June 2nd, 2009

Hearth

Tew's Day!

Administration
Hello to new reader jolantru!

Medical
Seem to be pretty much okay.

Places You Haunt
Hey, no crying jags today. That's good.

Contemplating a POV shift from Sara to Doodle or alternating Sara/Doodle.

Spent a bunch of time this morning on constructing a playlist...113 songs and counting.

Summer Travel
felisdemens and I are discussing a Great Summer Roadtrip. Once we decide if it'll be a New York trip or a run through the South, I'll sort through your kind offers and see which of you wouldn't mind two people crashing at your place.

Yes, this promises to be Epic. I'll bring my video camera.

Link Soup
* Remember that JoSelle Vanderhooft collection I was raving about? It's available now!
* haikujaguar's having a summer art sale!
* New S00j music!
* You guys! I had this Barbie doll too!
* It's Nick Mamatas Day!

Daily Science
A group of researchers from the LGC Chemical Metrology Laboratory in the UK havs teamed up with the University of Oviedo, Spain. Together they have developed a "laser ablation" method that makes it possible “to detect variations in the sulfur isotopes of a single hair over time”, says Science Daily. This means that scientists will be able to track a person’s movements between different countries, as the sulphur isotopes reveal changes in eating habits.

The two most abundant sulphur isotopes in hair keratin are sulphur-32 (32S), which accounts for about 95 per cent, and sulfur-34 (34S), which makes up around 4 per cent. These proportions, however, vary according to people’s diets, and, unless they take their food with them, will therefore change when people travel.


Plans
Writing Turning story over in my head, organizing, wondering; house stuff; maybe Diesel later.

I miss Elayna. *sigh*
PYH - Doodle - Fairytales

Strike that. Reverse it.

So I'm making a huge change in how I approach Places You Haunt, and here's why.

In the story as is, the POV character is Sara. She's a latecomer to this group; she has become family, but still, there's a lot of the past that she's just not privy to. So a bunch of the story is just Sara piecing the past together. And then she sort of swoops in and Fixes It.

Which is a valid story, but. It makes her a really passive character for most of the book. It's Sara being told a story.

The bigger problem, from my perspective, is what slipjig calls "Sara ex machina" - that she rides into town and saves the day. That, and she's very much a self-insertion character. Not a Mary Sue. And not even the character who bears the most of me in her. That would be long-gone Crystal, the Janet standin who failed.

But it feels very much to me like the character of Sara is an attempt on my part to go back and fix the mess that my abrupt departure left.

And it feels more right, and more natural, to leave that absence be. To let that community evolve organically around the loss of Kellen and Crystal, and the newfound responsibility for baby Kaylin. Instead of having someone else come in and save the day, I'd rather have the characters who were directly affected by the events seven years ago sort it out. And... I have evolved beyond feeling like it's my job to save everyone. Haltingly, with great difficulty. But that's part of what last summer's Vegas trip brought me.

Sara's still there, and still learning what happened. But the POV character is now Doodle. Because he's got an interestingly tilted worldview, he's been there all along, he's Kaylin's adoptive dad, and he's the one talking.

I'll post snippets later or tomorrow. :)
cassette

One Song.

Give me one song for today. Whatever song is running through your head, whatever song you're feeling most right now. Ideally, post a link to it in comments, but if you can't do so, just tell me.

My song for right now: "Changeless", by Carbon Leaf.

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Tell me your song; I want to hear it. Let's make a mixtape. Audio snapshot of where we all are right now. :)
PYH - Doodle - Fairytales

Some of Doodle's stuff

I'm rearranging the story in my head. The serialized "seven years ago" stuff below is mostly from his POV already; had to be, because Sara hadn't arrived yet. So. Short version of the lead-in to this: Pregnant Crystal tried to save Kellen from the pact he'd made with what aren't exactly fairies, because desert spirits are different; she failed, releasing him instinctively when he turned into a flaming brand. (If this makes no sense to you, read Tam Lin and come back.) She stuck around just long enough to have her baby. And. Here.

#######

Later, Doodle reflected that he should have known something was up. Something beyond Crystal’s now-normal erratic behavior and flatline post-meth, post-partum depression. She’d been slinking around Hathaway House for weeks, alternately avoiding baby Kaylin and holding her close, not letting anyone else touch her. The whole house was in a state of perpetual mild alert. Hypervigilance. Ready to jump in if anything happened, and making sure Kaylin was okay.

So Doodle was actually relieved when the knock on his door turned out to be Crystal, lugging Kaylin in one of those carseat baby carriers, diaper bag slung over her other shoulder. “Can you watch her?” Crystal asked. Abrupt. No hello. Her voice was hoarse, crackly, and her energy crackled around her like solar flares around an eclipse. She got that from Kellen, that eclipse.

Doodle nodded, of course, opening the door further. Crystal hauled the carrier in and set it on the cleanest spot of his table, dumped the diaper bag on the floor. She squatted down and stroked the baby’s hand. Just once. “I have to do something,” she said, and he never knew if she was talking to him or Kaylin.

Doodle shrugged anyway, picking up scattered tubes of paint and getting them out of the baby’s reach. He eyed Crystal furtively. Shaking a little, but she didn’t vibrate like she would if she were high. She hadn’t since she got back from the desert - stayed clean for the pregnancy. “It’s cool. You go do your thing. I’ll take care of her.”

She stood and looked at him, and there was something in her eyes, in her expression, that hadn’t been there in ages. Maybe not since her first month in Vegas. She looked young again. Young. Lost. Broken. And he itched to draw her like that - but she turned away, headed for the door. “Thanks. I - I gotta go. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” he replied to a closing door.

Huh.

He squatted down as she had, stroked the baby’s hand. She was sleeping, but grabbed his finger reflexively. He smiled and sat beside her, grabbing a nearby sketchbook and pencil; he fumbled it open with his free hand and began to sketch chubby infant cheeks, a nimbus of soft golden hair, the sweep of eyelashes, the dimpled elbows.

He spent a few hours like that. Freed himself from Kaylin’s grasp after a bit and drew her from more of a distance. Drew Crystal in the doorway. Drew til his hand tightened; wincing, he worked it back and forth, fist and flex, until he heard the baby starting to fuss. Smiling, he popped the lock and lifted the baby, settling her warm little self against his shoulder to jiggle her -

And saw a slip of paper on the back of the carrier. Plain white, folded four times.

Notarized.

Giving him custody of Kaylin.

He didn’t remember the rest of that night very well - panic set in. Shock. Disbelief. He ran down to Martin. Couldn’t find Griffin or Axis. Martin drafted Petra and Arthur to go look for Crystal, helped Doodle figure out how to manage for the night… dragged the crib up from Anthony’s apartment, where Crystal had been staying. No clues there - Crystal hadn’t taken anything.

Just gone.

He should have known.

Days later, when he flipped back through that sketchbook and saw the picture of Crystal leaving…

He’d drawn her wearing the charred remains of Kellen’s jacket.

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