Holy crap, I just finished watching Solarbabies.
If you’re not familiar with the movie, it’s a post-apocalyptic Mad Max-type world where water is scarce and orphans get around on rollerskates. One day, after a particularly brutal skateball game against the Cobra Kai, no, I mean The Scorpions, the Solarbaby Roller Skating Lacrosse Team for Good find a magical orb (you can aso read that as God) that eventually leads them to a giant dam that blocked ALL OF THE WATER ON EARTH from reaching humanity. It breaks the dam. Feel-good 80’s music ensues.
It is by no means a good movie.
But it’s also a collection of EVERY SINGLE 80’s MOVIE EVER MADE.
In other news, I’ve been back in San Diego for the past week after a trip up to the Rainforest Writer’s Village. I meant to blog right after I got back, but I needed time to recuperate. For a good two days after I got back, I didn’t even want to look at a keyboard.
Rainforest was a blur of socializing and typing. I met a lot of new amazing folks that I hope I can see a lot more of this year, not to mention I got a chance to fall into cuddle puddles with fellow VPXVers Nicole, Tucker and Amanda for four whole days. (I still want to dognap Nicole’s dog, even though he liked to hug me with his teeth). We were on a boat! We roadtripped! We stopped in Forks for booze (and to take turns reading from the Twilight Attractions brochure Nicole grabbed from the Forks Visitor’s Center)! We were hypnotized by a waterfall! And oh, my was Lake Quinault beautiful:
Since my current writing breaks are structured around cigarettes, you can imagine the extra delight I took in smoking that week. This view was my reward, more so than the nicotine was.
I’ve never written so much in such a short period of time in my entire life. Not even when I was trying to write my entire thesis proposal in one weekend (and that was over 13,000 words). I wrote 25,000 words in three days. More importantly, I finally finished the novel.
I started this draft back in November for NaNo, and I’d meant to have it finished by the New Year. That turned into the end of January. February. By the time the retreat started. It didn’t happen. So I promised myself I would finish the book by the time the retreat was over. I was dreading the sprint. I sprinted all of November and couldn’t bring myself to write regularly for most of the last three months. But being around other writers, talking about story and books and process… it almost felt like going to VP again. I say almost because nothing will be like VP was. VP means a lot to me.
What Rainforest did feel like was World Fantasy – another step into a community I wanted to be a part of for so long, and every step feels like a homecoming. That was impetus enough for me to keep my promise to finish the book by the end of the retreat.
Are there problems with it? Oh yes. Are they fixable? In time. Am I pretty sure I’ve made more work for myself by sprint-writing nearly 75% of the book? Also yes.
But damn it feels good. Four years of sitting in my head, waiting to be written. Two drafts, the first incomplete at 80,000 words, and now a second first draft finished at a hair over 100,000. I was so proud of myself for keeping that promise that I printed the whole thing out, just so I could look at it.
This is why I left grad school. This. Because after three days of long days and hard effort, I have something tangible to show for it. Best of all: it’s heavy.
Even though I couldn’t stand to open Scrivener anytime before Wednesday, I had started a short story that’s been kicking around in my head for a few months now at the end of Rainforest. After eight hours of steady picking, I finished it earlier tonight. I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m feeling some of that same energy I had coming out of October. That means I’m hoping to get two short story revisions done by the end of the month before I sit down to start working on the novel revisions.
Because this post was generally about things that are awesome, I will leave you all with this picture of Batman riding a unicorn.