Friday, January 15, 2016

Gone Too Long

I hate this time of year. This is when I have to spend weeks convincing myself that I am a writer. I do it every January.
In general, after the insanity of National Novel Writing Month, Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas, and New Year I'm pretty wiped out. It takes me weeks to get back into a writing mode, much of it spent berating myself for my inadequacy, cursing my RA, and generally feeling rotten about the whole mess.

The last several months have been exceptionally frustrating. First, I had my NaNoWriMo, a month of writing madness, fun but stressful because in the middle of that is Thanksgiving, which I spent in Atlanta with family this year. So add travel and four days away at the home stretch of NaNo. About two weeks later my son, his wife and two children blew in and we were six in the house, plus dog and visitors. They left the day after Christmas and two days later, Sarah's mother came to visit so Sarah could meet her baby sister. She stayed until the 4th of January. Sprinkle in shopping and just visiting and you have a whirlwind holiday season, during which time my RA was raging.

But I'm not done yet. In the midst of all that, actually the first two weeks of December, both computers died. So, the best NaNo novel I've ever written languished on a disc. Thank goodness for that foresight. You can find details in other posts during that time. I think I whined a lot.

My new laptop showed up on December 24, when no one is going to be writing, even if the computer was ready for it. It took me another three weeks and two tech support calls to get it writing ready. Then I got the call to start a new job.

Well, shoot.

At last, yesterday I sat down with All That's Holy on Blue's screen. Yes, that is the name of my new laptop. The last one was Red. The new one is a pretty shade of blue. I was so excited I even bought a new mouse with a blue geometric design on it and a blue mouse pad.

I got Sarah off to school, got dressed for work, and sat down at the desk. I opened the file and put the story on the screen. I froze and stared at it and couldn't figure out what to do next or where to start. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the scope of the thing. It was a terrible sensation.

When I recovered a bit I decided to print it out to review it and see if that helped. So, I printed it and took one look at 183 pages of chaos and lay it carefully on the corner of the desk. It was 9 a.m. I went to work.

When I came home the pile was waiting. I ignored it and decided later that evening would be better for me. I don't know what I did the rest of the day. However, after getting Sarah to bed last night, I cranked Blue up and pulled up the story and was again overwhelmed by it.

I realized I'd been gone too long. I'd let the story sleep for over a month and despite everyone saying this is what you should do, it was the worst thing I could have done! My brain simply felt dazed at the thought of working on it. I'd kept writing after NaNo until the laptop blew up. Then I'd moved to the desktop and two days later the hard drive failed. Then, holidays and a full house hit me. So, from mid-December until mid-January, I had been unable to sit down and write. And now that I was raring to go... the car wouldn't start.

I don't know how long I stared at the screen; it could only have been minutes, but at some point, I began to read. The words rolled around in my head and images formed. Sights, sounds, and smells filled my head. Faces took shape. Gradually, I fell in love again with the characters, the place, and the story. I started adding things here and there. A scene was in the wrong place and I moved it. I saw one POV that has to go. Some scenes need to be cut, expanded, or added.

Something called me back to the present. I didn't want to return but I had to go to bed.

But... this morning, I'm packed and ready. It is a long trip. I've missed Whitehaven, Nick, and the king who goes barefoot in the palace. I want to see the hidden caverns of the Host. And I want to know how it all comes together.

You know, I have been gone too long.

1 comment:

  1. Barefoot? A king deigns to go barefoot? How does the queen respond to that?


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