Reprise: Floundering Again

There really is nothing new under the sun. Life has been less than exciting of late, and this post from last summer (before we had any idea what was about to hit the fan) summarizes where I am these days. Rather than bore you with the mundane, I’ll leave you with this and the assurance that I’m working on “Welcome To Chicago: The Country Mouse Moves To The City.”

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You may (or may not) have noticed I haven’t blogged about writing lately. It’s partly because I’ve been busy with non-writing things like family visits and trying to learn Celtic folk tales to tell at nursing homes. The other reason is that I’m firmly entrenched in the Pit of Despair, otherwise known as Act 2.

When I start a project, I know how it will start and how it will end. It seems logical that the middle would be easy. Just put the characters on the yellow brick road and throw some flying monkeys at them.  Would anyone be shocked to learn that it’s not that cut and dried?

My current book has a love triangle. Three different personalities, three different sets of motivations and agendas. Weaving them into a coherent plot is like herding cats. What I’ve found is that I have to write a scene, and then figure out how everyone reacts to what just happened. From that I can draw another scene or two, and then I have to analyze it again. To further complicate things, I sometimes know when I write a scene that it’s not going into the book. Some of them are only for me. They’re a tool to find the story, and of course I include them in my word count, but I have to force myself to not feel like I’m wasting my time. It’s long and arduous and frustrating. A few days ago, Barbara Scott tweeted that most writers hate the process because it can be painful. It resonated with me because there isn’t much in the process that I enjoy. The great days are few and far between, but I have to write. It’s therapy, it’s a calling, it’s an obsession, but it’s not fun. So I slog through the not so good days, and when I get on a roll, I have a good day. For a while, all the angst is worth it, and at the best of times, the high carries through to the next time.

Welcome to the life of an artist. Does it still look glamorous?

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