In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been spending a large amount of my writing time on two things: editing my works-in-progress and writing brand new material that has nothing to do with the former. As I noted in my last post, I downloaded Celtx for the iPad and have working to get my various screenplays synced between the desktop and tablet versions. That gave me the chance to revisit some of my favorite future projects and think a bit more about what I want to do with them.
Besides Project X to which I referred last time, there’s also Projects Y and Z (also screenplays). All three of them have potential commercial appeal and I can’t wait to be working on them for real. That’s one of the challenges of having these ideas - there is not enough hours in the day to do all the writing I would love to be doing. It’s funny - there was a time I had major insomnia, but I was so zoned, I couldn’t write much even while I was completely awake. Now I’m back to being able to sleep without trouble, so I find myself stealing time from my designated sleep time to write. As we all know, eventually the piper has to be paid.
Short Stories - New Idea
A week wouldn’t be complete without my drafting a fresh snippet or three. Here is the start of a short story thriller I began a couple of weeks ago (as always, this is raw material. God knows what the final product will look like):
The instant I heard the shot, I knew the last of the guards sworn to protect me to the end met his fate like the rest of his comrades. I'm all alone, I thought to myself. No, not completely alone. That would never be true so long as they roamed the island.
Death's ugly stench filled the cave, forcing me to seek another hiding place. Theirs was a race drawn to such horrors like the stars to the night sky and I only had a little time before they'd be upon me. Thank God they weren't as numerous as the stars - maybe I could still escape their clutches if kept my head on straight!
The guards told me that in the event I had to flee, I would find a barely passable exit at the rear of the cave. My lantern barely put out enough light to see more than a few feet in front of me and I only had two flares left, but I had no choice. I strapped on my threadbare backpack and took off.
The sound of my footsteps echoed as I stumbled half-blind over the slick limestone. Behind me, I heard nothing but silence. So far, so good.
I climbed over a four foot pile of rocks and almost fell face first into a small pool of murky rainwater. The water looked green with algae, a sure sign there would be plenty of slippery rocks to deal with as I made my way to freedom. I stepped gingerly over the water and continued along the narrow path down the end of the cave wall.
When I first arrived eleven days before, I couldn't believe how fortunate I was to find such a deserted place. My pilot landed the plane on the leeward side of the island, guiding the Cessna with the precision honed from years of landing all types of aircraft on slivers of flat iciness atop of Alaska's most delicate glaciers. He cut the engines and we both jumped out, me with my backpack and fishing gear, him with a cooler of beers and food. We both cracked open a cold one and toasted our safe landing.
"I'll be back in ten days to get ya," he told me, chugging down the rest of his brew. "Just meet me here around 1:00 in the afternoon. You'll see me coming in from the northeast."
He pointed in the general direction of his intended flight path, but I knew where he meant. I surely would be here on time to pick up my ride.
My pilot climbed back into the cockpit, started up the Cessna's engines and took off again, heading back to Guam, his home base. I watched him until the plane was a mere speck on the horizon, then looked around the beach to figure out my next move.
I spent years seeking out the most obscure spots on the planet to play survivalist, escaping the brutal corporate grind a couple of weeks every year. Nature always fascinated me and untamed nature appealed the most to my sense of adventure and deep desire to return to the basics. I certainly was no misanthrope, as my circle of close friends and business acquaintances would tell you; simply put, I needed time away from mankind to recharge my batteries. A little danger intentionally put in my way certainly helped my restoration.
What will happen to our hero? Hopefully, a lot. Will he survive? Maybe yes, maybe no. I’m not tellin’. :-)
OK, that’s all for now. I said it was going to be a short post.
Until next time,