The Winds of Khalakovo is officially done. First draft, that is. No rest for the weary. I have to get a synopsis and spruce up the first three chapters for my agent, and then it’s off to a short story I started in Stockholm and brainstorming for my next project (a YA science fantasy romp).
Winds clocked in at 160,808 words. I had planned on 120k for this novel, so obviously I overran. But (and this is a bug, erm, but) about midway through I realized that I needed one more point of view to truly tell this story. I had had two already, so I ended up with three POVs, and I think it turned out quite well. There are two warring factions of a Grand Duchy plus a group of downtrodden pacifists, so the three points of view allow the entire story to be told.
It’s really tough to tell at this point, as close as I am to the story, but it feels really good right now. The end is awfully rough. I felt myself wanting to finish really badly. I tried to curb those emotions, knowing that if I rushed it would just create more work on the other end, but I know I still ended up rushing some of the last several chapters. Even so, I’m excited about it. It feels like something I can hang my hat on. Or rather, that I’ll be able to once I get around to the next several drafts.
In other news, my house flooded. I’m in the Midwest, which as you know got positively hammered. Racine and Milwaukee counties got it rough in Wisconsin, though not nearly as bad as Iowa. Our house? Sewer backup. The good thing? It wasn’t as bad as some. The bad thing? No insurance. I would have sworn I had insurance for this, but the insurance guy says no. Still need to check my old insurance statements to see if it was there and was somehow dropped. The good news? It might be covered because of a faulty sump pump. Won’t know until the end of the month when the insurance adjuster gets beyond the fourteen-thousand other claims he has to evaluate.
I was unfortunately gone for all of this. I got called away to a trip to Sweden. I’m still here, in fact. Writing from my hotel in Stockholm. Joanne called me a few days after I arrived and told me about the water she had found in the basement. It seemed like a small thing at first. Thought it was just rainwater. But over the next few days it became apparent that (A) it was sewer water and (B) even a small sewer backup is a big, big deal. Lots and lots of cleanup to take care of. And our basement was partially finished. So of course the water got just high enough to hit the insulation, and when that happens, it wicks the sewer water right up. They had to rip out the drywall to 16" and tear out all the insulation. Carpeting? Yeah, that too. All gone.
My only consolation is that I hadn’t yet finished everything I was going to finish in the basement. I’m actually glad at this point I didn’t put more money into it, because a certain portion of that would have been washed down the drain, almost completely literally.
Joanne kicked some serious ass while I was gone. I felt like crap not coming home, but the customer I’m visiting, Ericsson, would have needed me to come back in just a few weeks, and by the time I could have arrange to get home, the cleanup crew would have been essentially done with everything. So I would have come home to exactly what I’m coming home to tomorrow: a big gaping hole where my partially finished basement used to be. But that didn’t keep me from feeling like shit for quite some time. I still feel bad, but at least I won’t have to head back to Sweden, and I can just concentrate on recovering from the whole mess.
Again, I’m actually not terribly torn up about this. It’s just stuff, and a lot of people had it way worse than we did. We’ll recover in time. Hopefully the gubment will be able to help the people who lost their homes and/or livelihood.