One Guard Had Red Hair, or, File Hide and Go Seek

Confession time. I still have not reinstalled Spotify on my laptop. This is not because I don’t use it. I do. Rather a lot, actually. That’s part of my maximalist tendency. I want a lot of stimulation, and I want as much of what I love around  me as possible. So, there is usually music playing while I work. Sometimes, I listen-listen, sometimes, I let the feel of the music seep into me and couldn’t tell where one song ends and the other begins. Sometimes, my brain is on autopilot, but silence-silence can often make me edgy. So, music, or, sometimes, ambient sound, is a must, but actually reinstall the music program I use every single day? Eh, there are workarounds.

Note that I did not say terribly convenient workarounds. I’ve had somewhat spotty luck with the web player, which irks me, because that would be easy. Instead, I usually use my phone, which is fine, but, right now, the battery is charging, and phone itself is picky about what chargers it likes and what ones it doesn’t. My tablet is not speaking to anything today, because it’s busy downloading speech to text (or the other way round?) utility that it is only now letting me know it has. Will have to investigate that later, because if there is one thing I can do, it’s talk. Also write, which is like talking on paper. Or pixels. Whichever works at the moment.

One would imagine (for those who are curious, I am listening on the web player, while writing on the laptop. Today’s picture is of my secretary desk, because there is too much light in the living room, where laptop and I currently are. This is what I see when I sit down to write my morning pages, complete with morning pages book.) that it would be easier to download Spotify on the laptop, so it would be there, and I wouldn’t have to go through two other devices and opening another browser, but that is not what is happening today. Today, I am searching files for the pages of Her Last First Kiss scene stuff that I know I wrote at some point on the long weekend, but then promptly put somewhere they should not be, and thus am spending the time looking for them.

This is not the worst I have ever done. Back when life was caregiveapalooza, I lost the manuscript for an entire book,  which I only found out when I got an email from my then-editor, reminding me when they needed the final copy. Ulp. I called in hardcopies from my critique partners, and reconstructed the entire book, save for one scene that had not made it to critique group. That one, I had to build from the ground up. After a fifteen minute panic session, an email to a writer friend, and a moment of silence, I plopped myself back in the desk chair and summoned a memory –any memory– of the missing scene.

Only one thing came to mind. One of the guards had red hair. Okay. I could work with that. I typed it onto the screen. “One of the guards had red hair.” Which meant there was more than one guard, if I needed to make the distinction, and I knew where that book’s hero was going, since I had the scenes before and after it to give me my start and end points. So I threw things onto the screen in a big firry glop, all out of order and mushed around. Then I mushed them into place, amid much grousing and determination, and, eventually,  the scene came together. That book, for those who are curious, was Orphans in the Storm, and the scene, well, some secrets, I am going to keep, but it’s not hard to figure out.

It’s been some time since Jonnet and Simon’s story was the new kid in town, and I’m glad we had each other when we did. Though the books are not in any way related, Hero and Heroine would not be here without those two crazy kids and their supporting cast, because every step in the journey is one step closer to the destination. This morning, while I was going through my files, looking for the now-missing scene stuff for HLFK, so I could show it to N, and couldn’t find it, my first reaction was not panic. Instead, it was “huh, can’t find that right now,” as a matter of course, and my instinct was to take out my all purpose (also called commonplace) notebook and start making a bullet point list of everything I remembered from the missing sections. That, I took to breakfast with N, ran it past her, and, even if I don’t find the original document (I suspect the Scrivener trash file) Plan B, and a rather painless one, at that, is to transfer my bullet point list to a new document and continue on from there.

Train of thought is rapidly derailing here, because I am now counting down the time to when Housemate and I make a library run. Also because I would really rather get back in there and mess with Hero’s and Heroine’s lives, figure out if Place was built to be Place, or if it was something else first, because that is going to affect where Room is, and all that other good stuff. Mostly torturing Hero and Heroine at this point, but it’s okay, because I write romance, and we know everything will turn out all right in the end. Better than all right. Happily ever after. As long as we know the two lovers in a romance novel are going to come out on top, and together, we can handle the author throwing pretty much anything in their way along that journey, so it really isn’t that much of a stretch to see it the same way during the actual writing process. All of which is my big fuzzy way of saying see you all tomorrow; time to go play with my imaginary friends.

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