Sustaining the Passion

MH900438728The first days of summer have arrived. I’m not sure where the winter went, it flew by so fast. I’m many months behind on a gazillion things I wanted to have ready by now. I realize that goes without saying, but I had to say it anyway.

On a positive note I’m making headway on all sorts of side projects I had no intention of working on until next year.

Of course, the sky is gray until about 10:00 or 11:00 here much of the time, as we are so close to the Pacific Ocean, so the early morning is good writing time with no gorgeous blue skies to distract my sun-starved northwest eyes.

It all balances out.

My Coffee Cup © cjjasp 2013I have this incredible urge to spend all day sitting on my back porch reading, instead of writing.

I’ve been working on several new vignettes for Lackland, for the new edition of The Last Good Knight.  The trick is to keep the feeling of being on a roller-coaster that is part and parcel of the original work, and inject that sense of wonder and newness into the expanded work.

From my point of view, one of the best tales in The Last Good Knight is“The Dragon and the Daisies.”  The  story takes place some seven or eight years after Julian joins the Rowdies. Julian Lackland and Lady Mags have hit a rough spot, and it looks like they have gone their separate ways. Somehow, they work it out, and one of the more hilarious moments in Julian Lackland’s life ensues.

In order to recapture that feeling, I’ve been rereading my original work, and seeing it through new eyes. It’s amazing how much I loved that tale, and I feel that love every time I read my old ms.

I think that is what makes good reading–when the author is able to convey the passion for the story.  That passion is apparent in Anne McCaffrey’s early works, such as Dragonflight, Dragonquest and The White Dragon. I felt that intensity of feeling also when reading Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, to name a few right off the top of my head.

COTS Front CoverThe real trick is feeling that passion while you are writing so that your work is not flat, and yet keeping the story coherent so you don’t devolve into gibberish only you can relate to.


Rather than force it, I think I’ll clean house for a while, and then go read on my back porch.

The good news is, along with a new book in the Tower of Bones series and the two books in the Billy’s Revenge series, a book that I began writing in 1998, The Curse of the Stuarts, will be published early in 2014. This book has taken so long for two reasons. First, even though my sister Sherrie says it’s the most hilarious book I’ve ever written (and she would know,) it’s filled with every error a raw, newbie author can possibly make. I’ve been working on getting it straightened out off and on for two years. The second reason is I only work on this tale when I am between other projects, so it is inching toward publication.

Somehow when I revisit this old manuscript I once again feel that love of writing that is all-consuming, but sometimes eludes me!

Perhaps a relationship with your writing muse is like the most passionate relationship with a partner, filled with moments of absolute joy and abandon, and also with moments of intense struggle. Passion is, after all a two-sided coin–love on one side and hate on the other. Worrying about whether you’re feeling it or not it is a waste of time, because nothing ever remains the same and tomorrow will bring a different emotion.

Keeping the coin spinning is the key to keeping it interesting.


Filed under Adventure, Books, Fantasy, Humor, Literature, Romance, Uncategorized, writing

12 responses to “Sustaining the Passion

  1. Thanks for sharing such a poignant and honest post. “Perhaps a relationship with your writing muse is like the most passionate relationship with a partner, filled with moments of absolute joy and abandon, and also with moments of intense struggle” <– I love this so, so much. Must find a chance to quote you sometime!


  2. Connie, this is so how I feel about my writing too – you are seriously not alone!
    I think that if we don’t feel such extremes of emotion, then there’s no way our writing will be passionate, and that’s what makes for an un-put-downable read.
    Congrats on all the work you have coming out soon 🙂


  3. Sherrie DeGraw

    Ok, 3rd try’s a charm……… My wireless connection is eating my attempted comments. I love The Revenge of the Stuarts. It is the first piece of yours I ever read that was longer than a short story. Did it have mechanical issues? Yes. Was it rough? Yes. Those characters and their attendant back stories were so strong that it didn’t matter to me. Did I ever find out what the curse was? No. Do I want to? Yes! I’ve waited 15 years to read the end of the story! This story is rather like Twin Peaks meets Eureka. How can you not love that? Even though you didn’t have the tools and experience you have now, you managed to weave very personal, touching moments into this crazy, hilarious storyline. I can’t wait to read it in its more mature form.


  4. I really cannot wait for these new Jasperson books!


  5. I love that feeling of overwhelming passion that takes off sometimes when you’re writing!


  6. “love of writing that is all-consuming”
    It keeps us from living, but also keeps us from dying.