Don’t Call It a “Staycation”

No really, please don’t.  I don’t know why I loathe the term so much, but I do.  Let’s make a deal: You don’t say the word and I won’t start muttering sick and violent revenge fantasies about those who irk me.  Trust me; you don’t want to hear this.  It’s completely evil and not reflective of what a fine person I am otherwise.

Also, “staycation” (shudder) doesn’t really apply.  It is true that I will neither be going into work nor getting on an airplane.  However, I won’t be on vacation at all.  I am fortunate enough to work at one of those companies that pay me while they close the office for a week during the holidays, which makes them 1/52 totally awesome.

Last year, I spent most of the week in Granada, Nicaragua.  It was wonderful for a number of reasons.  First, I got the hell out of the country.  It was the first time doing that in almost nine years. Second, I was able to blow the dust off my Spanish and put it to use.  There were some English speakers there, but not many.  Mostly though, Granada is a cool town and I had a great time there. The people are very nice (and admirably patient about my broken Spanish) and I felt happy to support their tourist industry.  Sorry about the Contras, guys.  No hard feelings, right?

This year, the tentative destination was Victoria, BC.  After the tropical heat of Nicaragua and then Roatán in July, cold and miserable seemed like a good change of pace.  Victoria is supposed to be beautiful with its old-timey parliament building, gardens, and waterfront.  It is also the birthplace of the Dayglo Abortions, a punk-rock band utterly devoid of Canadian politeness.  How could I not want to go?

Well, I just didn’t feel like it.  I had dawdled over deciding where to go for long enough that the cheap seats had already been bought.  I ultimately decided that I’d get out there in the spring, maybe make a four-day weekend out of it.

So what shall I be doing other than growing cobwebs between my ass and chair?  The answer is Dead Sexy, the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2011.  OK, maybe calling it “novel” is a stretch.  It’s a rough draft of approximately 51K words.  It glorifies cynicism and it gratuitously violent.  Those are its good qualities.

I’ve made some preliminary stabs at revisions earlier this year, mostly cleaning up the stuff I wrote when I was feeling dead tired, but determined to make my word-count quota and didn’t care how idiotic it sounded coming out.

What made me unmotivated to dive in any further was that I had a main character who was still a mystery to me.  I understood him on some level and I tried to make sure he didn’t do or say anything completely out of character, but there was always something missing.

Weirdly enough, it was during this year’s NaNoWriMo that it finally dawned on me.  Milo’s motivations in Dead Sexy became clear because of how different he is from Andy in Andrew’s World(the 2012 project).  Without giving anything away, let’s just say that he’s not a bad guy but far from a pillar of virtue.  I know, I know, it’s silly to insist on character-driven narrative when you’re writing zombie horror.  And yet, that does matter to me because Milo is now worth writing about.

So that’s what I’ll be doing.  I don’t know how much I can get done in a week, but I think I’ll have Dead Sexy in a lot better shape at the end of it.  Wish me luck, and pretty please, don’t call it a staycation.