Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Short Killer Cruise Update

Sammy's getting to know her dad. She can't call him Dad 'cause that's too weird. But it's been interesting. And really hard to not slip up about him around the house.

Of course Mark knows who he is, but the boys don't.

That's right--my own kids don't know who Sammy's dad is.

But when something happens in the story that I want to talk about, or I just want to ask Mark something about plot, I tend to forget that they don't know. And since it's summer break and they're around, I've almost blown it several times.

Anyway, that relationship has been very interesting to see unfold. It's the mystery that's got me a little crazed. To track things I've made two spreadsheets -- one to organize where which character Sammy interacts with (or sees) is when and where, and the other to track the basic events and what times they happened. And since there are 14 big decks with countless public areas on this cruise ship and 14 characters to track, I've really needed to go back and get organized before moving on.

So since last week, I've been rewriting day and night, updating my spreadsheet after each chapter. I've got 2 chapters to go before I can move forward. It's taken me all week to almost get back to where I left off. I've added quite a few scenes in the process and shored up a lot of the structure, so I feel pretty good about that. And today I wrote the dream sequence (have you noticed that Sammy has a wild dream in every (?) book?). Those are always fun and have begun to feel like 'tradition' to me. 


I know this isn't a very inspired post, but please understand that of all the things I should be doing (laundry, dishes, vacuuming, responding to sorely neglected correspondences, paying bills, watering my plants, getting groceries, eating...) I'm writing this post.


To rank above eating?

When you're as hungry as I am right now?

I think that sums you guys up.

Thanks for being here. Thanks for being you.




50 comments:

Mark said...

...and that particular SDS (Sammy Dream Sequence) may be the best/funniest one...EVER! :)

Kylie said...

Your sons don't know! I actually think that that is kind of cool. That your sons don't know everything about the books your working on until it closer to publishing. And I think the spreadsheet thing is cool. I can picture kind of what it looks like in my head. Now my excitement for this book has increased! I can't wait!

Ky

Kylie said...

Oh and the dream thing, I have totally noticed it! It is actually one of my favorite parts of the books. I have also noticed that most of the time she is woken up because Dorito was laying on her face.

gabrielle said...

I've noticed the Sammy dream sequence. And it's hilarious! I'm always laughing about her dreams! It must be hard not to slip up around your sons. And this post is making me soo excited about Killer Cruise! :)

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Haha! Yes, Dorito. That evolved because I stayed in NYC with my editor and she has cats...(and I don't!). And the cats did not really know what to do with this strange, tall woman taking up bed space. After that, Dorito found a new favorite place to sleep. Always makes me laugh.

Kylie said...

When I had my cat Kiki she lows to lay right on my neck. And somethimes her tail would lay right in front of my nose blocking me from breathing. Just like Dorito. Or one morning I woke up with my brothers giant pit bull/American bull dog/ bull mastif laying next to me, my two ray terriers laying between my legs at my feet, my sisters fat on my stomach and Kiki in her usual spot on my neck. I was surrounded.

Ky

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Kylie--Sammy's got it easy compared to you! What are your dreams like ? :-)

Kylie said...

Oh they are very interesting. You know the dream where you are falling and then you wake up and jump? Well my cat didn't appreciate it so she liked to latch on to my neck or face.

gabrielle said...

I've had that happen to me before,where I fell in my my dream and jumped and woke up. And when my cat Koda was a kitten he used to lay on my moms neck.

Stefunny said...

I hate the dreams where my teeth fall out and no one seems to think it's a big deal except me.

Yusa said...

Yeah i have these weird space out kinda dream moments and then i just jerk awake really weirdly.
I've always wanted a cat...

Yusa said...

oh and she can barely call Lady Lana, Mom so it would take her a while to call her dad, Dad.

Steph said...

My dreams are all really sad and so I tend to cry in my sleep. Also I talk in my sleep. And occasionally, like Sammy, I drool in my sleep. I pretty much do it all except snore because I got my tonsils removed when I was a mere seedling of a toddler (3 years old).
However my favorite Sammy Dream is when she was soaring across the sky saying "heh heh heh" to everyone below.
Oh and I dont have a cat to pounce on me in the morning, but I have a baby sister in her Terrible Twos and that is enough since cats are more independant than babies and evidently less annoying. My mom is allergic. To cats, not babies.
My craziest dream was when I was 5 years old and I dreamed (dreamt?) I was in a really ugly mini van and my aunt was sticking long knives through the seats trying to kill me.
Oh and one Sammy Keyes related dream: Like 2 years ago I had a dream where I met Casey in a parking lot. Cool story bro.
xoxo

gabrielle said...

Stefunny, my sister has those dreams where her teeth fall out,in her dreams they break. And I've had some weird Sammy Keyes dreams. My dreams are always really weird.

AbaGayleb said...

I love the dreams. I do have a tendency to drool and cry in my sleep though. I can't believe I admitted that, but it's true. My dreams are wild. Once I dreamed that I had skin cancer and that made my arms, like, hollow and I could see in them. When I looked in them, I had green peppers and onions in them. I hate peppers and onions.
I was dog sitting for our neighbors and they also have a 18 week old cat and she climbs all over my shoulders and pounces on my fingers. xD
Haha. Your kids don't know. None of my family really knows I even WRITE. They're so clueless. (:
SAMMY'S DAD. OMG. Yay. Maybe he'll be the Elvis impersonator! Or Casey's dad! Uh..no. Too weird. Maybe Officer Borsch? Doubt it. :\
Ag. Now I'll be going around all day guessing. (:

gabrielle said...

That's funny you say Casey's dad because my friend was like maybe it's Casey's day. And I was like no,probably not,that would be extremely weird! (although my friend could of been being sarcastic?) but I'm not sure?..... Maybe Sammy's Dad has not even been in one of the books. I guess we'll find out in January! :D

Jessica said...

I'm a sleeptalker and sleepthrasher. People have had entire (semi-rational) conversations with me while I was sleeping (I even successfully solved a physics problem in my sleep, to the annoyance of a college roommate).

While sleeping, I once accidentally kicked my cat so hard that she hit the wall 6 feet away; fortunately she wasn't hurt. She soon learned that the safest sleeping spot was in the crook of my arm, and then she'd wake me up by licking my chin (not so good for my skin, but purring was a nice alarm).

Stefunny, my mom says that dreaming of teeth is supposed to be an omen of death, but loose teeth are a common stress dream for me, too, so thank goodness it doesn't seem to be true! Some of my other stress dreams are having holes in my hands (sort of like AbaGayleb) or having my fingers split into extra fingers.

If I fall asleep while reading, I'll dream a continuation of the story, and then have to go back and sort out what the "real" story is.

Wendelin, did you use a similar spreadsheet for "The Wedding Crasher"? After rereading the series so far, that one is still one of my favorite mysteries because there were so many suspects, and the timing of who was where when for which part was fun to keep track of. Anyway, your comment's already got me excited for Killer Cruise, even though you haven't finished it yet!

Speaking of keeping track of things, Sammy spent her $20 pretty fast in Justice Jack (unless she just left it in her other jeans pocket). :) (I've been saving this comment for months, but I think it's okay to say now.)

Yusa said...

Speaking of JJ my fav quote from it is.
"Meet you at paradise."
"Pair-A-Dice is not my idea of paradise."
"As long as i'm with you..."

One of my favorite Cammy moments...

Optimistic4ever said...

Yes, those dreams when your teeth fall out or break are really terrible. And sometimes it's worse because I dream that while chewing, my teeth get crushed and I eat them.

My dreams are for the most part, irrational. I have tons of recurring dreams and sometimes I have dreams that link together because of settings, or continuations and stuff.

Also I started a debate camp today and the debate topic of the week is...

Eminent Domain!

bf4a4cdc-dc26-11e1-bab7-000bcdcb471e said...

AbaGayleb, you sound kind of like me! I write and my family doesn't even know that I do. And I've always thought that maybe Officer Borsch is Sammy's dad. It sounds weird but if you look in Night of Skulls when he talks to Sammy about peer pressure he sounds just like a dad! And in Psycho Kitty queen at the end when he says he wouldn't trade her for the world as a daughter it sounds like he gave up Sammy to Lana and then now he wants Sammy back. Plus in Wedding Crasher he says he's been married twice before and it was mostly his fault.... ?????

Anyway, I love the Sammy Dream Sequence and I can't wait for what you have for us. Oh and by the way Showdown in Sin City is published sometime in January right? I have been waiting for that book, since I just finished JJ.

bookworm said...

Wendelin, I am honored that we are ranked before you or your plants are fed.

I do hope Mark understands the craziness that must go hand-in-and with writing the masterpieces.

Oh, and one more quick thing -


PLEASE WRITE AND RELEASE THE BOOKS QUICKLY SO WE CAN FIND OUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Said with much love and affection)
:) :) :) :) :)

Bella Honeydew said...

i really think sammy's dad is elvis impersonater.
when u gave us prolgue 4 killer cruise, it said she barley knows him. remember in wedding crasher grams told her lady lana told warren she was staying with her dad, and she was like, so he dose live in santa martina..... dose he know he's got a daughter, and grams said no, he doesnt know. so. i thought of people from past books who barley know her, and stuff, but were in more then 1 book. elvis, dusty mike, t.j, her teachers, including 8th grade, so yes that counts mr.vince. (just kiddin! Lady lanas not that stupid-right?) officer borsch, but she knows him to well. Mr.Bell? THIS IS DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!:):):) THANK U 4 WRITING THE BOOKS THERE AWSOME!!! my friends are like, great, she's rambeling about nothing again. this 1 girl said she only read 2 books and i practicaly tackeled her. see? i rambel. BUT SERIOUSLY WHY DONT PEOPLE READ ALL OF THE BOOKS!!!!!!! god, i shud go before i give u a head ache.
p.s RUNAWAY IS MY FAVORITE BOOK IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!! LONG LIVE HOLLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):):):)

Bella Honeydew said...

1 more thing, then i'll shut up, ok?
there is also Squeaky, u'know Squeaky and the Chick? hmmmmmm, is sammy related to an idiot cop?

Bella Honeydew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Optimistic4ever said...

For a while (and Im still kind of suspicious) I thought Cisco the Janitor might be Sammy's dad. Mostly because it looked like Lady Lana was ashamed of who Sammy's dad was, and being a diva and everything, she would be horrifed to know that Sammy's dad was a janitor.

Millers said...

Aaaaand I'm late joining the conversation again. Sigh. But oh well! I will anyways!

Haha I always loved how crazy Sammy's dreams were, and my favorite one was the one with the army of british ants crawling up her arm! Hilarious! :D

My dreams I know are never normal. Even when I can't remember them, I just wake up like, whoa, that was weird.

They're ALWAYS action packed, but for some reason I have these reccuring parts in different dreams. Like for example, being at the point of drowning then suddenly I realise that I can breath normally underwater. Or seeing my best friend read the paper or even a book, which never happens ever.

But mostly when I do remember my dreams, they just don't make any sense. Like there'd be talking cheese and a giant dog that wears a monocle or something and IT'S JUST NOT COHERANT.
So I always get kind of surprised as to how connected Sammy's dreams are with what's happening in her reality.


And as for who Sammy's dad is, I know it's not officer Borsch cuz if not Grams would have recognised him and it couldn't be squeaky either. Elvis impersonator? Maybe, I think grams hasn't seen him yet but not sure.
But whoever he may be, I hope he's cool and gets Lana to come back to him and leave Warren!

Juliet Spencer said...

Me and my friend were thinking, 'WHAT IF MR. SAMMY'S DAD WAS A PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER?!?" He played softball, and we know that he can't be, like, poor, if he doesn't know about Sammy and then she comes into his life. If Killer Cruise is going to happen, then he has to have money for the cruise, and it's probably a surprise, so he has to just be able to HAVE the money to blow on his daughter.
I had this weird major crossover dream where I was playing dodgeball with giant cannibals from Percy Jackson, and the Sammy gang was there, and Sammy was like, 'Hey. Wassup. Oh, look, it's some giants who want to eat me. Cool." and Casey was dressed as a real knight, and he was shooting fire at the cannibals, like, 'Casey's a FIRE BENDER?!?!"
And then Appa showed up and I was like, 'What the crap is wrong with me that I'm having dreams like this?"

gabrielle said...

Wow Juliet,that sounds like an interesting dream. I've had a recurring dream before. And toys were trying to kill me. And I just woke up and had a really weird dream it was me and you know that showsvictorious,well they we're in it and Sammy was in it and I was her kinda but,anyways someone was shasing her. Is was really weird.

Kylie said...

Last year in Biology my teacher used to do question days and durin one of these days someone asked why do we dream what we do. He said that you dream of things that happen frequently to you during the day. They showed this by having humans go through the same maze over and over again in a day and then sleeping. And when they slept they could watch their brain and it showed that they were going through the brain in their head. And then they would have them go through to mazes over an over again and in their dream it would first start with them going through the dreams seperatly but at a little they would mix the to mazes together.

I found this really interestIng and can actually see this happening in my dreams. Like for example the other day I dreamt that I broke my arm by sliding down my stairs on a mattress. And that day I slid down my stairs multiple times and I watched the friends episode where Rachel broke her arm. So I combined the things I did that day into my dreams. I thought that was cool.

Steph said...

I know this seems kind of out there, but I've always wanted Andre to be her dad. Then she could call his Andre Padre....Anyway Andre is awesome, one of my favorite side-characters, along with Tony who NEVER CAME BACK :((((((((

And my dreams reflect the text conversations I have before I go to bed, like last night I was texting my friend about his lacrosse games and his boat in Massachussetts and my cousin's boat in Massachussetts (my cousin's name is Sammy, he's a guy though, just thought I'd throw that in there) and I had this really weird dream about Sammy (my cousin) and him riding to Martha's Vineyard on their boats WITHOUT ME.
Yeah, thats right. Who would want to leave ME behind!?
Anyway.
Andre. Andre Padre.
I love how he's always chewing his cigar, its so cliche but so thats what makes him a MASTER.
xoxo

Yusa said...

One of my favorite side characters that never came back were the family in Snake Eyes and the little girl in the bushes... with the broken barbie.
I hate when you're having an interesting dream but then someone wakes you up and then you try to grasp on to it to find out what happens next. It's weird that you don't know what's going to happen in your dreams all the time...

bf4a4cdc-dc26-11e1-bab7-000bcdcb471e said...

Yusa that always happens to me where my mom wakes me up and I'm about to do something exciting. Like once I was about to skydive into the Grand Canyon with the people from the TV show Amazing Race and then my mom woke me up.

Bella Honeydew said...

i was gonna ask u a question, i was searching the wed 4 maybe some slip ups about sin city, like chapter 1 (Which wud be nice, i about died when i read the proluge- so suspenceful!!:D ) and somewhere it said that the length of the book was 288 pages. and thats kinda a spasific number, right? wat about 290? so, how do u know how long the book is? did u finish it yet?:)

Jessica said...

I miss Cricket. I can't imagine Sammy would just ignore her at school. And I agree with Yusa about Teppy (and her sister (Lena?) and Pepe -- what happened to them)? And... well, I'd love to see Sammy have to be a witness in court about some of her escapades. Could you imagine the frustration of the lawyers and the judge? And poor Officer Borsch just shaking his head as his case goes down in flames...

I have a feeling Sammy's dad isn't anyone we've met, unless maybe the mayor, since he's so softball obsessed and she has her dad's mitt -- except would the mayor embrace an illegitimate daughter materializing out of nowhere? It'd be weird if her dad was married to someone else and had kids around her age (maybe someone in Marissa/Brandon's neighborhood).

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steph said...

THE MAYOR!!!
Mind blown!

Jessica said...

Just a reminder: Oscar Pistorius will be competing in the men's 400m heats tomorrow (Sat. 3/4) at 10:35am London time (5:35am EDT). NBC will show it on the East Coast of the U.S. between 11:15am and 11:45am. Can't wait!

(The Running Dream literally changed my life and gave running back to me, and a large part of that was knowing that even though the story was fiction, it was inspired by real athletes like Pistorius. Even though I'm too old and wasted too many years struggling with my knee problems to ever be an Olympian myself, I can find peace about it by seeing others attain that goal in the face of overwhelming odds. Even though I can't be an Olympian, I can run, however slowly and gimpily I have to.)

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Jessica--thanks for encouraging everyone to watch. You bet I will be! What an accomplishment.

And thank you for the comments on TRD. Makes me very happy, and feel like I'm in good company :) For me it's not how fast I go, but how long I can keep my body in motion. Look out 100, I'm aiming for you!

bf4a4cdc-dc26-11e1-bab7-000bcdcb471e said...

I miss Ms. Willawago in SK and the dead giveaway, I thought Sammy was going to visit her over the summer. And I don't think we ever heard about the rec center and Sammy's plans for it after the Dead Giveaway. It sounded cool though. :)

Yusa said...

After Sammy saw her husbands dead ashes Mrs. Willawago banned her from her house. For one small accusation...

Jessica said...

Wendelin -- 100 miles? Or 100 years old and still running? Either way, it's a very lofty goal!

OLYMPICS SPOILER ALERT (though it's already been shown on TV in the U.S. and been on the radio and all over the headlines):



He did it! As Coach Kyro would say, "He looked strong. Very strong." Oscar's start looked much better than it has in the past, and he pulled up pretty hard at the end (to save some gas for tomorrow's semifinals) -- otherwise, I think he might have had a PR. I won't be surprised if he gets one in the semis (for non-runners: PR = personal record).

He was nearly overcome with emotion before the start (which nearly made me start), but he got his head back in the game and just killed it. (For those who don't know, the 400m is a very mental race -- too long to be a sprint, but too short to have any time to kick back and relax like in longer distances.)

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

100 Years :-)!

I LOVED the moments before the race where you could tell he was swept up in how momentous being there was. To qualify for the Olympics under ‘normal’ circumstances is a huge accomplishment…but this? It was so nice to see him soaking it all in.

Do you know what time the semi’s are slated for tomorrow?

Jessica said...

8:40pm London time. NBC's TV listing doesn't have it listed (not that it was very accurate today), but it has, for its 7pm-12am EDT timeslot: "Track & field's centerpiece event -- the men's 100m dash, plus gymnastics, diving, and beach volleyball." Telemundo will be showing various sports: the women's marathon, tennis, boxing, beach volleyball, and "more" from 9am-6pm EDT. So it could be on Telemundo sometime between 3:40pm and 6pm EDT, or on NBC sometime between 7pm and 12am EDT. Not very helpful, I know (especially for me, who has no TV -- I'll have to try to find livestreams of affiliate networks and watch on my computer, until the poor thing overheats and I have to give it a rest).

I admire him as a racer because he has had to endure so much mentally, and yet when the gun goes off, he's able to put that all away, and if anything, use it to propel him forward. Even happy emotions can mess you up in a race, but he's tough as nails. A true competitor. I read that his dad watched the race with the doctor who amputated his legs when he was a baby; that must have been such a difficult decision to make as parents and as a doctor.

Jessica said...

Apparently the BBC is showing most of the events live. There are articles on "how an American can stream the BBC’s official Olympics coverage," but I won't link them (because it's up to you to determine whether such methods are legal where you live and whether they might put your computer at risk).

Jessica said...

No spoilers, but I just have to say Kirani James is a class act.

ramenlover said...

Wow...I've never lost my teeth in my dreams. But I do often have dreams where I can't seem to get anything done ( like I move in slow motion and my eyes wont OPEN! and when I talk it comes out in a wishy washy mumble -__-) I hate those dreams. So aggravating...

Im joining in on this conversation very late. But I've been meaning to say that I LOVED Justice Jack! And the Rolling Stones reference ^__^

Who is Sammy's Dad? Maybe its Billy's Dad O__o Mr Pratt! Duuude! Anyhoo, I cannot wait to find out and don't forget to eat, Wendelin!

ramenlover said...

Wow...I've never lost my teeth in my dreams. But I do often have dreams where I can't seem to get anything done ( like I move in slow motion and my eyes wont OPEN! and when I talk it comes out in a wishy washy mumble -__-) I hate those dreams. So aggravating...

Im joining in on this conversation very late. But I've been meaning to say that I LOVED Justice Jack! And the Rolling Stones reference ^__^

Who is Sammy's Dad? Maybe its Billy's Dad O__o Mr Pratt! Duuude! Anyhoo, I cannot wait to find out and don't forget to eat, Wendelin!

ramenlover said...

Wow...I've never lost my teeth in my dreams. But I do often have dreams where I can't seem to get anything done ( like I move in slow motion and my eyes wont OPEN! and when I talk it comes out in a wishy washy mumble -__-) I hate those dreams. So aggravating...

Im joining in on this conversation very late. But I've been meaning to say that I LOVED Justice Jack! And the Rolling Stones reference ^__^

Who is Sammy's Dad? Maybe its Billy's Dad O__o Mr Pratt! Duuude! Anyhoo, I cannot wait to find out and don't forget to eat, Wendelin!

ramenlover said...

Wow...I've never lost my teeth in my dreams. But I do often have dreams where I can't seem to get anything done ( like I move in slow motion and my eyes wont OPEN! and when I talk it comes out in a wishy washy mumble -__-) I hate those dreams. So aggravating...

Im joining in on this conversation very late. But I've been meaning to say that I LOVED Justice Jack! And the Rolling Stones reference ^__^

Who is Sammy's Dad? Maybe its Billy's Dad O__o Mr Pratt! Duuude! Anyhoo, I cannot wait to find out and don't forget to eat, Wendelin!

ramenlover said...

Wow...I've never lost my teeth in my dreams. But I do often have dreams where I can't seem to get anything done ( like I move in slow motion and my eyes wont OPEN! and when I talk it comes out in a wishy washy mumble -__-) I hate those dreams. So aggravating...

Im joining in on this conversation very late. But I've been meaning to say that I LOVED Justice Jack! And the Rolling Stones reference ^__^

Who is Sammy's Dad? Maybe its Billy's Dad O__o Mr Pratt! Duuude! Anyhoo, I cannot wait to find out and don't forget to eat, Wendelin!