Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I never really give much thought to where my ideas come from. I'm just grateful that ideas occasionally pop into my head so I can write.

Yesterday, maybe for the first time, or maybe it's always this way and the old brain just can't remember, I was reading my Page-A-Day calendar page and - brilliant illumination, blinding almost, I had to reach for the sunglasses - BAM (Emeril at his best)!!!! Yes, an idea out of nowhere. I wasn't even looking for the pesky thing and there it was slapping me - repeatedly, I might add - in the face. On a Page-A-Day calendar page no less.

So, I made a note to myself to save the page. I tore it off this morning and laid it on my desk. You'd think that would be enough? Right? Well, of course it wasn't enough, life is not that simple. Fate is a capricious entity at times. I'm minding my own business, making my oatmeal and coffee (no, I don't mix them together . . . but there's an idea) and I was like . . . what if . . . yes, the idea monster was doing twirls in my brain in some nice stiletto heels. The back of the calendar page is now filled with notes since the pesky little idea that began to form yesterday just won't leave me the heck alone. I have things to do - life, work, walk the dogs in the pouring rain that may or may not turn to snow, and blah, blah, blah.

Well, now that I've rambled on and totally gotten off the original point of this post. Where in the heck do your ideas for writing come from? One of my best came from a pitcher of margaritas. Most of them, however, just form in the depths of my imagination and somehow emerge into a coherent - or, in some instances, not so coherent - story. I just never thought about the actual catalyst for the idea until this morning when I was reading the calendar page once more.

Why is it I never considered the catalyst for my ideas before now? Do all writers just have moments of epiphany? Or, is there always a catalyst and we just don't recognize the catalyst? Are there more ideas waiting in my Page-A-Day (Forgotten English) calendar? Will I flip to March 1 and - brilliant illumination, blinding almost, I had to reach for the sunglasses - BAM (Emeril at his best) again???? I have no clue. I just thought I'd send this question out to the masses (yeah, right!) who read this blog.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

The intensity of . . .

. . . the writing has diminished. It is not because my passion for the project has diminished, but rather because I have neared the end of the rough draft phase of the current project. This is always a bittersweet time for me. I absolute LOVE the driving passion of the first bloom of a project. I love it even MORE when that passion becomes obsession and I am able to bang out the rough draft (as in this case) in a few weeks. Intensity can only be sustained for a limited amount of time before it begins - at least in my case - to wear the person down. So, bittersweet as the moment is, I am thankful that the intensity has diminished as well. I need a night on the couch with the boyz (Jesse and James, my cocker spaniels). I need some time away from the project before I begin the read-through/edit phase of the project.

At this point, I'm just scrolling back through and inserting a few "filler" chapters here and there to tie everything together. A time will soon come when the project is set on the back burner to simmer for a few weeks. Such is life . . .

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The whirlwind . . .

. . . of this current writing project is nearing an end. The ferocious (can you belive I spelled this word correctly???) winds have begun to decrease in intensity. The obsession begins to wane. There is a sense of both relief and disappointment. It has been far too long since I wrote with such passion and drive. I dropped into bed each night exhausted after hours of writing at the end of each work day. The weekends were a frenzy of writing and very little socialization. The poor dogs (Jesse and James) would stare at me longingly and wonder why I wasn't on the couch with them allow them to wallow all over me. Don't worry, I didn't neglect them entirely, not to mention there are two of us in the house, so the dogs do get a ton of attention. I just didn't spend as much time with them as I normally do. That should change by the end of the week.

I'm 72,000 words into the project in a little over two weeks. I should finish by this coming weekend. I have just a few more chapters to complete on the rough draft stage. Again, there is a sense of relief and disappointment. Then again, such is the writing life. Once I finish the rough draft I will set it aside for a few weeks and go back to editing another process. I also need to send out another query letter and then . . . as usual . . . wait and wait and wait some more.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Once upon a time . . .

. . . there were three little girls who went to the Police Academy. Wait, sorry, wrong ending - flashback to the 70s. Hate it when that happens. Let me try again.

Once upon a time, the writing became an obsession. The man wrote and wrote, could think of nothing else, and began - for the most part - to isolate himself from the world. Luckily, his beloved partner was a caring and compassionate individual who endured the obsessive stage of writing.

Flash forward a few years later. For whatever reason, the obsessive stage of writing has begun again. Last night, all I wanted to do was write. Unfortunately, life - dinner, walk the dogs, pay attention to my partner of almost fifteen years before he goes into work, feed the cats, and such and such and such and such - sometimes interferes. Arrrrgghhhh! So, my partner decides to dawdle last night, to talk about this and that, that and this, this and that . . . and all I want to do is write. I nodded and smiled, made a comment or two . . . but all I wanted to do was write. Finally, my partner leaves for work. Hallelujah!

No, I'm really not that bad of a person. It is so rare when the obsession stage of writing hits me, that my frustration level just seems to rise and rise and rise. I love my partner. He's put up with me for almost fifteen years. He deserves multiple awards for that feat. I'm definitely not the easiest person to live with in the Universe. Still, he loves me and I guess that's all that really matters in the world.

Now, back to my writing. I don't question why the words flow, or when they flow. I just - sorry - go with the flow. I try to be a nice person during the obsession stage. I try not to let my frustration show. Pushing a man out the door can lead to suspicious thoughts forming in said man's mind. I've written about such things. It's never pretty! So, I nod, I smile and I make a comment or two. I'm not pushing my partner out the door to have an illicit affair . . . unless my writing counts . . . if that's the case, I'm having one heck of an illicit affair right now . . . and it's good, very, very good. I'm just saying . . .


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It's been a strange . . .

. . . jumble of days, more than a week really, since Jordy journeyed on to that great catnip field in the sky (or wherever the eternal catnip field might lie). Life goes on. I deal with my grief as only I can, and with the support of friends and family. I immerse myself in the day to day routines - work, home, bed, etc. - of my life.

I spent this weekend reading Juliet Marillier's Heir to Sevenwaters. Absolutely loved the book. In fact, all I did on Saturday was sit on different couches in the house and read the book, from beginning to end. I haven't done that with a book in forever. Heir to Sevenwaters is the newest book in what was once called The Sevenwaters Trilogy. I guess since this is book four, the whole trilogy thing just went out the proverbial window. I am currently re-reading Daughter of the Forest the first book in the trilogy that is no longer a trilogy.

I guess the mere fact of immersing myself in a book has gotten my creative juices flowing. I've written for four straight days. I don't know why, I'm not about to question why, and I'm just going to go with the flow. I'm not setting any daily goals with this current writing endeavor. I'm just writing. I take what I can get, when I can get it, and just hope for the best every day. I guess that should be everybody's philosophy toward life, and toward whatever dream they might have.

At some point this week, I need to send out a query on another project. For whatever reason, I haven't been able to find the motivation to do so. Perhaps I have been beaten down by multiple "this just isn't right for me" responses, or no responses at all. Personally, I know agents are inundated with queries, thousands upon thousands of queries; but a simple "this isn't right for me" automated response would sure as heck make the lives of the thousands upon thousands of queriers (yes, I know, not a word, but I'm using it any how) just a little bit simpler. I know, it's not about making the lives of struggling writers simpler. It's just a thought . . . and a dang good one at that, if I do say so myself!!! So, sometime this week, I'll send out another query and wait and wait and wait and wait until the designated time frame specified on the agent's website expires, and then begin the process all over again. SIGH!!!!! In the meantime, I'll write and write and write when the moment takes me, because that's my path in this life and what I love to do. Maybe one day (fingers and toes crossed) in the very near future, all my hard work will end up in publication. A man can hope!