Near the end-end

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Portrait of crazy stressed young business woman screaming and pulling her hair over white background

No lick and a promise this time. I’ve sent All In Bad Time (Wisdom Court Book III) to beta readers for reactions and commentaries. Until I get feedback, I’m trying to clean up my work area and find and file all the scraps of paper decorating my study.
And how’s your summer going?

The problem with being sort of done with a book is the limbo left behind. I’m still thinking about plot points, still dreaming about scenes, and definitely still waiting to see what kind of comments I get. That’s the scariest part. During all the times I feel I was delusional to become a writer, I’m most convinced when I first show the tender shoots of my prose to someone else. (Can you tell I don’t work with a critique group?) Then I start dreaming about specific words to replace others, curse the plot points I didn’t stress in the “final” draft, and up the amount of antacid to deal with the ball of lead in my gut. Good times.

So, why do I continue to write? I have reasons, most psychiatric, but secretly I yearn for the moments when the world of my book gets several pieces from the universe, all at once. I love the joy of figuring out plot snarls, even as I peer over the edge of the abyss called Stuck In Space. I’m a total sucker for the rare and beautiful moments when characters talk and I just record what they say. I’ve never found any other way but writing to stumble into those highs.

Now, as I have to pretend I live in the real world, my hopes for you writers out there are these: may your words flow smoothly; may you enjoy your work in progress; may you finish with real satisfaction; and, of course, may your work hit the bestseller lists.

Cheers!

 

Another Lick and a Promise…

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Seedling of narcissus spring flowers growing from ground

Seedling of narcissus spring flowers growing from ground

I’ve been revising like a fool, hoping the revisions aren’t foolish. Thus have Twitter & Facebook lacked for much attention, and I haven’t blogged in a good, long while. So, here’s to spring, my dears, with all the tumult and drama our Colorado springs usually have. Here’s to venturing out to plant seeds and seedlings, even though we know the likelihood of hail and destruction for a few more weeks. Here’s to doing good work and getting enough sleep and finishing the tale.
I’ll be back soon with more reflections about life, liberty, and putting words on the page. Send me good vibes, please, so I’ll see my way clear to the end of the story.

A moment of geese

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This morning I returned from the drive to school and got out of the car. A choir of sparrows and chickadees was rehearsing in a nearby tree, nearly drowning out the city-sounds filling my corner of Capitol Hill. Cars grumbled and a truck roared; a motorcycle spewed a raspberry at the skateboarders dodging potholes. A saw whined from a construction site down the street.

A flick of motion overhead caught my eye. Three gray geese skimmed the roofs across the alley as they headed south. Silent, swift, gone before I could do more than let out a breath of appreciation. Their wings sliced through cacophony with synchronized grace, leaving behind the discord.

Three Greylag Geese coming in for landing over a field in formation

I wanted to be like those geese: fast, focused, fully engaged in flight. Following where ideas led, turning aside for no interruption, stopping for nothing. For a moment that yearning cut as sharply through me as their wings had cut through the noise.

And then the day went on.

 

Spring is coming…

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I saw some crocuses the other day. Since I’m an old hand at using the signs of nature to interpret my life, I immediately associated those gorgeous little flowers with purple messengers of hope, new beginnings appearing where before there was only dirt. And as a writer, the symbolism goes deeper. Words spring from the brain like blooms pushing through soil. Ideas, paragraphs, stories are seeds waiting for encouragement, nourishment, panic.

I haven’t found a flower to represent that most efficient motivator of all. Panic gets the heart thumping and the fingers tapping, and words turn up on the page. No matter they’ve been pried out of their dank hidey holes under rotten logs at the edge of a swamp. Maybe a bare, twisted branch would serve as an image for that icon, a stark instrument of torture to prod those creative ideas out into a light offering the editor on the shoulder a grandstand view of their shortcomings.

Can you tell I’ve been writing under the gun? All In Bad Time, Book 3 of the Wisdom Court Series, is long overdue. I’m crawling toward the end over shards of broken metaphors and fractured grammar, but I’ll clean it up before I’m through. The signs of spring broke through the haze of plot points only for a moment. I’m back at work again. I swear.

First spring flowers: violet crocuses growing after melting the snow

First spring flowers: violet crocuses growing after melting the snow

A Lick and a Promise…

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Sunrise at Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach Oregon

Sunrise at Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach Oregon

I’m writing madly, piling up pages so I can finish All In Bad Time,
Book Three of the Wisdom Court series. But I can’t leave the Valentine’s Day Greetings forever, so here’s something else to look at. Let your mind float, your eyes go out of focus, and think about the things that could have happened here.

Now write!

 

Dear Yvonne…

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Stick to  your writing today. I know you’re afraid of the plot intricacies in the WIP, All In Bad Time, tearing your hair out because incorporating the first two books of the  trilogy into this third book is exacting and frustrating. You can do it. Just plunge ahead with the action. If you don’t like it when you read it over, you can change it. You’re the goddess at Wisdom Court.

(Easy for you to say. Why the hell did I create so many characters? What possessed me to think I could manage them? By their natures they’re independent, contrary–well, some of them. They keep doing things I hadn’t planned, saying things I didn’t know they thought. WTF?)

Stressful business woman working on computer at the office

This always happens when you write. The characters start coming to life, and once they do, they want to help shape the narrative.

(Right now the narrative looks like that old joke about a blind man describing an elephant.)

Come on, stop whining. Imagine you’re walking through a forest and the goal is to get to the other side. You don’t stop to hear the birds sing, nor to marvel at the fungi. And stop trying to find that bubbling spring to drink from! Just keep going. That means you have to quit noodling around with this blog post.

(Crap. You’re right. I’m sitting here. My fingers are on the keys. It’s time to write. Thanks, I guess.)

You’re welcome. One question: why did you pick a youngish blonde woman for the graphic?

(She reminded me of J.K. Rowling. Not a bad example to have in mind, right?)

Get to work!

 

 

Here’s another year…

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Happy New Year. (Yes, it’s January 2, but what the hell? I can still wish good things for us all.)

I love the feeling of new possibilities, fresh starts, good things to come. Even the thought of taxes can’t suppress enthusiasm. My only questions is, if a day on the calendar can be so easily declared a good thing, why can’t I summon the feeling whenever I want? Ah, the mysteries of life.

Here’s to you and to me and to us all. May your writing fill the pages, may your revisions fill your souls with joy, and may wonderful ideas flow in your mind like a river of promises.

Here we come, 2016.

The ornate calendar dial, showing the 12 months of the year, in the Prague Astronomical Clock

The ornate calendar dial, showing the 12 months of the year, in the Prague Astronomical Clock

 

And to all a good night…

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Wreath decoration at door for Christmas holiday

Wreath decoration at door for Christmas holiday

This time of year brings joy and melancholy, too. I am filled with memories of people no longer here, grateful that they were, sad at their absence. I cherish the times I get to spend with those I love even as I miss the far-aways, geographical and emotional. As the carols wash over every location, I recall singing most of them in choirs, yet their endless repetition pushes me into annoyance before the season is half over.

It’s hard to prevent the hope for a “good Christmas” from becoming a race to check off the lists of gifts, activities, traditions not to be forgotten. The older I get, the less able I am to reach all those goals, thereby saving myself from the harried days of previous years. Yet that realization is edged with the knowledge that many of those tasks no longer must be done, thanks to the shortening list of family and friends who were here to appreciate them. But to let that sorrow define the changes defeats the purpose of the season.

To all of you in my life I say thank you, I love you, may the year ahead bring you joy. To the ghosts who visit me I say, bless you for having been in my life, for teaching me how to live, for memories-good and bad–that made me who I am.

May we all rest our heads on soft pillows and dream of the things we love.

Darkness and light

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This time of year takes me aback. The colors of autumn have faded into camouflage for the birds. Brown is pale khaki, orange sickly, and yellows are like old paper. Now they lie beneath snow, and a cold wind controls the air, keeping the dark in place, it seems.

Each day is shorter, light diminishing as the sun hurries on its way, its path barely skimming the treetops. But we have the company of the planets in the east, Jupiter, Mars, Venus. Mercury already hides in the hint of early sunlight along the horizon at five-thirty. The moon hangs like a smile below their sparkle for a couple of days, and then moves on.

The morning march of planets angles upward, losing their brilliance in the coming of the sun. They’re invisible in the light of another day, waiting to shine when night falls again.

 

Nov28-morningskycopy

 

 

(Photo credit: Beckstrom Observatory, LLC. 2013-15)

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