In 2006 I tried to participate in NaNoWriMo, but the aches in my hands made it impossible for me to finish. I forgot to back up my files, so my novel was lost in a hard drive crash.
For 2007 I took some of the ideas from 2006, plus some new ones to create a novel that ended up at over 58,000 words! Check out my profile!
One of the major parts of the storyline is the same for 2007 – the competition between a Big Corporation (BigBuoy Fish) and Independent Lobstermen turns deadly in a small town. However, the people have changed. Our heroine is a lighthouse keeper named Victoria (Vix), who is a 25 year old orphan and a fox shape-shifter.
The town is called Stonespoint, and it’s on the North Shore of Massachusetts – I’ve used aspects from a few local towns, but this town is imagined. It has a very high Portuguese population, which is similar to quite a few fishing towns in Massachusetts.
Outfoxing the Fisherman, A Seaside Shape-shifting Mystery
I shook my head to clear my thoughts and turned around to jog back to the lighthouse. I looked out at the harbor, watching the boats come and go. On a cool and overcast weekday, it was only the working boats that were moving around. I could see the guys fishing for lobsters, pulling in their traps. In an era of big corporations, having independent locals fishing for lobsters was a source of pride for the town as well as for the restaurants that served locally caught lobsters and locally dug clams.
I heard an “Hey! Vix!” from one of the boats, and looked up to see Amaro Soares, the father of a couple of my sailing students. His red lobster boat was positioned near the buoys marking the rocks of the peninsula.
“Hey, Amaro! How’s business?” I called, walking off the path and out onto the rocks.
“Some great, some not, Vix. I wanted to check with you – some of the traps are completely empty. Have you seen any other boats here?” Amaro asked, his voice carrying well over the water.
“Nope, but I wasn’t looking for any boats, either. I’ll keep my eye out now for poachers. Have you said anything to Ruyz?”
“Not yet, but I will. I’ve heard from a few other guys that they’ve also been pulling up a lot more empty traps than usual, too.”
“Wow. Well, I’ll definitely keep my eyes on the lobster boats from the balcony, then. If you want to send one of the kids over, they can help me identify the buoys. That way I’ll know where to look.” I replied.
“I’ll send one of them around after school. Thanks, Vix!” Now Amaro was smiling. He turned the boat around, heading off to his next trap.
I walked back to the path, heading back home. From what I had learned about lobster fishing, a few empty traps were to be expected – the bait would be eaten by smaller lobsters and crabs that could get back out through the slats. However, most of the time you’d get one or two empty pots, and the rest would have a mix of lobsters big enough to keep, smaller lobsters you needed to throw back, and some crabs to throw back, too.
I thought about why there would be more empty pots than usual, and I couldn’t come up with a good reason. There shouldn’t be a shortage of lobsters, it was too early in the season, plus there wasn’t the increase in prices that would happen if there was a widespread shortage. Amaro seemed to think that someone was taking the lobsters, why and how would someone do that?