Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Fixer [Interim Title] Chapter 7 Part 2

Previous chapters

One of the advantages of being self-employed is that you can take a nap in the middle of the day. Of course, the disadvantage is that your days end up so long that you need that nap.

Connie had a long list of maintenance items that needed to be fixed. Apartment 12A was reporting their sink clogged. Apartment 14B had a dripping bathtub faucet. Then the guys in apartment 10D were moving out and I had to do a walk-through with them before the end of the day. My life is neverending excitement.

But first I had to collapse.

I had been running on adrenalin, and I crashed hard, barely making it to bed before I conked out entirely. But thirty minutes later I was okay. Except for my face and belly hurting, and my wrists hurting. But there was nothing to do about that, so I did my best to ignore it, and went off to handle the clogged drain and the walk-through, and retrieved my Kahr too.

I was restless. I couldn't ask about the car until the men started coming home to their apartments. The guy in the red BMW wasn't anywhere around. Harry Emory hadn't called me on my personal cell phone to gift me with a few of his millions in exchange for being tiny and cute. It was a workout day, so I did what I always do on a workout day when I start getting restless -- I went to the gym.

My philosophy is, when the going gets tough, get tougher. And get even. Well, somebody else had handled the "get even" part for me, which irritated me. I'm a big fan of the personal touch. Much more satisfaction that way. But the get tougher part, I could handle. When Coach Davis had shoved me towards the weight room telling me I needed to muscle up to be the best athlete I could be, he'd also let me know there's no better way to get rid of your frustrations, no better way to work through the pains of everyday life, than to take it out on some poor unoffending lumps of iron at the gym. I'm not that girl anymore, but I'd just had a first-class example of why it wasn't a bad idea to keep my body tuned up even as small as I am. I might not be able to beat anybody up except maybe a random twelve year old kid. But getting out of trouble isn't always about beating people up, and I needed any edge I could get.

The gym that I go to isn't one of the meat market type gyms. It's a serious temple to the human body, a shiny testament in glass and chrome and steel to the lengths that people will go in order to be toned or strong. There's only a few fancy machines here, and only a small part of the floor is filled with stairsteppers and stationary bicycles. The rest is a sea of iron and steel, free weights to take care of every muscle you could see. This was a temple I could worship in.

At that time of day, the only people around were the serious types -- the trophy wives resolutely staving off cellulose with hours of stair stepping, the body builders honing their bodies to the ultimate perfection, and me. I waved at Brad at the front desk and grabbed a towel, then headed for the stationary bikes for my warm-up.

Ten minutes later, I looked over towards the weights to see who was lifting today who could spot me, and I saw a familiar face. A familiar face whose name I didn't know.

That, however, was something I could remedy.

Transitions are still not my strength. The next chapter sizzles a bit more, as we get a couple of new characters. On the mainline, I'm up to 47500 words now, and Kathy is about to kill someone, but she has to go clothes and shoe shopping with a friend first. Priorities, y'know. Gotta keep your priorities straight. Shop, *then* murder. Sort of like the advice to Ghenghis Khan's horde... rape, *then* kill, not the other way around. Anyhow, seems I can write about 1000 words per evening, when I have something to write. Less if not. Weekends depend. At that rate, it would take around three months to write the first draft of a typical novel, then probably another three months to polish it. The typical advance on a first novel is anywhere from $6K-$8K and they rarely earn out their advance. Now you know why I'm not interested in becoming the new king of crime fiction...

1 comment:

  1. Well, your chapters move swiftly. They're fun to read, too.


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