Jun 20, 2011

There's Nothing Out There

So, the first weekend in June, Friday night, up at Pine Mountain Observatory, was some less than stellar star gazing. The sky was a frustrating tease that night where only the brightest stars came out. Constellations were half formed. Even after the sun and moon fully set, the contrast was awful.

There were these high strands of hazy clouds obscuring most of the sky. Not even the 24 had any luck seeing objects. A dark sky and clear conditions are needed for that contrast so the sparkly objects and stars show up nice in the telescopes.

We gave up and packed everything up. We stood out there staring at the sky for awhile trying to figure it out. It didn't seem fully dark like it should. Some clouds in the east were lit up, a brighter silver than everything else. It was really pretty and I pointed them out to my fellow star guides.

One said, "Wonder what's lighting them up. There's nothing out there."

Hmm. So right. East of Pine Mountain begins the Great Basin and there's nothing out there but antelope and desert. Civilization is a scarce commodity. And the moon had already set. I got home and wrote that down in my idea journal as I have an idea for a future novel set at Pine Mountain [with all the crazy doings around me -- cattle mutilations, UFO sighting and Bigfoot -- I can't resist].

Can't remember if it was last year or the year before that, a visitor brought the jail and gallows to my attention down in Millican. She showed me the photos. I passed it all the time and never noticed it. So, I thanked her as it helped gel together other ideas I'd gotten which then birthed the plot of this future novel. Someday I'll get to this one. It was going to come next, but I think I pushed the steampunk in front of it. And now there's a paranormal fantasy series of novellas pushed in front of that. And a space opera series of novellas now in front of that. Too many ideas. I need to learn to write faster.

The little jail and gallows, a little right of center, in Millican Valley

The 6th or so revision of my first novel is DONE. Hooooo!! Finished it up last week -- attended to all the post-its that got stuck to the side of my monitor along the way, spellchecked and grammar checked, checked my chapter numbering, etc ... Final word count: 96,600. 64 chapters. 397 pages. Query letter is ready. Working on a new synopsis.
So, now I take a break from revisions for at least a month. I felt lost yesterday, unsure what to do next. I'm pretty sure I'll go with one of the novella ideas first. There are some half written short stories lying about here somewhere, too. Then after a rest, my second novel still needs revisions. I started it, but set it aside when I picked up the first novel revisions again.

How about you? Any cool fodder for stories run across your path lately? How's the writing going?

Looking for a new blogfest? Why I Write Blogfest - Wednesday, June 29th. Hosted by Kayleen Hamblin of Kayleen's Creations Corner.