But after a week of going no more than five miles from the apartment--putting a little less on the car in six days than I normally put on it in one weekday--it was time to get out for a little bit. I drove east on country roads, roughly parallel to I-4, and ended up heading north to Clermont on Polk County 561. This road is a rarity in Florida: a narrow, twisty road that winds through hill country. Not high hills, to be sure, but ones which are visibly hills, where you find yourself looking down on rooftops and across at low-lying lakes. It's some of the prettiest terrain in Central Florida.
I didn't get much in the way of apartment cleaning done today, and yesterday was more reorganization than cleaning. I think I need to start tackling my mostly-ignored bedroom closet, just tossing the obvious trash, and get enough boxes so I can do some more organization. There are fanzines, and even more comics, I could honestly get rid of.
I did get a story for the collection scanned: "The Fox Maiden" appeared in PawPrints #3 in 1996. Unlike a couple of the earlier pieces, there was very little I felt compelled to revise in this one. Only two more to locate and scan, and... more than two to convert and edit. Then I send all the Word files off to Malin, and I get to play layout designer. And try to get cover artwork and maybe an introduction essay commissioned.
While sorting today, I got sucked into reading the first chapter of The Lighthouse, my sequel novella to A Gift of Fire, A Gift of Blood. I'm sure if I read it with my "editor's hat" on, I'd find a lot of little things to change--I did for Gift when I revised it for a vampire fan APA in 1992 or so (a revision I can no longer find, which still irks me, but perhaps I'll find it in my apartment cleaning). With my reader's hat on, though, I have to say it's a pretty damn good read. And even if there are pickable nits in it, from a technical standpoint it's pretty strong, too. I still marvel that I had the nerve to write a 35,000-word piece in first person, present tense from a female point of view. Judging by comments over the years, I pulled it off. (I was going to write "the cojones" instead of "the nerve," but in context that seemed inappropriate.)
Of course, from the technical standpoint of plot logistics rather than writing mechanics, I did notice one hole big enough to fly, well, a bat through: early in the chapter, Revar is told that an injury will keep her from flying for several weeks, but she takes to the air at the end of the chapter--less than two days later. Mea culpa. In the not-yet-started revision that I promised over a year ago for the Belfry website in vague commemoration of the story's tenth anniversary, I'll think about that one. Having the injury be less serious would be easier, yet a bit of a cop-out.
If--is it time to start writing "when"?--I head to California, I'm considering taking the opportunity to be truly nuts and drive out on highways rather than interstates. Under that plan, my route would roughly follow US-80 to San Diego and up the Pacific Coast Highway, rather than following I-10 to Los Angeles and up I-5. It's been pointed out (by my "all silver linings have clouds" Finnish friend) that because this will take more time, it will take more money, which is something I definitely have to be careful with. On the other hand, hey--I'm willing to sleep in my car.
And, speaking of cars, I should get back on the road and home. I was foolish and got peach pie, too, which means that after tip, I'll have spent almost eight-tenths of a percent of my remaining checking account funds. Rent appears to have already been taken out, but there's over 900 dollars--nearly 68% of the total remaining--in bills outstanding. I keep reminding myself that my severance paycheck hasn't come in yet, that I haven't touched my (meager) savings, and that if all else fails, unemployment will have started coming in by next month (one week down already). The theoretical contract in Largo would definitely be nice, even if I head to California immediately after it finishes.