Writing My Life

Now and Then

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After reading this, you’ll think I’m bi-polar.

If you’re down and confused
And you don’t remember who you’re talkin’ to
Concentration slip away
Cause your baby is so far away.
Well, there’s a rose in a fisted glove
And the eagle flies with the dove
And if you can’t be with the one you love
Love the one you’re with
Love the one you’re with

~ Stephen Stills, 1970

I am clueless as to what the first two lines of the chorus means, but “a rose in a fisted glove” and “an eagle [flying] with a dove” are pretty cool images. If I understood the symbolism, I could probably tie them into this post, but since I don’t, I’m going with “… if you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one your with.”

Naturally, I’m NOT writing about a former boyfriend or a clandestine lover – I’m a happily married blogger – but I am thinking how this applies to my writing doldrums of the past few weeks: To abandon a potentially great idea because it is NOT really I’m not REALLY into it. When I ventured to write up a character bio, as I committed to do, and found I couldn’t even complete that, I decided it was time to admit momentary defeat and hang with the NEW idea “on the block.” But what exactly was that?

I know all this sounds too familiar, BUT I promise this ends on a more positive note. For awhile now, I’ve toyed with an idea that I liked but couldn’t solidify, and then …  (Is the anticipation significantly building?) …

I watched NEW MOON!!!

For the first time.

Do NOT – I repeat – do NOT panic. I have NO intention of whipping out yet another vampire novel, but watching 2 freaking MISERABLE characters MOPE over each other added substance to my nebulous idea. And I decided I LOVED it. (The IDEA, not New Moon.)

Because this story is lighter than Not That Way, the working title of the “other” novel-in-the-making, I’ve been able to “throw up words.” Something I wanted and needed to do but couldn’t because the subject of Not That Way was SO heavy, and the character-arc SO wide that INTENSE thinking prohibited puking on paper.

This is a truly lame comparison, but I felt like I was TRYING to love deep and dark Edward, but I’m NOT obsessed and depressed Bella! I was forcing a relationship that wasn’t there. NOT to say it will always be that way, but for right now, I’ve ditched the … . Well, you know what I’m sayin’.

The point is that for a first-time novelist, I need (I was tempted to write “Jacob” but controlled that urge) something different. I’m not sure of all the reasons why, but this new thing feels right.


“… about to take that trip again …”

I know what it’s like to write a hard book. Just remember–every book gets to a really hard part … .  Anne Dee and I are both in hard parts of our novels. So–keep in mind that every novel can get really, really crummy.

~ Carol Lynch Williams

I KNOW that I listed several reasons to abandon the novel I started, and some of those reasons were dang good, but then I commented on CLW’s “Danger! Danger!” post. The next thing I know she’s giving me good advice about writing “hard” books, and one line zaps me like a freakin’ cattle prod:

“This is the reason so many people have so many starts and so few finished books. Just a heads up … .”

So, for better or worse, I’m continuing on with this HARD write because IT’S MORE IMPORTANT THAT I FINISH IT THAN IF IT’S GOOD!

Does that make sense? I’m thinking it does, because if I don’t finish THIS one, I’m afraid I won’t finish any at all.

I’ve also decided to follow a plan – NOT an outline, but a P.L.A.N. to help work through the “hard”. Here are just a few steps:

  1. Write a synopsis of my WIP – a better one than the one I created at WIFYR. (You see, I misunderstood that assignment and wrote a “blurb” that a prospective author might write for an agent. DuH!)
  2. I already carry around a notebook where I record lots of random things, but now I’m going to dedicate a section to ideas I may discover while living my life that might just work in my “once and future novel.”
  3. Write biographies for my main characters and include the all-important “character arch.”
  4. Learn to write to a timetable – to write SOMETHING everyday – whether it is H.A.R.D. or not.
  5. Whistle, sing, or hum while I work; and this is one of the songs that I’ll whistle, sing, or hum:

Here I go again, I hear those trumpets blow again.

All aglow again , takin’ a chance on [you].

Here I slide again, about to take that ride again.

[Bleary-eyed] again, takin’ a chance on [you].


And then I started writing!

If the ideas are flowing, stay put and get them down while you can. NEVER interrupt the flow of words.

~ Jennifer Stewart

Saturday morning.

C.r.a.w.l.e.d. outa bed at 9:00 A.M.

Brushed my teeth while perusing list of blog favs.

Sorted AND threw a batch of dirty clothes into the washer.

Cleaned myself up.

Took a phone call.

Peeled fresh peaches and topped my frosted mini wheats with them.

Looked for a book to read while eating breakfast; decided to just enjoy the food.

Answered the door to a borrower of a needed water jug.

Sat down at the computer.

Dialed up Pandora and my Michael Buble’ station.

Started WRITING!

1116 wonderful words added to the 701 words I wrote A MONTH AGO!

I don’t know if they are wonderful, but they are on my computer screen.

Safely saved.

Five more pages to equal 8 total.

I just typed away.

No revising or editing – well, maybe just a little, but not much.

The only thing/person to interrupt the flow of words was my husband who came in to cool off from working in the hot sun: mowing the lawn, weeding flowerbeds, etc. And to see how the wash was coming. He has this thing about clean clothes. But he also told me last night that he was going to ask me EVERY DAY how many pages I had written on my novel. Cute.

Got a long way to go, but hey, today I feel great!