Saturday, November 21, 2009

37, 600

37,600 Words.
I am not hell bent on 50k or anything. It is done when it is done and that is that. If it needs 100,000 to tell itself, by all means.... Go right ahead.
Not trying to do anything except finish a rough draft in November. And I think I am on good track to do just that. Though, I think I need to stop typing and start drawing for a bit.

After sectioning off the chapters and looking at it from a distance I find I need to take a break on writing so I can fill in some elements with the sketches. The writing is propped up until I get the art under there to stabilize it. This is going to be a fun balancing act. I am looking forward to it!

I was gone most of the week in the wonderful town of St. Louis and did not find much tine to write at all. (Also, my poor laptop ran out of batteries within an hour of boarding the plane, so the flight itself was mostly left to sketching. Which is where I found the need to develop that side of the story for a while.)

Great trip, by the way. Had just a blast talking to the different kids at all the schools we visited. Greg Neri, author of Chess Rumble, and I, shared our presentation with lots of kids. I got to play chess with a bunch of them, too, which is always great.

I will post some pics of the trip when I get copies from responsible people who remembered cameras. Soon come.

A few thoughts on St. Louis:

Spectacular architecture. It was just totally impressive. (Being a west coast dude, I admit I do not have many grand old buildings to look at, but still... St. Louis was nothing if not grand.) There were so many huge, regal buildings. The courthouse, the central Library, the Art Museum..... I was impressed!

Empty. It felt oddly empty. Like there had been a mass zombie attack and the few survivors had only just begun repopulating the city. I drove past these amazing estates all vacant. I want more answers. What is the deal there?
On the other hand, the folks I did get to hang out with were very cool. So, I have to say that the repopulating is going great guys. If you cool people breed and make more baby cool people, St. Louis is in line to become the new center of everything. Keep it up.

Sick Chess Club. Best one I have ever seen. Plus, in addition to the top shelf location and facilities, the sponsor of the club recently purchased an entire collection of Bobby Fischer's chess stuff and is going to display it there. If you are in S. Lew and are itchin for a game, go there! It is amazing.

Wicked Libraries! A big shout to our homie, Carrie Dietz, at Teen Services at the St. Louis Public Library. Thanks for hookin it up! Carrie took us from school to school and was not content to drop us off at the hotel. Instead she spent hours driving us around the city, finding us great food and helping at least one of us fulfill a childhood dream at the top of a panic inducing 600 + feet. (I wonder who stayed on the sensible ground floor and paced the animatronic Jeffersons and Meriwether Lewises, while the others rode to the pinnacle of fear in claustrophobic pods the size of a suitcase. I guess we will never know the answer to some of life's great mysteries.)
The central library is off the fricken chain. Again, regal, amazing architecture and details. Marble, thick glass floors, hand carved detailing, massive wooden doors and coves and secret rooms galore. Oh, and a ghost in the stacks. Sweet. I want libraries like that on the west coast.

Arch-tastic. Yeah, we all know about it but looking up the steel creature in person is quiet stunning. The design of it is superb. I took a bunch of mind pics since I flaked on bringing my camera. There would have been some cool pics of the various ways you could position yourself and make the arch become interesting shapes. At one point I was surfing a giant, 600+' wave of steel. Glad I was able to appreciate such a cool thing in person.

Extra Credit:
I saw a friend and his daughter on the airplane to St. Louis. What are the odds? I mean, I don't know if I have ever randomly ended up on the same plane with anyone I knew before. Well, perhaps they were good luck. Actually, I think they were because we didn't crash. Which I always like. So, thanks friend and daughter. Thanks for the good luck.