Groggy Ramblings


Barring any foolishness on my part, I will complete my 1000 Days effort on Memorial Day 2012. Since that’s only 3 days a way I’m guessing the chance is high that I’ll make that goal. Ha.

The last couple days of near two hundred word count efforts has exhausted me, so today I’m just going to talk about what I wrote.

I came across the wagon home of the James Button character in a rather lumpy, but not terribly surprising way. An artist I follow (also for lumpy reasons) recently posted a critique request. Five people responded. One of those people had a link to her art blog and after some scrolling there I came across her sketches of James’ mobile dwelling. While some might use the word stole to describe my usage of her work, I’ll hastily point out that she had no more than a name for James Button (actually Jim—I classed it up) and his home wasn’t mobile in her drawings. So, short of a name and a wagon-like dwelling I think anything I do next will be unassociated with the original.

Anyhow, I unconciously set this in the same world as the Merriweather Balloon Boat & Mobile Market. It ain’t a stretch.

Sadly, I’m a little more proud of the fact I gave Mr. Button a goal right out of the gate than I should be. Fortunately the grandure of that amazing feat is balanced by the groggy ramblings immediately following.

My plan was to have Mr. Button trapped in a town celebrating a minor holiday with more verve than he planned for, thus he would be encumbered on his trip to bigger and better places. His eight day trip he needs to complete in six. See how I built a ticking clock in there too? Yeah, no idea where that’s going; I probably ought to think that through a bit.

Nominally I intended to send him off to the Evercott’s estate, but that may have been because I couldn’t come up with any other place in the Merriweather world to send him. It might be worth it to consider both options before I proceed. If I send him to Evercott’s I keep the story tight, but might be jumping too soon. If I send him elsewhere I may be opening up the adventure, but not getting tot he main point for too long.

The answer to that is probably in the determination of what Mr. Button might be carrying that could make his trip to [where ever] so crucial.

Photo courtesy of sjrankin.

424 words on day 997

Some Town Here


All James Button wanted to do was to lay in his bunk, pull the quilt over his face, and escape this town, but the revelers just outside his door wouldn’t allow him any peace. Instead he busied his hands with the task of crafting new rails for his stock of flavoring herbs, medicaments, wool-stuffs, and clockworks. Till now he’d gotten by with a bit of quarter-round tacked to the lip of each shelf and good roads, but he was eight days out from [somewhere fun sounding] with a mountain tangle of road called [something fun sounding] and needing to be there in just six. His cargo would surely suffer fromt he trip. If he couldn’t get out of this [town] he could at least get ready to get out of this [town].

I started this yesterday and don’t like it much.

The little hand pointed to the twelve; James Button watched as the big hand crawled from the two to the three. He wanted to be asleep in his bunk—quilt pulled over his head as a guard against the mountains’ chill—but it was Shill’s Day and the revelers still reveled. The carousers still caroused.

In any normal town, in Corriedall or Brillen in Sheviot or Wendée, even in the great double city of Rough-Strong, Shill’s Day meant elaborate but over obvious cons during the day and a dinner among friends that evening where that year’s Shill footed the bill if they dined out or hosted the meal if they dined in. The next day was a working one. Here in [some town here] James discovered Shill’s Day meant something more, but he never discovered why. He was eight days out from [somewhere fun sounding] with a mountain tangle of road called [something fun sounding] and needing to be there in just six.

Photo courtesy of Susie Blackmon.


300 words on day 996

Meet Mike’s Sister Margie

The Merriweather Balloon Boat & Mobile Market burned from the Crows’ Crow’s Nest to what would have been the waterline had it been a seafaring craft and not a…balloon boat (and mobile market). But I’m getting ahead of myself with the hook and you’ll be wanting a little less medias in your res.

Gondola Mike Evercotts cinched the last of his boxed cargo into the main net and tossed it overboard to dangle below his dad-made skiff—

—OK, some things will be easier if I just come right out and tell you: Mike goes by “Evercotts” and not Mike or Gondola Mike. When he did briefly go by ‘Gondola Mike’ they stressed the second syllable not the first, thus: ‘gone-DOE-luh mike’. He gondoliered for maybe two weeks one summer and it stuck—except that no one ever calls him that to his face. Usually you’ll hear people introduce him as “Gondola Mike Evercotts [as I did above], but just to call him ‘Evercotts’.” As I’m doing now. Also, he’s got iron-black hair and is shorter than you’d like him to be but as tall as he needs.

Also, it’s best if you imagine me narrating in something like an Irish accent—not a brogue though. Later my narrative accent—again,you should imagine—will drift into anything applicable from the western parts of Europe, Morocco, and once Italian…Italy. You know what I mean. However, for the ease of your reading I’ll be typing it all out in American English. I’ll just let you know which to imagine when we get there. For now, the Irish…

Oh, and just so you know, I can’t tell the difference between Irish and Scottish either, so it’s OK that you imagined that instead.

Evercotts cinched the last of his boxed cargo into the troller net and tossed it overboard to dangle below his dad-made skiff just aft of the green and blue pectoral sails. He wasn’t fond of this design in general or this boat—The Marmalade—in particular but he had to uphold the family image, and the wings-on-a-downstroke look of this skiff was a classic for The Evercotts Boatery. It was stable and suited for cargo; it wasn’t swift. Above, he gave the mainball a punch and it bounced back solidly, but he swung open the brass limned bezel of the pressure guage and gently strummed the needle anyway. The rapier-like needle shivered to a standstill at 21 goms. Patches and seams and stitches quilted The Marmalade’s mainball leaving it just a bit leaky; an extra gom would keep her from sinking between home and The Merriweather as long as Martin had reckoned rightly. Evercotts boarded the boat and checked the remainder of his rigging before casting off and engaging the puffer.

“Muh-ike! Muh-ike! Micheal?” He cut the puffer at the sound of his sister calling him. Margie ran down the grassy slope of the estate to the little-kid dock. She was hugging a pink and purple duffel.

333 words on day 894