I think it was some sort of disappointment thing that yesterday (being cold, grey and altogether wintery) wasn’t as warm, sunny and summery as Saturday that I spent a good deal of the day just faffing, which is annoying because I had such high hopes for getting loads done to Blood and Fire – still I did manage to contribute (constructively and usefully I hope to soulsong‘s brainstorming. And I did eventually get a new first page written.

Basically, I’ve transposed the action at the start from the Icelandic highlands to the bleak north (which I know) and placed Helen’s hiking trip where she gets lost at the end of a conservation holiday. The situation is this: Helen has been out in Iceland, working for Natturuvernd in one of the National Parks. Her brother is due to fly out to join her at the end of the holiday and together with Gerður, their cousin, they will have a holiday.

Helen has been hiking in the Icelandic mountains. Leaving the highlands to meet up with her brother, the weather closes in she is separated from her guides, and is lost in the mountains. Ben Ármannsson arrives in Iceland to be greeted by Gerður, his cousin, and the news that his sister is lost, feared dead. Refusing to accept Helen’s fate, he sets out with Gerður to find his sister. Fourteen days after she first went missing Helen emerges from the wild with a story to tell and a quest for Ben and Gerður to join her in.

A group of scientists and academics have been working in the highlands building an outdoor laboratory to connect this world with the mythical Bifrost. Helen has seen them when she met Gangleri, who saved her when she was lost. He has convinced her of the need to stop the scientists from succeeding, and she has agreed to return to him with help.

The thing is I have these good themes running through, but the trick is working out how to connect the one with the other. What does Helen experience during her time lost in the mountains? And what does Gangleri want from her that he can’t provide? The key I think is Gerður – her name means protection – maybe Gangleri needs Helen to bring him her cousin.