Sometimes real life interferes with my writing schedule, but despite back injuries and other little challenges, I’ve managed to keep my writing on track. Chronic pain can sap the creativity from you, but eventually, it eases, and productivity resumes. I’ve become adept at getting things done with the long-handled grabber. I’ve figured out how to do everything from laundry to cleaning my oven with it, to picking lint off the carpet and dusting chandeliers.
Yep—I’m that grandma, the one I swore I’d never become, the old woman with the long-handled grabber. Get off my lawn!
I’ve been working on two particularly tough short stories for several months. Both have great ideas and wonderful premises, and it looks like I am finally on the home stretch with both. Fingers crossed! Some short stories take me as long to finish as writing a novel. These are the stories being written to certain themes. I have planned the basic story arc, so I know what needs to happen at each point, but not exactly how I want to make it happen. I write a little when I have a flash of brilliance and then let it ‘simmer’ in the back of my mind.
One story was finished (I thought), but the editor who requested it for a forthcoming anthology wanted changes amounting to a complete rewrite to make it fit more with what she envisions for her anthology. It wasn’t that she didn’t like it, it was just not right for what she had in mind as the theme for her collection of stories. That one has had to sit on the back burner again for a bit, but now I think I know how to implement her suggestions and accomplish what is needed. Whether Short Story Take 2 will fly or not is anyone’s guess as it is only optioned, but when a publication’s editor asks for revisions on a piece that I’ve submitted, I make them with NO complaint. She knows what her market wants, so if I want her to buy my story, I need to tailor it to her readers.
There are times when I can whack an entire story out in a single sitting, but some stories just require more attention. The best part of writing is that feeling of “Ah hah!” when a particularly tough section comes together, and you know you have written something worth reading.
On the novel side of my writing life, things have taken a turn for the positive. In January I had to completely scratch most of the first draft of my current work in progress because during NaNoWriMo the story-line went in a direction I didn’t intend. That strange direction in the early MS will be morphed into something else later so that work hasn’t been wasted.
I should have stuck to my outline, and then my story flat-line would have been a story arc.
But I just crested the 60,000-word mark (again) and am at the halfway point on the rewrite. This novel is set in the Tower of Bones world, but it takes place five hundred years prior and concerns the founding of Aeoven.
Because I’ve had a certain amount of new world building to do in my old world, it has been a joy to write. In this era, the world is very different, more dangerous, and takes place during their Dark Ages, dark only in the respect that little written history remains of those times. This is the “how it began” novel, so many things have had to be developed from scratch, such as the system they use for magic.
Even the maps are a little different, although the contours of the land are the same. Some towns exist that don’t in later times, and a few villages that are minor in Edwin’s time have a more prominent role. I am also exploring the Barbarians and how the modern Temple of Aeos is deeply rooted in that tribal culture.
I’m finding it refreshing to revisit this world and see it through new eyes. I have been working in the world of Neveyah for ten years, and still, I am discovering things I never knew. I think of it as reverse engineering—I’m taking this world apart and seeing how it works, and why.
On the poetry front, poems happen when they’re of a mind to. It’s like everything else—sometimes what I write is good, and sometimes not so much, but I feel compelled to put some ideas and emotions into the form of a poem. I suppose it’s because I began my professional writing career writing lyrics for a friend’s heavy metal band back in the early 1970s, so the poetic form will always be with me.
Now you’ve heard the update on my works in progress. Hopefully, all will continue to go well, and if the stars are properly aligned, my two nearly finished short stories will leave the nest as they are supposed to. I wish you peace, and may your writing hours be productive!