Saturday, July 08, 2006

Chicken Run

Seeing that was predicting humidity in the 90% range for the early morning and temps rising quickly into the 80s, I bravely sacrificed my usual absurdly late Friday night writing session for an earlier bedtime and earlier wakeup call. How boring of me.

But I was rewarded with a cool, if very humid, run. After doing a bayou loop and scaring the baby bunnies, I ran up to Rice University and did a loop on their nice tree-lined trail around the campus. On the way up to Rice, I went past a house where I have sometimes seen a chicken poking around the front yard. Sometimes it's in the front yard, sometimes on the side, near the sidewalk, and sometimes it's even across the street. (Yes, one wonders why the chicken crossed the road.) The really odd thing about this particular situation is that it's on a pretty busy street, right in the inner city. It's totally not where you expect to see a chicken roaming around loose.

Anyway, on a whim I stopped at the house where I'd seen the chicken before and went looking for it, making clucking noises. (No, no one else was around. I'm silly, but not stupid.) I found the hen in the front yard and walked part-way up the path to get a closer look. Just an ordinary chicken, but still… very odd for the front yard of a house on a busy street in a wealthy neighborhood.

And that's the sum total of my adventures for this particular run.

I expect to finish the draft of my current novel this weekend. It's the second in my Peak Oil trilogy, and it's sort of an adventure story, backgrounded in the political consequences of severe economic crisis. The third book will focus on the rebuilding of a society that has gone through troubled times, and there will be a strong environmental element, since my main character will be a young civil engineer who specializes in water management.

My goal for this month is to begin querying agents for the first novel of the series. I've finally gained enough mental distance to go back in and do major edits, and what a chore that is! I've cut big chunks of the narrative, streamlined a lot of things, etc, etc. It hasn't been fun, but it's been instructive. Although I've written other novel-length fiction, I've never considered seeking publication before now. Consequently, I've never had to edit with agents and publishers in mind. It's very different than editing something that will forever be for one's own entertainment. But it's all good because I can already see a carry-over into how I work on my current draft, and how I conceptualize the next.

Well, I guess I need to quit dilly-dallying and go kill off a favorite character. I always dread these moments, but sometimes it has to be done.

Today's Workout
12.5 mile run

No comments: