Wow, it’s been over a month since I posted. Sorry about that, but it’s getting into that busy time of the year. Life gets crazy over the holidays. Everyone is dashing to and fro. For me, though, it’s also the time of the year when I’m most productive with my writing. When the weather gets cold and nasty, it’s easier to stay inside and huddle in front of a computer.
As a result, I’m juggling several projects. The finishing touches have been placed on Blade of Moonlight, which is currently set for a May release with Samhain. I can’t wait to show you the cover that’s in development. Can. Not. Wait. It’s a super dark and super sexy story, which is only appropriate for superheroes, and the cover is super hot. Naturally.
I’m working on some proposals and finishing up a New Year’s story, which I plan to self-publish in the next few weeks. That one’s a short story I wrote just as a holiday treat for readers, because I know this is also the time of year people like to curl up on their sofas with hot cocoa and a book. “Tis the season!
I’m making good headway on my latest work-in-progress. I finished Chapter 12 yesterday, so my New Year’s resolution may hold. (Fingers crossed.) The problem was that after I typed the words “Chapter 13,” I came to a screeching halt. I needed to plot.
Some writers can sit down at their computer and just go, not caring that they don’t know where they’re heading. In some ways, I admire that. It’s daring, it’s free, and it’s open to possibilities. It’s also not me. Some writing instructors or other helpful souls will tell you that when you hit a writer’s block, you should just sit down and write whatever comes to mind. They believe that will help break through the resistance. I’ve tried that, and it’s a complete waste of my time. I can’t seem to be creative and orderly at the same time. The solution for me is usually to sit down and map out where the story needs to go. That’s the creative part. Once I have that, it’s a matter of execution.
In my current story, it wasn’t that I was at a complete loss for direction, it was that I had several specific points I needed to hit and a certain number of pages to get there. So I spent yesterday mapping how to get from Point A to Point B to Point C to, eventually, The End. Everything needs to come together by that final page. The TV show, Seinfeld, had some great examples of plotting. George, Jerry, Elaine, and Kramer would all be obsessing about their individual problems until the end of the show where everything would come together for a hilarious conclusion. Remember Kramer’s meat slicer being used to cut food thin enough to slide under the door to feed Elaine’s cat? Or Kramer hitting the golf ball into the ocean and “marine biologist” George having to save the whale? Genious!
Sometimes you just need to find your own way of doing things. Don’t block out what others are advising, but pick out the information that works best for you. Maybe you can go to the grocery store, walk through the aisles, and buy everything you need. Me? I need a shopping list. Maybe you can accomplish everything you wanted to do in a day without reminders. Me? I need my “to do” list.
So how about you? Are you a free spirit or a list maker like me? Do you plan ahead or go free wheeling?
I just returned from a writers’ retreat. It was fun, relaxing, productive, and energizing all at the same time. There’s something so nice about gathering with a bunch of like-minded people. They understand how something small can seem so major. For writers, that can be something as mundane as finding the right word. For instance, I had to walk up to somebody and ask, “What’s that button you push on your car to make it hold at one speed?” I couldn’t think of “cruise control” for the life of me. But writers get this. She answered, and I simply turned around and walked out of the room. LOL Really, it’s comforting to be around other people who “get” you. The world wouldn’t go around without different types of people but, just for a week, it’s great to hang out in an environment where you are “normal.”
The creative energy at the retreat helped, as did the scenery. We were right on the beach, with waves crashing and dolphins swimming nearby. If something like that doesn’t inspire you, nothing will. Here’s a shot of sunrise over Virginia Beach.
So what do you do to recharge and reboot? Who “gets” you?
I loved last night’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD). Instead of starting the competition, they just had everybody dance in their styles. Viewers got to meet the new dancers and welcome back past favorites. I have to admit I’m not a reality show fan, but there are a few I watch religiously. SYTYCD is one. Project Runway is another. Other than that, I tend to avoid reality TV like the plague. I don’t like the scheming, backstabbing, and phoniness. So why do I like these two? I think it comes down to one thing – creativity.
I like watching the seed of an idea grow into something beautiful. With SYTYCD, I have my favorite dancers, but I think I’m more intrigued with the choreography. How does one take a piece of music, create a story from it, and find a physical way to translate it? Or does it work differently? Is the story the starting point? Do the choreographers pick the music from there? I bet the answer is both… or either… whatever strikes that spark.
On Project Runway, I’ll watch in awe as outfits emerge from challenges. I’m fascinated how designers can start at the same place and end up with wildly different outcomes. The same thing can happen with a story idea. Two authors can have the same idea, but end up with radically different books. I don’t know how it all works but, to me, it’s fun. I couldn’t sew a handkerchief, but I like putting the puzzle pieces of a story together. I can actually feel a different part of my brain being energized.
So how about you? Are there certain shows you like, because they’re creative or different? How are you creative?
The web site has been updated with more information on Ghost Flute, which is coming June 25. You can find the blurb and general information under the Ellora’s Cave tab. A steamy (although PG) excerpt has also been posted.