About a month ago, I finally broke down and purchased a new coffee maker. Just a cheap 20-dollar one, but it's awesome and creates 12 cups of ambrosia in under ten minutes.
Which, no, the last one couldn't do any longer. I tortured myself many a day with that unwilling demon.
Over the past few days, I began noticing that when the brew cycle ended there was only 10 cups of coffee in the carafe.
This baffled me. I actually yelled at it the other day. "I have only had you a month, you piece of shit. I know the water quality is less than stellar, but there is no reason why you can't function optimally for SIX MONTHS before deciding to take a shit on me."
Yep, that's how quickly I go through them. Oh. And yes, I really do talk to the devices in my house. And the dog. And Shark the Goldfish.
At any rate, this morning I distracted myself with leftover coffee thermos contents while the fresh pot was brewing. It brewed a full twelve cups. So .... I can only conclude, that the reason why two cups were missing on previous occasions, is due wholly to my propensity for stealing a mug-full before the brewing is complete.
Yep, my mug is that big.
I would use a 12-cup BOWL if it was practical. Sadly, it is not.
More's the pity.
At least I got a good laugh this morning. I needed it. The residual relief/stress combination right now is disconcerting. "Black" is finally off my desk and waiting in queu for the editor's attention. In the meantime, I'm looking around for what wants to be written. "Blood Red" is whispering to me, but I'm determined to outline something before tackling that.
And so my gaze wanders to the pair of 3-inch D-ring binders under the writing desk. The physical manifestation of the trunked novel. Mostly, I've used them as a footrest lately.
But. a friend and fellow writer-dabbler asked about it recently. "Will you ever finish it? You were sending me chapters, and then you just... stopped. I've been rather disappointed with you, Miss Roberta Jordan."
Running joke between us, that name.
The main reason I stopped?
A Mary-Sue lead for a main character.
She is the one aspect that has, through the course of many drafts, remained relatively unchanged. Seriously.
All the other characters have evolved, grown, shifted, in some way, even if seemingly minor or inconsequential. The result? I am stuck with a lady surrounded by interesting men. And which point of view do I struggle with? Yep, HERS.
Time gives me a chance to take a step back from it. That space gives me clarity and unbiased perspective. I know this story has potential, the world is so solid in my head after all these years that if brain power alone were sufficient to birth worlds, this one would actually exist. I am not kidding.
I know the things Meyer has been accused of in her Twilight series. Writing yourself into the story. The perfect female, without substantive character flaw, whom all the hot boys drool on.
No, no, and no.
I will not write this story.
[Disclaimer here: Meyer makes it work and appeals to her audience, obviously. One cannot fault the success she has, and I do not begrudge her that. This is simply intended as a comparison, for I am not Meyer, nor do I wish to write that type of story.]
So with that parallel, I look at my opinion of Meyer's work, and turn it back on my own in an attempt to find a new angle, a solution, that will invigorate the story and turn it into what I've long wanted it to be.
Though I have plied it in humor, my greatest objection has always been the mere presence of the female lead in Twilight. From where I stand the entire series would be better were she not there at all.
Extrapolating, I look at my own work.
And yes, this does indeed seem to be the most viable solution.
Hello, Jessamine. You do not wish to change? Then I shall kill you, with nun-chuck blunt trauma. And a minefield of Bouncing Betties.
May Odin have mercy on your soul, and send the Valkyries to escort you safely to Valhalla, for I do not want you any longer.
Nor, I think, would Freyja deign to pick your soul from the field of battle.
So. Having decided upon that change... I find myself left with an entire cast of interesting male characters.
What to do, what to do?!
Methinks my fellow writer-dabbler won't like the outcome much. He's not a huge m/m fan.
...Although he has alluded to being willing to read FOAT. On the grounds of military sci-fi, and the authorship of said work.
So maybe, just maybe, I can sway him slowly. Bit by bit.
[insert evil laughter here.]