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.