Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Odds and Ends - Frustrations and Research

What I'm reading: Born in Death by JD Robb

What I'm writing: Revising Starting Over; working on my Valentine's Day short story.

I was going to write about Barbara Samuel’s Voice workshop this morning, since I’ve been delinquent about posting, but I can’t find the safe place I put the steno pad where I took my notes and did my writing. It’ll turn up. With family descending for the holiday, there will be all sort of things rediscovered when I go through my desk and other piles of stuff in preparation for relinquishing my office.

First, a personal scream. I decided to enjoy the cold snap and transferred my manuscript to my laptop so I could sit by the fire (okay, it’s just a Presto log, but heck, this is Florida, and fireplaces are for atmosphere, not heat). After editing about 170 pages, it was time to call it a night. Of course you know what’s coming. I saved the file to my flash drive. At least I swore that’s what I was doing, but no, I took what was on the flash drive originally and overwrote the file I’d just revised. Back to square one, or page 181, which is where I’d started. Major stomping, swearing, hair-pulling. Yes, I know better.

My SWAT Commander contact did have an hour to spare for me Friday (he had to serve a warrant that afternoon) so I got a first-hand look at the main office building for the sheriff’s department. It was a genuine maze—I wouldn’t last two minutes without getting lost. Tom was kind enough to show me the kinds of spaces my deputy would have access to. It was Friday, so dress was casual, and it was also the CID Thanksgiving lunch, so there weren’t a lot of people around. But I did get confirmation on most of the stuff I’d made up, I met their resident sketch artist who showed me his portfolio, saw the lab where my deputy went to see if his results were ready.

Got the ‘local interest’ stuff, too—color of the walls, carpet, the sounds of training classes from behind not-quite-closed doors, and the amazing friendliness of everyone in the building. A feel for the need for keys for access to various areas. A peek into an interview room—nothing like the ones on tv. Small, no glass or one-way mirror. No cameras in the ceiling. Just a room with a tiny table—more like a counter—attached to the wall and a couple of chairs. Definitely serves the purpose, which is to make the person uncomfortable.

I suppose after last night’s stupidity, it was a good thing to know I didn’t really have that much to change. I didn’t know the front of the building was glass, or what the reception area looked like. As I wrote, of course more questions arose, but I’m ready to tackle the rewrite. And hope my editor approves.

Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

a friend from college works for the polk county sheriff's office if you ever need a female cop's perspective.