Yesterday I returned to Sugar Pine Station.
That’s the name of my fictional town on the way to Yosemite. There’s an actual village of Sugar Pine north of Oakhurst off of Highway 41 – a quaint mountain community in the stunning and beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains. I went to camp near there every summer and winter growing up. Worked as a lifeguard and did maintenance the summer between high school and college. Idyllic.
|Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay. Used by permission.|
(Sugar pines, by the way, produce pine cones that are very distinct and smell wonderful. They are magnificent natural art pieces, expressions of God’s handiwork.)
Back in 2014, after I wrote Ma Tutt’s Donut Hut, I plowed forward with Secret Spice, just over 18,000 words worth. I remember I sort of painted myself into a corner and got stuck a bit. Then the school year started and I tried to focus all my energies into teaching and maintaining a great classroom environment. Ultimately, I left teaching. Very difficult for me. I commend teachers (good ones without political agendas), but after five years I realized it just wasn’t for me.
So I went back to preaching. A bit easier ministering with adults – depending on the adults! (grin). But for some reason, I didn’t get back to writing! So this story, book 2 in what was going to be my series of Mack the Magical Cat novels, just languished.
That’s when I reread what I’d written and skimmed Donut Hut to reacquaint myself with the story, the characters, the setting, the mysterious recipes, and any other little quirks or patterns I’d employed when I first created this fictional world.
I wrote down all the characters’ names and a bit of description. I tried to make sure I had my chronology straight. I even confirmed how old Mack is. (He’s 60, by the way, in 2014. Heh, he’s a magical cat, so why not?) Why I hadn’t done all this before, I’ll never know, but I couldn’t find any files on my computer giving me anything more than some random plot ideas.
Pro tip: Keep notes about the plot, characters, and setting for easy access!
Finishing this book has been on my agenda for the last seven or eight years and I’m excited to be finally tackling the project. I get to paint myself out of that corner at last!
When we sold our house and all our belongings to move to Puerto Rico for this next chapter of our lives (and for me to pursue a writing career), I knew that this was a project I’d get to right away.
My first completed project as a full time writer was A Cauldron of Cats, novella number #2 in my Mister the Magical Cat series. (Written in basically nine days, just over 20,000 words.) Now comes Ma Tutt’s Secret Spice, book #2 in my Mack the Magical Cat series. Should be around 40,000 words when finished.
|Mister the Magical Cat Series|
And yes, I have two somewhat interrelated series about two different magical cats. I’m that crazy. I’ll explain more about that and how they connect down the road.
As for today’s progress, I reread the first two sections, edited a bit and added 450 words to bring the running total of Secret Spice to 18,500 words. I’m thinking I’m close to half way done.
Now to figure out how to get myself out of that corner!