I had a dream about my grandfather last night. I think that's the first time I've ever dreamt about him. At least that I can recall. It was a brief appearance, more like a cameo, and there aren't too many details worth telling (there was something about an army helicopter that was somehow in my possession). All that I can say is that even though he and I had our differences, it was good to 'see' him again.
My brother was also in the dream, but it was in sort of a Randal Graves-esque "I'm Dante, and I'm the biggest idiot ever" vein.
I hit the coffee house tonight and finished up one of the L5R fanfic series I'm working on. It needs some cleaning up, and admittedly I have some misgivings about it. I think it did what I need it to do, story-wise, although a couple of things are bugging me about it.
For one thing, it's twice as long as the other chapters but there isn't any good place for it to break into a fourth and fifth chapters instead. That I can live with.
However, one thing that bugs me a bit is that I brought up something as a minor story point early on to set up a short scene I'd imagined to happen at the climactic battle. By the time I got to the battle, there was just no good way to bring in the scene. And thing is, the scene isn't even that important. I could work it in, but it would seem gratuitous and shoehorned. If I don't, then I will have placed a cut scene earlier in the story for the sole purpose of explaining a very minor background point that as a result seems gratuitous and shoehorned.
What's truly boned me in this whole thing is that I created a quirk for a character in 'Three Man Alliance' that seemed cool at the time but was exceedingly-difficult to work out-- the character is the heir of an unorthodox style of kenjutsu. I sort of promised I'd explain where this style came from, and while I am able to explain it in 'Three Men,' I have difficulty making it relevant to the story as originally intended. Now, theoretically, I could make it relevant in a later story, and just might do so. But for now, I've got some build-up to a story point that isn't a story point. And it's too late to take out the build-up. So I'm just going to have to figure out a way to deal with it.
In related news, the battle scene itself is kinda crummy. A weakness of mine... I can write a short skirmish or a one-on-one battle. But a huge battle? I have no real sense of how these battles should work. I don't know how to handle, from a writing perspective, a focus on a smaller part of a huge battle. Should I have random projectiles wind up in the scene? Soldiers barge in? How do I not portray every sequence in the battle like it's an 'eye of the storm?' Or does each individual scene in a battle actually somehow become almost self-contained?
*sigh* Anyhow... I'm rambling on about this to avoid talking about what happened when I got back, but if I don't say something at some point I'm going to go nuts.
Also, it lets me desperately attempt to get feedback on my writing problems.
But anyhow... when I got back to the house, I found that in the couple of hours or so that I'd been gone the bird's nest that was on a small ledge on my porch had been knocked to the ground (probably by a cat) and... well, I had a mess to clean up. Nothing completely disgusting, but in those couple of hours a couple of what appeared to be baby birds had been killed. I dunno, I didn't look too closely. No sign of the parents, though, although there were feathers all over the place that obviously didn't come from the dead birds (my grandmother suspects that possibly another bird did it, but those other feathers had probably just been in the nest). Anyhow, the important thing is that it was a nightmare to clean up. Wasn't a mess, just... well, I shouldn't have to do whatever it is that's the text equivalent of 'verbalize it.'
We occasionally get birds building nests up there... the porch has a small roof that is held up by two columns, with spaces between the column tops and the roof. It's not the first bird's nest we've had up there, but they usually wind up being problematic after a while. This is the first time this has happened, though, and next time we get birds building a nest up there I'll probably go ahead and move it.
-- After all, I'm writing a sequel series to 'Three Man Alliance.'
-- If I don't move on to Phase 3 of the Alderac job (of which I have yet to hear anything), I can almost guarantee it's because I tried writing a small battle into part of a story assignment.