Weekly sum-up on the new job and writing

Well, I did okay in orientation this week, although it was only for a couple days. Next week will be a full-time orientation. They threw their worst dictator at me first thing; he was really tough, but not as tough as I had thought he would be from their warnings.

Ah, in spite of everything, and some 20 years into the business, I still enjoy transcription. I still want to get out of it, though. This new job could be good for the transition (which I expect to take a couple years anyway); hope it works out. So much still is uncertain….

It’s a Monday through Friday thing, so I will have some time over the weekend to write. Agatha Christie said that the best time to plan a novel is when you’re doing the dishes. Dunno about that, but while I’m transcribing (during the easy parts anyway), ideas do come to me about how to finish up Chapter 4 of Birchfield, as well as ideas for the next chapter. Will see how it goes on that between now and Monday.

One thing I did notice, on reviewing the notes I made before actually starting this back in November: Jack and his wife are Catholics, pretty close to lapsed but they still go to church; they’re not cafeteria Catholics, either — just young and caught up in the world. Their religion isn’t going to be a crucial plot element, but it’s important, and I can’t say in words exactly why that is: I will say it in the words of the novel. It’s not just for characterization, although it helps that they go somewhere else on Sunday mornings (well, Jack would, if he weren’t chasing down shotguns in fields and such things) than everybody else; makes all the characters more real. And on thinking it over, I realized Addie had been Catholic but married into a WASP Boston family without a qualm, though she never renounced her faith. I have no idea if that will even come up in the novel, but I know that about her now.

However, it casts the whole business with the pills in a different light, and I’m going to have to go back to Chapter 1 and rewrite some of Nancy’s part on why she’s got the things in her purse. It’s more work, but it’s worth it: I’ve been having difficulty figuring out exactly why Jack and Nancy are going to have a fight, and now I understand that much better. No, it hasn’t happened yet — guess it’s actually harder to set up something like that than it is to actually write it. However, I will get back to you on that once I’ve done both.

Gonna relax a little bit now (this means maybe Boomshine online or Solitaire Mahjongg [on Windows computers, it’s Taipei] offline), and then try to sleep for a few hours before starting the old “day” job (which is nights).

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