More Zeros, More Progress

There’ve been some hitches in the work on the book lately, but some reworking of sections this week seems to have unkinked things again.  Tonight I hit 110,000 words, and today’s words feel like good words rather than just “I have to make the wordage if it means writing I can’t think, I don’t know, this is stupid, my brain is mush over and over.”   (Although, pro tip here, if you actually do write something of that type for long enough–usually just a few minutes–the brain gives up and agrees to produce some story.  About half a page usually does it for me.  And you never knew there were bits like that embedded in books, did you???)

Since everything in *this* book would spoiler Cold Welcome,  and you already know water is involved in that book, here’s a snippet to start the New Year with (and the book’s only just over 3 months away now…)

Where: Slotter Key’s southern ocean, south of its southernmost continent

Who: Ky Vatta, MSgt Marek (senior NCO)

When: Winter is coming

Situation: Shuttle ditched in ocean. All but one survivor now in liferafts.  Marek has been launching rafts, is planning to come aboard one.


Now, as the raft bumped into the bottom of the slide, he made a loop in the end of that line, then lifted it to put it over his head.

Just as he did, one of the forward flotation sausages burst with a loud bang and whoosh.  The module lurched, leaning toward them.  Then a second one blew, on the other side of the module  The module nose slammed into a wave,  sending a large splash downwind, toward the slide and raft.  Marek stumbled, fell out the hatch onto the slide, and tumbled down it.  Through a face-full of water Ky saw the loop of rope flying through the air, blown by the wind away from Marek.

Instantly, the rafts drifted away from the slide, rotating in the swirl of water from the splash.  Ky had just time to see Marek hit the water meters short of the raft, when the raft rotated so she could not see him.

The research for this book involved a lot of reading and online video watching, as well as some fortuitous TV programs (including the re-creation of Shackleford’s voyage by lifeboat to a very inhospitable island using period boat, clothing, supplies, etc.   I saw no reason to stick with that period, since this is far-future SF,  but seeing and hearing the ocean in those areas was very helpful.)    Also useful was a book on the sinking of the modern Bounty, during Hurricane Sandy, especially the details of survivors’ struggle to get into life rafts, and difficulties with the “Gumby suits.”  Also first-hand accounts of cold-water rescues (successful and not) from boats capsizing and individuals falling into the water near drilling platforms north of Scotland.    And so on.


9 thoughts on “More Zeros, More Progress

  1. But you are in the middle of Texas. Write about sand and mesquite.

    Just have a good time no matter what you write.


  2. Blessings to you in the new year! And thanks for both the snippet and the writing advice. I’ll keep it in mind the next time I’m brave enough to attempt NaNoWriMo.

  3. Having been out on the ocean in some really nasty winter weather, all I can say is Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggghhhhhhhhh.
    I shall be on tenterhooks ( and looking wildly for my lifejacket) until the book comes out. That was really a ‘teaser’ and I have snapped just like a salmon after a fly!

  4. Could you please ask your publicist to make the amazon listing more enticing? The ebooks is very expensive but there’s no mention of Rafe, Grace etc for readers to identify with.

  5. We are approaching 117,000 words. Need fewer than 200 to make that this evening. (No, it’s not a piece of cake…not anymore. But the story is galloping and on the bit.)

  6. Thanks for the snippet. I race with my DH on a 33 foot racing sailboat and have seen bad enough weather here on the Chesapeake Bay to appreciate how difficult it can be to actually get into a life boat when it is needed. The old salts say “Step up into the lifeboat”, in other words stay with your boat until it’s obvious that it’s going down. Sorry to be so late reading this; Firefox closed on me and lost all my tabs and it takes me a while to get all my favorite blogs up again. Looking forward to Cold Welcome! (pre ordered at, but will probably cancel & reorder from B&N because #GrabYourWallet)

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