21 October 2019

On stalls, false starts, and the writing process...

This is my writing process, lately...
So, Nanowrimo is coming up next month. A writing conference down in Georgia is coming up next month. Two appearances at the Carolina Renaissance Festival are coming up next month, one with the Hounds of East Fairhaven and one as a SciFi/Fantasy author signing copies of Ignite and Wanderer.

That's a lot right there, enough to give anyone pause and to force normal people to take a break. But y'all know I am not normal people, not even close. I'm trying not to freak out about the book signing - literally, that is a daily struggle between OMG SO MANY PEOPLE TO SEE MY BOOKS  and OMG SO MANY PEOPLE THAT MAY WANT TO TALK TO ME. That stressed me out just typing it!

In order to keep from packing my bags and running away, I thought I'd focus on Nanowrimo. Every November I have again been swept away in word counts and nefarious noveling. I am an absolute pantser and have no plans to change...though I do sort of know what my project will be this fall. Or at least I thought I did. I thought that I would continue to ride the wave of the anonymous first-page critique from Broadleaf and start over with my Baskervilles. I thought I would get at least a rough first draft knocked out in November. I thought wrong.

I was moving at a nice clip doing research until I got stalled out by a pretty vicious head cold. I started again, but this time the fire is gone. Cold. Non-existant. I am thinking that I might just put my poor, neglected Baskervilles away for another Nano season and haul them out next year for Camp Nano. Again. Poor Lucy and Annie.

This has been my writing process this year, and I am normally good at reminding myself that 2018 and 2019 have nearly ruined me as a person, both emotionally and physically, and I'm still coming out from under that - me, not me-the-author or me-in-my-day-job. ME. But those of us that are servants of the storytelling are some of the worst for forcing ourselves forward when all we really needed was a few steps backward to see the right path.

Ugh. I'm hoping to get myself together by the end of this week, but no promises.  What do you do when you are stalled out and can't make yourself move forward?

08 October 2019

On JR Ward and Rune-Carved Bedrock

"A letter always seemed to me like immortality because it is the mind alone
without corporeal friend." ~ Emily Dickinson

I don't think I'm alone, as a writer, in seeing another writer's work and thinking IF ONLY I COULD WRITE LIKE THAT! Well, recently I stumbled across this perfect little paragraph in The Savior by JR Ward:

As the cold wind blew his hair around, and sadness darkened the night even further, he realized that even though the pair of them were not destined to be together, they would never fully be apart, either. Their relationship had carved runes in the bedrock of their souls, the suffering on both sides longer lasting than any resonant joy could have been.

We all have these people in our lives I think. More than one, generally. We have good examples: those other souls that we thought were our perfect match, and they were, just not as a life partner or spouse. Those folks stay in our lives, maybe close by, maybe far away, but they always are there when we need them. I wrote about one of mine a couple of years ago here at the Lettuce - he showed up in a dream when my brain was searching desperately for familiarity and comfort. The runes we carved in the bedrock of each other's souls became anchors. Silver threads. A constant in an often unstable world.

Then there are the others who are the embodiment of the passage as written. One such, for me, was the inspiration for Taeben in my Nature Walker Trilogy novels. While that relationship is still present, more or less, it is much more virtual than visceral. I know that I can never fully be apart from him, and I think the same is true for him. We turn up in each other's lives from time to time, remind each other of a distant past when our lives were very different, and then fade out again. Each time I wonder if it will be the last time. Each time I hope that it won't - but have learned to expect that it will. I think that's what Ward meant by "the suffering on both sides longer lasting than any resonant joy could have been."

We are not together for a reason, in either situation. In the first case, we both had much better things on the horizon, and our relationship is only made better by the distance and the significant others (and children, in his case) that we have found in the time since. In the second situation, we were and are two very different people - and in this case, our differences would have been our undoing. We are traveling different paths - the first parallel and the second divergent.

We all have these runes in our bedrock - some are just carved more deeply than others.

Upcoming Appearances, 2023

At 742 North, Rock Hill, Fall 2022 So I sat down the other day and looked at my travel calendar for this year. Whew! There is a lot coming u...