Aye, and begorrah, here ‘tis, Saint Paddy’s Day!
As you can tell, I took last week off from posting for several reasons. The first of which being that last Sunday was The Morning After the Night Before(TM). And I will admit to bleeding from the eyes a little that morning. Mostly, though, I couldn’t focus—my eyes or my mind.
My second excuse for not writing is that First Reader was sick—apparently with a flu bug that had her down and in bed not only on Sunday but for two days after. Wednesday was marginally better, but that was the day the Bomb Cyclone ate the state. The low-pressure system had me rocking a sinus headache combined with a migraine.
My third excuse is that I didn’t have anything prepared. This is my biggest excuse for last week. Have I mentioned that I’m a panster more than a planner?
With everything going on, I haven’t felt very creative.
But my creations tend to percolate in the back of my mind. And during this mini writing vacation, I found myself with ideas related to my novel. (And no, I haven’t settled on a name yet; heck, I can’t even land on a stable set of names for the protagonists, although I do think I’ve figured out how to get the bones of the story out). I even managed to capture a somewhat coherent start to a vignette. Now I just need to contemplate on where it’s going, and how that piece of the puzzle will fit into the bigger picture.
Ah well, I just need to think more on the premise and see what happens. My imagination tends to run down one path, then another, trailing the main story thread to find the way through the labyrinth of the tale. This story sparked in my mind about four years ago, with the launch of the last presidential campaign. I wrote two short stories related to that event in the spring of that year, one of which is posted in A Life Well Lived.
The events disturbed me to the point that it brought back memories of what was taking place when I moved to the area in which I now live, almost thirty years ago. I had a vivid dream back then that stays with me today. It was so real that I used that dream as the basis for a script I wrote when I was at university. I have since written it out as a story and discovered that the narrative is more than that—it is the start of a novel I have written almost a quarter of already.
It’s a hard tale to tell, but it won’t leave me alone. The plot keeps niggling at the back of my brain, events unfolding as the calendar advances. Now, I just need to sit at the keyboard and write Leo’s story. And I need to start with Leo’s story because he’s the only character who has fully revealed himself. I guess the hesitation I have is that to get inside Leo’s head, I am going to have to ask some friends of mine some VERY personal questions, and I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet. Although I do want to thank my friend who spoke candidly when we met a few weeks ago (you know who you are).
Part of my hesitation, I think, is that I need to be at peace with what will happen when my energy shifts more toward pursuing my retirement plans than the career in which I’ve been (mostly) happy the last two decades. It’s a scary proposition, but that’s when I’ve found it’s the best time to jump.
See, I’ve spent my life trying to develop in those areas where I feel I could use improvement. When I was at university, I got my first B in my Copywriting and Production class. The day after grades were posted, I applied to the university newspaper as a copy editor. Over the next two-and-a-half years, my copy editing and writing skills improved tremendously. Oh, and my grade for that class went up to an A (I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist).
My life has been a series of ever-longer stretches for that brass ring as the carousel of life continues to turn, and so far, I’ve done well. With a little help from the goddess of luck and my faithful readers, I’ll be able to snatch this ring, too.
I want to take a minute to thank every one of you who reads this blog and clicks the Like button, and better still, the Follow button. You keep me sitting at this keyboard day after day. Many, many thanks.
Stay safe and keep reading.