I’ve managed to write both a murder and a scene where date night devolves into the Bee Movie, so I’d say we’re at a truly prime place, wouldn’t you?
Current Word Count
If I could stick the Bee Movie script into this project, I would have crossed 50k long ago. But since I have just enough self-control not to do that (although we’re cutting it close), we’re actually at 45,908 words! My goal from last week’s check-in was to be at 44,675, which means we’re looking pretty damn good right about now.
Even when Kieran rejoins me, the shadow that hangs over the grave doesn’t pass. We work in silence, heaving scoops of dirt aside until I can only see over the grave if I bounce up on the balls of my feet, and there’s nothing here but the two of us, our sweat, and Viv’s corpse. The sun streaks through the trees, throwing long shadows across the earth, and it’s high time we finish the job and make camp somewhere else, if we’re going to camp at all. A hot shower sounds better and better by the minute. I need to rinse away the grime and the guilt, and I need the space to do that alone.
So we climb out and dust off our palms, only to dirty them again rolling Viv into her final resting place. The thud of her body hitting the bottom should rock the world, but she is the tree falling in the forest. No one is around to hear her make a sound save for Kieran and I, and we’ll take that sound to our own graves. While the Linley farmhouse celebrates her life, we are the ones to observe her death.
I wonder how many more times I’ll have to do this.
I was torn between a funny snippet or this one, and ultimately, I had to go with this one. As fun as it is to write Roa, Kieran, and the rest of the crew goofing off and tossing their wit back and forth, this is one of the moments where Roa realizes just how much responsibility Linley Farms is, how much she’s going to inherit once her mother finally steps down (or dies). Caring for the cryptids she calls her family isn’t just about making sure they have somewhere to come when they’re in trouble, a place to call home and friends to keep their secret.
Running Linley is just as much about destroying the evidence to keep everyone else safe, even when it stings to do so. There’s no way to remember at Linley save for what you can keep in your head and heart, because any trinket that could give the rest of the family away has to go. It’s deathly serious business, and when you add in the complicating factor of hiding distinctly non-human bodies, it’s even more so.
And as the cherry on top, Viv’s death is the first in Honey and Haunt, the one that sets things into motion. She deserves this spot, even if a Bee Movie joke would have been more fun to share.
(If you’re curious about the Bee Movie joke, I can tell you this much: it was partly Kieran’s idea, partly the ruthless chaos gods of recommendation algorithms, and partly an excuse to make a host of queer bee puns that devolve steadily into OH GOD NOT THE BEE MOVIE WHY WHY WHY. Frankly, I think that’s a pretty good tone setter for the non-serious scenes of the project. Queer bee puns and gleeful teenage poor choices.)
It’s actually so hard to choose this week, partly because I’ve been spending so much time with my three main characters, and less time with my supporting cast. Because of that, I actually want to introduce you to three of the key minor characters!
Theresa Curtis is Roa’s mom, and the woman who made Linley Farms what it is today. I have a ton of fun writing the scenes she’s in because she’s a POWERHOUSE, and her gravity is absurd. At her core, she’s a wonderfully capable woman who structures her every action around protecting her loved ones and ensuring their happiness and comfort. More of a rule breaker than she’ll admit (mostly because she tries to keep Roa and Kieran from being the same way), she’s willing to go to any lengths to do right by her family. She’s also not willing to put up with any bullshit. Thank you, Mom Curtis, for being the voice of reason!
Except the real voice of reason is Ash, who steps in when Theresa is too pissed off to keep her good sense in charge. Unlike Theresa, he really is a rule follower, but like Theresa, he wants nothing more than to keep his oddball family happy and safe. His skills include superior pancake craft, auto repair, and being too logical to argue with. Also, he’s Bigfoot, though with the way he dotes on Roa, Kieran, and Lucky, he’s more like Dadfoot. Or Unclefoot, I guess, since they all call him Uncle Ash. Semantics of his parental-adjacent qualifications aside, he’s incredibly wholesome and tries very hard. Really, the only thing he’s bad at is being inconspicuous. No, Ash, driving a little Honda is NOT making you less noticeable, because you do not FIT in the little Honda! And he wonders why the internet has so many pictures of Bigfoot circulating.
And then there’s Lucky. Roa’s little brother in all but blood, he’s a sweetheart and a swim team prodigy. Of course, he’s a selkie (subject to change, I’ll admit), so if he wasn’t a strong swimmer, I think I’d be letting myself down. And Lucky too. But the important thing is that Lucky is the bright, chipper beacon of the Linley family, a reminder that the work done on the farm isn’t just temporary. He’s the next generation, and everyone loves him. Plus, he’s also incredibly smart, with a knack for biology. A career as a marine biologist wouldn’t be too unusual for him, provided everything at Linley doesn’t go belly up. Until then, though, he still has to finish high school, and heaven help him if Theresa catches him playing the Sims before his homework is finished.
Goals for This Week
Obviously, the idea is to cross that 50k finish line on the 30th (or sooner, sooner would be nice)! I feel completely confident in my ability to do so, since I’m still going strong, and even though it won’t mean a complete novel, it will mean I end the month with more words than I started, and a better since of my project than I had before. Can I really ask for anything else right now?
This time next week, you’ll get to see how it all shook out. See you then, and hopefully with good news! 💛