Friday, April 22, 2016

Hey Man, Where You Been?

We needed the rain, Lord knows, and I'm not really complaining. Except that one side effect of the chilling effect of rain is something I didn't need: pain in arthritic fingers.

And as I observed to my cabin-mates at Camp NaNo, You have NO idea how much work your fingers do until you have a bout of arthritis, and have to severely limit them to the essentials. On the other hand, cutting out browsing and surfing and social media does leave a lot more writing energy for the NaNo project...

I haven't been posting to my blog at all, and that includes writing flash fiction per Charli Mill's Carrot Ranch challenge. I haven't quit reading, either, just writing reviews in my head and waiting for the flare to subside.

I have continued writing for Ken Cummings' memoir, Meant To Be Here, and nearly met my revised goal for April Camp NaNo: 85,000 words. That takes the memoir almost to completion in raw draft form, and now comes the truly hard part: convincing Ken that editing is needed.

For one thing, we are missing Chapter 11. Chapter 10, Over the Hills and Through LAX, is way too long. It may get divided into two, Over the Hills... about Ken's adventures by bicycle, and ...and Through LAX, about his strange encounters and wild rides while driving a shuttle van.

Other edits may move stories from one chapter to another where they belong more naturally. I want to balance the chapters in size, but I will not be fanatic about it. From all I can observe, Cummings' life has been up and down and all over the place. It shouldn't be surprising if his memoir is as well!

The last sample: 
The [airport shuttle van] company had a contract to take flight crews from airport to airport, so I often had airline personnel aboard. One such shuttle trip was a charter from John Wayne airport in Orange County to LAX, with an entire flight crew aboard. The senior pilot automatically took the front right seat next to me. This was normal; I had noticed pilots preferred to sit in front, and co-pilots would defer to captains.
Driving north through Seal Beach on I-405, I left the carpool lane, merging right across the lanes so I could get to the new Interstate 105 freeway, a direct route to LAX. The flight captain challenged this move and ordered me to get back into the car-pool lane. I replied calmly that I knew what I was doing; this was a better way to go. 
He became upset, repeating that he knew how to get to LAX, complaining and insisting I stay on the 405.
Finally I told himand the crew in backsomewhat forcefully that another driver and I had timed this new route against the 405 carpool lane. There was no time advantage either way, but I-105 offered a smoother ride, and that made it a better route to LAX. I handed him one of the company business cards, saying, "You can report any complaint about my driving to my office. The complaint line is on the back of the card."
A voice from the back said, "It sounds like The Captain has spoken." 
The pilot blinked and sat back. "You're right," he said.
No more fuss. At the end of the run, the flight captain waited until the others had moved away, then apologized for trying to "take command" from the shotgun seat.

Word Count: Day 22 Total: 84009 words