Except for the book release re-boot series, I haven't been blogging as regularly as I like to. May has been a bit crazy in terms of travel/conventions and work pressures (you know, the job that pays my bills). I've had enough LHMP posts in the can to carry my through (though I need to record a podcast tonight that I haven't finished writing yet! The Civil War diaries have been a dropped ball for the last couple weeks. But I keep plugging away at the first draft of Floodtide, day by day. I think the Scrivener file is up to around 80k words or so, but this draft is so messy that I have no idea how that's going to settle out. This morning's session brought me up to the moment in time when Mother of Souls ends: the Feast of Saint Mauriz when they perform the quadruple mystery and break the curse and...well, but that's the question isn't it? The question that Floodtide answers, in part.
I'm up to the point when Floodtide moves beyond the fields the readers know, and when our protagonist Rozild finds herself having to make choices not only about her own future, but that may in some small way affect everyone around her. It's exciting and it's daunting. Daunting, in part, because one of the major things to tackle in revisions is to make sure that we have enough through-lines of conflict and action and agency through all the previous chapters of the book that the climax doesn't explode in my face.
Roz has so many conflicts to negotiate and so little power to face them down. All of them need to be braided together into a smooth and even cord. A lot of her experiences are superficially about survival and alliance rather than about growth. She has to survive the unfortunate discovery by her employer of her sexual orientation. She has to find a middle path between repression and candor in securing her future. She has to come up with the courage to love again...and then find a way to recover both the friendship and the security that she came close to destroying by acting on it. She has to learn how to be kind to people whose lives she doesn't understand. And she is about to face the need to sacrifice her own future for the greater good, and then to find it again in a second act of self-sacrifice.
Because love isn't just about having someone to hold you close in the dark. Sometimes love really is like the fanciful stories that Iulien Fulpi writes in her notebooks: the ones where you pledge your life and your sacred honor for another's sake, simply because that person is worthy of the sacrifice.