Brenna may need an intervention about her drinking. Welcome to the commentary for The Soul Blade Chapter 18.
Brenna and Grace do love each other. They're not above embarrassing each other, though. That's why Brenna and her friends picked on Grace. The gathering is also a reunion of high school friends. Krista, as she mentions, is working in Needles for a news outlet. She's from the area, so she gets to do the digging. Krista also gets a nice scoop; she knows the one victim Tricia couldn't kill. Brenna gets a bit of a morale boost, too.
Grace seldom drives Brenna's van. She has her own car, which allows her to get places with more than one friend. The van is also bigger than what she's used to. I've had the experience of being a passenger in a car being driven by someone more used to a bigger vehicle. Someone used to a van will continue to use that experience, and van's have a far shorter nose and longer braking distance than most cars. Likewise, someone used to a smaller car, like a VW Beetle, old or new, will be used to having a lower view and a longer nose, giving more space to the cars in front. Grace is taking into account the differences, but she's also driving slower than she should.
The time of writing does affect the details. NaNo 2009 was a time of economic upheaval, following Crash 2.0 and oil prices going insane. While today's gas prices are still high, they're not as bad as 2009, where, locally, $1.40/litre was a regular thing. Now, the price varies from $0.90 to $1.15 per litre, depending on demand and location in the city.* It's an artifact, but gas prices will always be a reason for people to complain, so it doesn't quite age as much.
Once again, I'm in the action-reaction cycle. Chapter 17 placed Brenna into danger, Chapter 18 lets her process what happened. I am working on breaking that cycle, more action, less reaction, at least until the reader needs the breather, not the writer. By the Numbers is far better about not letting the characters sit on their laurels. I do treat NaNoWriMo as a learning experience, and I'm learning what my weaknesses are so I can correct them.
Tomorrow, Brenna gets a break in the investigation and an eyeful, in The Soul Blade Chapter 19.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, Mad Max: Fury Road.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, fan adaptations.
* There is a price difference of five to ten cents per litre between the east end and west end of Ottawa. There doesn't appear to be a reason, either, except that in most cities, the west end is the pricier part of town. Ottawa isn't most cities, with the priciest areas in the east - Rockcliffe and Sandy Hill.