But have no fear, I'm here now, and I have WORDS to SHARE!
And what a week in which to share them! This week, humans have landed a SPACE SHIP on a COMET! Are we awesome or what? I love it when I'm writing science fiction and the scientists go off and make science fact. Best part of this job. The Philae is now sleeping, as it unfortunately bounce-landed into a spot that makes it difficult to charge its batteries, but I predict this isn't the last we'll hear of the little lander, nor its orbiter, Rosetta. Cool stuff.
I'm working on a sequel to my 2009 Nanowrimo project ('09 project is called A Star to Lead Me.) This year's project is called Guide Me Through the Deepspace Night. (Ridiculous side note: This is a trilogy, the three titles make a haiku. I'm a word nerd. I changed the title of this project this month and had to keep it 7 syllables. You'd be surprised at how many 6 and 8 syllable book titles you can come up with when trying to find a 7 syllable one.)
I'm slow this November because I've been overtaken by events (World Fantasy 14 in D.C. last weekend, the kids' school's book fair all last week. Lots of books to sell! Always interesting to be a bookseller for a week and see what people are interested in, what they buy.)
And now I'm trying to get back into the habit. Funny how difficult it can be to get into a writing habit when you're not in a daily routine. I have talked before about how I'm a burst writer versus a daily writer, something that's a little different than what you'll hear many writers spout as the One True Thing About Being A Writer (the whole "write every day" business) -- but yet there is some wisdom to that thing!
I'm really quite certain most of Guide Me is pretty terrible at the moment, but here's a bit from the story as-is. Quick plot recap/summary: Brynne is on a colony spaceship headed for the Gliese 876 system with 6000 of her close personal friends (not.) When her ship enters the solar system orbiting the Gliese star, all the adults and anyone thirteen and over on the spaceship falls into a mysterious sleep. Brynne and the other kids have to figure out how to operate the ship and keep chaos from descending, oh and while they're at it they should probably figure out what that unknown energy signature making a beeline for them is. Aliens? Brynne's going to have to figure it out and soon - her thirteenth birthday is in a couple of days!
In this scene, Brynne has been talking to Hunter and Sampriti, two friends who are spearheading the work on the ship's navigation systems:
“And a pilot?” Brynne asked.
“Yeah, we’ve got … where is she?” Sampriti said, looking around the room, her eyes finally resting on the girl laying on her back on the table. “Oh, there she is. Halley. Named after a comet and now she’s going to have a chance to pilot us out of this mess. She’ll work the engine burn. We’ve run,” she sent a wry look in Hunter’s direction, “dozens of scenarios and her reflexes are fastest and she’s got most of the equations in her head already.”
Brynne looked back at the girl, still gazing at the ceiling. Upon reflection, Brynne realized that perhaps rather than staring at the shadows of her fingers, perhaps the girl was drawing ship trajectories in the air. But she looked so young. Before she could vocalize the thought, though, Brynne squashed it. The girl doubtless was young, as were all of them. Age ceased to matter when the stakes were life or death. Either burn the ship’s engines in the right manner and sequence to change the Selenium’s trajectory, or meet certain doom in the debris field or planet atmo of the gas giant they were current pointed at.