Yes, it’s an age-old question but I ask it anyway. Now that the summer heat fades and the cool wind of fall whistles through branches and churns the leaves, will my Internet presence finally resume? Afraid to commit, I say “I hope so.” The desire to post and write daily burns bright but the chaos of real life continues its ever-present pull. Parental caregiving responsibilities have increased this past year. Changes in employment have caused a major shift. Borders did away with my position and I was laid off at the end of May. Instead of finding I had all this extra time it seems that the resulting vacuum sucked in all the errands and work that I’d been juggling and avoiding. Still, the novel writing continued. The story deepened, the characters grew, and my desire increased. Page productivity, however, slowed to a near stop.
Part of the slowdown, I’m sure, had to do with the trips I made to the Donald Maass week-long writing intensives held in Nashville (Indiana–Who knew?) and Westminster (Boston area) this summer. It takes a lot of intense work for me to be able to leave town for a short time let alone 10-12 days. I have to insure there are multiple back-up systems in place. So the past months and this month in particular have been busy and chaotic. On one hand that’s disruptive to the actual writing. But the total immersion into the writing mode brings its own rewards. For me, a major trade-off came about during the New England trip: I birthed a character. Over two nights of thinking and brainstorming, she took shape, came alive, and stepped outside my mind and announced herself. She, like the main character, is now very real to me. Since she is the main character’s partner and in nearly every scene of the novel, it’s exciting to actually have her in tow. With a deeper understanding of the dynamics between the characters, the scenes should now flow. I confess those ten days were exciting. When a major breakthrough happens it’s invigorating. New energy flows through the story and anticipation flares. The desire to write burns bright–again.
What I love about this current project is my continuing excitement. While the project will require, at a minimum, a five-year commitment, instead of feeling dread I am comforted. Here are characters that I will live with day in and day out for years, and I am working in a fictional world that continues to evolve and assumes more and more texture. This is a vastly different experience than I’ve expedrienced before. Oops, looks like I have to go for now. Check back for more teasers as the days grow shorter and the writing longer.