks until the perfect moment. Patience is the key, as well as faith. And a loyal dog never hurts either.