Lining up the 78 sections into a Picture Perfect file to start the editing & stitching together of the sections. I have almost 190,000 words to deal with that written as part of Nanowrimo in 2014/15/16. My next step will be to look at each section & write up a brief summary of what is in it.
I have my characters, their backstories, motivations & events fairly clear in my mind but will be discovering how much of that is on the actual page 🙂 Some portions had been lightly edited for blogging here as I was writing them but things changed by the time I got to the end of story arc in 2016 so changes are to be expected. I’ll resist making those changes until I’ve skimmed through all sections.
I also wrote out of sequence so I’ll have make sure my timing is right. I also let myself follow tangents some of which will remain as they are seeds for my hero’s next adventures. I also stopped worrying about creating a publishable work, which allowed me to make some diversions that weren’t necessarily pushing the story line, nor were they seeds for future story lines. Something I learned from American Horror Story.
I’m not planning to blog chapter until 2020 – editing on the luge to the new year can’t be difficult but not impossible. Unlike Coal Dusters I imposed no restrictions on language or explicitness not am I doing chapter titles – I’m not even sure I’ll be doing chapters anyway. In City of Valleys I did it by seasons & days of the week, so that may happen with Picture Perfect as well.
Here’s the opening that sets up the main plot & two of the main characters –
“You’re not listening to me.” Sanjay took the remote from Dan and muted the TV.
“I was.” Dan grabbed the remote. “You said my sister had a good point.”
“But you are going to ignore her?” Sanjay tried to get the remote back before Dan could turn the sound back on.
“Some thing don’t change.” Dan blocked Sanjay’s hand, looked him in the eyes and kissed him. “If I had listened to her, we would not be together. You know that that.”
“So you keep telling me.” Sanjay pushed Dan away from him, got up from the couch and stood in front of the TV.
“Sanj, If you want to distract me you’ll have to drop your drawers.”
“We’re talking a lot of money, Dan. A lot of money.”
“I’m not paying for you to drop them. Now, step away from the TV. I was watching something.”
“You’re always watching something when I want to talk to you. You’ve recorded this anyway, so you can go back to it.”
“You asked me to clear things off the recorder, remember. Now that I’m trying to, you want to talk me.” Dan hit pause. “You’re the reason I don’t think we need a cat.”
“Cats ignore you till you are trying to do something and they are all over you.”
“This is nearly over anyway. Ten minutes.” Dan unpaused. “Step aside?”
He pressed the back button to rewatch what he’d missed talking to Sanjay.
“What’s it about anyway?” Sanjay sat beside him.
“Missing kids on the east coast.”
“I should have known.”
“Yeah, everything is homework for … hey! That’s me!” Dan hit the pause button.
It was a photo of two boys on the front steps of a house. Arms over each other shoulders, grinning at the camera.
“You sure aren’t missing.” Sanjay said.
“Yeah yeah I know. It’s the other boy Timmy Dunlop. I guess.”
“Guess? I thought you were watching this.”
“You mean, trying to watch. My Dad took this picture. I remember it. It’s been years since I’ve seen it though.”
“Yeah, right. How many photographs have you seen?”
“Enough, but some you remember. I had a crush on Timmy. We played doctor a couple of times. When we moved I kept hoping to hear from him but nothing.”
“I guess you know why now.” Sanjay stretched. “I’m heading for bed. I leave you to your homework.”
Any reality show dealing with crime was considered Dan’s homework. He saw things in photographs that most didn’t see. His eyes had been trained to discover and recognized what might appear ordinary to the untrained eye.
He went back to the beginning of the program ‘Canada Cold,’ that looked at cold cases across Canada. He’d worked such cases with the RCMP and that had tweaked his interested in them. This episode was about a the disappearance of several children in the Maritimes in the mid-80’s. Dan had no recollection of it at all. His family had moved when he was eleven, the same summer of these disappearances.
As he watched he jotted down the names and locations of the children. None struck a chord with him expect Timmy’s. The place name were familiar, Stellerton, Digby, Wolfville in Nova Scotia; Small Town & Port Something in New Brunswick. His Dad had been an itinerant photographer, “Photos By James”, who travelled from school to school, taking class pictures and individual portraits. For the summer’s he would take the family with him, spending a day or two, or up to a week in various small towns.
Dan pulled himself out his reflective daze, replayed the ending of the show again and wrote down the number one was to call if they had any information. He’d call once he had found those photos his Dad took of him and Timmy. Stellerton had been one of the longer stays and one of the last as he recalled.
They’d been there long enough for him to renew his friendship with some of the boys he’d palled around with the previous summer. They left pretty quickly. He remembered being pretty pissed because the Happy Hippo Carnival had just set up and he wanted to so badly to go it.
Moving to Toronto wasn’t as important to him then as seeing the side shows. Even his sister was somewhat disappointed because she was seeing some guy their mother didn’t approve of. He figured that was why they were really moving away and for years blamed her for ruining his childhood.
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