Sunday, December 28, 2014

Poor New Orleans

More writing over the Christmas break on the current book, which is an apocalypse in New Orleans (and a little bit in Shreveport.)

I wrote some pretty nifty things on the drive back & forth between home & Texas this week. Husband drove and I wrote on the laptop. One of the days was frustrating because I didn't have wi-fi and couldn't research the city area I was writing about. I had maps, but they weren't nearly as helpful as a live Google Map.

Yesterday, I was talking about one of my plot plans with my hubs, and I mentioned something I might do with my crazy apocalyptic New Orleans landscape. I've already done some horrible things to the city, which I truly love, and which is one of my favorite ever places. I feel kind of bad about that.  (Not really. It's so much fun!) There might be some of NOLA's famous trolleys involved. Ooh, and a fun fact I learned: Canal Street, one of the most recognizable, famous landmarks of the French Quarter, was at one time meant to be an actual canal. When the plans fell through, they kept the name. I had no idea! It wouldn't have been nearly as much fun for my story... although I can think of some ways I could have made it work. (Evil Author Grin.)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Google Maps has very high expectations

So today I'm writing, more of my novel where I sketch out my little neighborhood of apocalypse-- New Orleans. And a little bit of Shreveport.

As part of the writing, (and I got up to 33% done today!) I have some characters walking through New Orleans. They need to be quick, and they can't use a car for reasons I won't get into here. But Google Maps is a useful device. I'm pretty familiar with New Orleans and walking, and I have all the places loosely held in my mind's eye. But to get down into Google Maps, you can see streetview, see exact locations. In my head, verisimilitude is always added if you toss the accurate name of a street, or turn right when you're supposed to turn right.

So I asked Google maps to give me a route from point A to point B. It says it's about 10.3 miles, and it would take about 3 hours and 25 minutes walking.

That's pretty brisk walking. It's a little more than 3 miles per hour. Now, when I'm in good shape, I can walk the mile running track near my house at a brisk pace (getting the cardio good and going) in 45 minutes. But that's brisk. Few stops. And I'm not being chased by bad guys (well, I am listening to the zombies on my running app). In fact, the closest I ever got to the above time was back when I was training myself to jog and I would sprint now and then. I believe the best time I ever had was about 3 miles in an hour. And that included several sprints, and slow jogging (I wrote that out at first as slog... which is accurate for how I run.)

Whew. Google! You need a button for "slow walking" or "walking with children" or "walking while lugging a 10 pound apocalypse bug out bag and being chased by bad guys."

I mean, c'mon. How are we gonna survive the apocalypse without googling how to get away?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

This is the way the world ends

I'm writing this novel about the apocalypse. Not THE apocalypse. An apocalypse.

Something pretty fun is that I've made a playlist on Spotify for listening pleasure while writing. It's a great list.

Check it out  in the little widget over there. 

My corner of the apocalypse is Louisiana, specifically New Orleans & Shreveport. But people who have visited New Orleans but live elsewhere will also be a part of the fun. There's a "word counter" of my progress on the novel over on the right-hand side of the blog-- right over there.  As I write this, I'm about 23% done with it, and my deadline is late January. Gotta get moving. Today's writing went pretty well, but a little slow. I'm about to get stuff moving though. Oh yes. The next writing session should be pretty fantastic. I hope. I might go write a little bit before the after five hours today. We'll see.

In my book, there are going to be elements of Hoodoo-- black root magic which is related to but not exactly Voudou. I'm trying to work the more mundane, less religious elements of black root magic which is very Southern, very Louisiana, into the novel respectfully, since I've studied the religion pretty extensively, and don't want to do the typical "let's just mash up everything and pretend all Voudou consists of is a great big party and people dancing to drums" thing a lot of writers do. I've got Tarot, magic charms, a long quest through the city, and Zombi. Notice I don't spell it zombies... these are very different from the George Romero, let's go to the mall and get someone to eat kinds of zombies.

Anyway-- I don't want to give it all away except to say that it's going to get Weird up in here. Already has, a lot. You know that old poem "Not with a bang but with a whimper"?  My world is going to end with a bit of both. I can't wait to show it to you all. Or, as they would say in NOLA, "all y'all."

Laissez le End Times Roulez, y'all.