I headed out to Joshua Tree for the long weekend with the intention of resting, reading, and writing. I've been a big fan of the place the last few years, as passing by the strange trees always makes me feel like I'm entering an alien world that keeps my normal routine at bay so that I can be creative.
Red, Peanut, and I arrived at night, so on this particular trip I didn't see the tree upon entering, and maybe that's why I ended up doing more resting and less reading and writing than I had intended.
We also stumbled upon a farmer's market and met a woman who had some of the most unusual preserves I have ever seen.
(And, thankfully, we saw several Joshua Trees the rest of the weekend.)
I have been sticking to my daily challenge of writing 1,000 words a day, and over the weekend I wrote about 6,000 words. I'm hoping I can stay steady until I have so much momentum behind me that I won't be able to stop even if I wanted to.
I've reached the middle section of the book, where the mystery of the sister soul has been revealed and one of the main characters travels to purgatory to try and put things back in order. I'm excited about this section because of the contrast the setting has to the rest of the story, which takes place in and around Los Angeles and the Little Tokyo area. I'm trying to create a serene place, full of white plains and softness; at the same time it's a brutal place, as souls discover that they've died and have to move on. I can feel Thornton Wilder's Our Town influencing my conception of the afterlife. Most of the souls have no drive, and resisting that suck is part of the character's challenge.
"This place doesn't welcome the living," Shige said. "Resist the temptation to stop."
What's Peanut eating? Little bits of filet mignon, hot dog, and chicken.