C. C. Finlay (ccfinlay) wrote,
C. C. Finlay

raecarson's and ccfinlay's Excellent Adventure

Late last Saturday I boarded a one-way flight to California to help raecarson pack up, well, everything to drive back to Ohio.

During the packing stage, Rae's sister purdypiedad, who was an incredible help, nearly cut her thumb off on a piece of broken glass. After getting stitched up and returning to help with the packing, she kept saying things like, "No, you can pack the knives. Really."

On the knife front, Rae's Uncle Dave stopped by while we were packing and pulled me aside to show me a hunting knife that could pass for a short sword. Uncle Dave is big enough to juggle concrete blocks. With one thick arm around my shoulder and the other making a suggestive gutting motion with the knife, he kindly and very avuncularly informed me that I better be good to his niece.

I looked him straight in the eye and assured him that was indeed the plan. It's too bad he doesn't live closer: I think we'd get on just fine.


We started the drive on Sunday. Because we had so far to travel, we got on the road bright and early at 4:30.

P.M. Whoops.

We reached Las Vegas around 1 in the morning, although my body was screaming at me that it was 4 a.m. We gawked a bit at the lights, checked into our hotel on the strip, and crashed.


Early to bed, early to rise, that was the plan. We went to bed early in the morning and got on the road again early in the afternoon after enjoying the buffet at the MGM Grand and trying to pay for the trip by gambling. Yes, I spent one whole dollar on the slots. Still not millionaires. We didn't get on the road to around 12:30, but that was four hours earlier than the day before.

Then we stopped, awe-smacked, by the Hoover Dam. To think that whole structure was built without computers. People are pretty smart.

We stopped in Flagstaff, well short of our goal of Albuquerque but early enough to watch the national championship football game. We were delayed during check-in. First we were sent to a room occupied by painters. Seeing all the furniture piled up in the middle of the floor, covered by drop-clothes, that was the dead giveaway. Then we were sent to a second room occupied by someone else. He was pretty started when we tried to open his locked door. Finally we got into our own room, but by that time we'd missed Ohio State's only decent play of the game and had to watch the most thoroughly one-sided butt-whooping I remember seeing in college football. Ouch.

During the first two days, Rae and I talked about our next book projects and I went over the outline, chapter by chapter, for the witches in the Revolution novel while she poked holes in it and pointed out all the problems. I did some of the same for her new book too. That part was much better than the football game.


On Day 3, we hit the road by 9:30 a.m., a three hour improvement over the day before. Then we took a three-hour detour to visit coppervale. Holy cow, the jealousy! Coppervale Studios is a beautiful, huge old building in a small Arizona town. James and Jeremy showed us their projects and then took us out to lunch where we talked books and business.

This was one of the highlights of the whole trip.

We pushed through Albuquerque to Santa Rosa. Arizona and New Mexico were gorgeous and I'd go back to either one in a second. Rae was scouting out places to live along the way, for some future date when the kids are off in college.


The last bit of New Mexico, the Texas panhandle, Oklahoma, and late in the night until we reached Springfield, Missouri. Most of the day high winds shoved the car back and forth across the road, which made the drive exhausting.

Me: Do you know why the wind blows so hard across the Texas panhandle?

Rae: No. Why?

Me: It wants to get the hell out of here just like everyone else.

There was some talk of writing in the car, this day, but it was mostly a reading day. Rae drove and I read stories by stillnotbored and loquacious_lad for our writers' group meeting this weekend. After that, I started reading Lois McMaster Bujold's Barrayar to her.

Barrayar is the book that brought me back to science fiction after a decade away from reading it, but Rae struggled with it, especially with the pacing and the introduction of the spec fic elements. At one point, she interrupted me, blurting out, "This is just regency romance for geeks!" She was very articulate about how the book was driving her crazy, but totally did not share my fanboy love for it.

By the time we had dinner at Denney's that night we were sooo tired of road food.

The kitties were sooo tired of the road. Period.


Springfield, Missouri to Columbus, Ohio.

Ugh. It was just driving by this point, under muddy grey skies that felt bleak and oppressive after the bright blue expanse of the desert. This day included most of the rest of Barrayar, interspersed with with lengthy digressions on craft inspired by the reading, stuff like paragraphing, dialogue tags, showing action versus recounting action in conversations. It was good stuff, but only if you like that sort of thing. That led to further problem-solving and plotting on the new books.

They were still serving food at the local Middle Eastern restaurant when we rolled into C-bus close to 9:30, so we had a dinner with lush, fresh vegetables. *sigh of happiness*

So now we're in Ohio and Uncle Dave still has no reason to break out his knife.
*eyes raecarson nervously* I hope.


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