NaNoWriMo Update: Day 28

Don’t laugh at me.

Yes, I know the last “daily” update was Day 7. Yes, I can add, or subtract, or whatever I’m supposed to do to make me feel ashamed that I definitely did not keep up with my blog on a daily basis during NaNo.

My head duly hung in shame, you should know that I’m actually less than 1000 words from completing 50,000 words of La Dotta, my second novel in The Journeyman.

I’m not even making excuses. I just barely hung in there, using what little creative energy I have to create this story. When I turned to my blog, it was always with a sigh of tomorrow… Sarah’s story comes first.

My creative turnips needing wringing.

As a result, I’ve got the first quarter of the book pretty much done, and then I’ve been working on pearls–scenes I’ll string together and turn into the rest of the novel.

I’m so glad I’ve done this, because now I can go back into the first book, Shadow of the Portico and have a much clearer idea of where the story is going. There is more political intrigue in La Dotta, where Shadow has more life and death adventure. And of course, Sarah’s story is very different from Giovanni’s, since Sarah comes from a Journeyman family.

The last part that I’ll be doing today is a conversation between Niccolo and his brother. So much of the skeleton of my writing is dialogue, and I put flesh around it later–details, movement, setting, other information. I sometimes wonder if I missed my calling as a script writer.

I had a funny chat with a fellow NaNoWriMo author here in Austin, about how so much of dialogue and action happens in white rooms with no furniture. I probably could have made this writing marathon a lot easier if I spent pages describing the wainscoting and the hardness of the oak chairs with the worn cushions that had faded to a sad, gray chintz and flattened to virtual nonexistence. I could make non existence two words.

Manufacturing words is fun.

So I’ll let you know when to pop the Asti Spumante on my behalf when I cross that 50,000 word finish line. Maybe tomorrow, if I can stay awake this evening to write.

Anyway, song of the day. So during my busy month when I heartlessly ignored you, dear bloggee, one of the things I did was go see a Yes concert… well, 3/5ths of Yes. Jon Anderson (who sounded amazing), Trevor Rabin (I had such a thing for him in high school and now I feel old), and Rick Wakeman (the becaped keyboard wizard) played an astounding set of Yes music, including one of my absolute favorites.

I’m an old bass player, you see, and Yes had the best bassist to ever lend a foundation to a rhythm section — Chris Squire, who we lost in 2015. However, ARW brought on Lee Pomeroy, an extraordinary bassist in his own right. They performed Long Distance Runaround, and at the end of the song, when the guitar plays a series of natural harmonics, the song usually segues into a piece called The Fish, which was a Chris Squire feature with him playing all the instrumental parts on bass guitar with drums. It starts at about 3:35.

Sure enough, at the concert, Pomeroy sampled himself right on stage, playing The Fish and breaking into a solo that had this bass player standing and cheering (and ignoring grumpy old men shouting down in front behind me).

So in honor of my being MIA in November–no, there’s no real connection, except I went to this concert–here is the original version of Long Distance Runaround, concluding with The Fish. That lyric at the end is, “Schindleria praematurus,” the scientific name for some kind of weird looking transparent fish. We don’t ask why. It’s a bass solo, a rare and beautiful thing. We just accept it.


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