Spring Cleaning

My current WIP
I have been far too lazy to be bothered cleaning my house, so I have decided to clean up my website. Since I've made my blog my main website, I figured I'd better do some reconstructive surgery to make it more appealing and easy to navigate.

I realize that every year I say 'this is my year.' But this year, I don't know...it feels different. I feel as if I'm ready to prep to make next year MY YEAR. I have so many ideas rolling around, and have just not had the ambition to actually work on any of them. But a change is in the air, and it's not just the Michigan weather.

My kids are fantastic, my marriage is stronger than ever, and my day job is actually pretty swell 89% of the time. The only thing that seems in chaos lately is my writing career. It's May and I have not finished a single book this year. Everything comes in bits and phrases. Disjointed scenes that get typed randomly into One Note so I don't lose them, but nothing fits together yet. It's like when you first dump a puzzle out of it's box. You just stare at all the pieces and think "Well, that's not going to happen." But with time and determination and a whole lot patience, piece by piece, corner to corner, the picture comes together. That is what my writing is like right now. The border is complete, I just need to fill in the middle.

Most interviewers will ask an author if they are a pantser or a plotter. Do you map out the framework of the book or do you write willy-nilly and end up as surprised as the characters when the story comes to a close? I always answer that I am a pantser. And that's true, to a point. But if I really examine the way I write books, I guess I do generally know where a story is headed. Or at least where I want it to head. Sure, there may be unforeseen detours on the way to the resolution, but I suppose I go into the books knowing where it starts, what dangers lie ahead, and how it will resolve itself.

Right now I'm having an issue with the current WIP because I named my lobsters and I just haven't been able to bring myself to eat them yet.

Hi. I'm George.
You know how if you go out to eat and you're waiting in the lobby for a table and your kids run up to the lobster tank and give them all names and back stories? Then when the time comes to order you just can't soak George's tail in butter and eat him in front of your kids?

Yeah, I named my lobsters. I've connected with my characters on such a personal level that it is becoming increasingly difficult to hurt them in the way that I know I must. I will get over it, I always do. I will dip them in butter, spray them with lemon and grind them between my teeth like a good little soldier. Because that is what authors do. We create wonderful people, then we dip them in condiments and eat them.

I think I'm tired. I don't even know what I'm saying anymore. I guess my point is that all characters become real to an author and as hard as it is to hurt people you know, even though they are fictional, sometimes you just don't have a choice. What is a book without conflict and pain, right? Of course, knowing this and acting on it are two totally different things. But if I'm going to make it at this writing thing, I suppose I'm going to have to actually finish books, not just talk about it.

So in a few weeks I will be heading to my in-laws cabin way up north, alone, with my laptop and NO WIFI and I am going to focus on getting at least one book done. With over 50 hours of uninterrupted writing time I had better be able to get at least one book done, and a second started. Though if I manage it, I will be finishing two books. Yes, that is way fucking ambitious of me. But as fast as I write when I'm determined, I don't think it's unreasonable.

Yes, there will be breaks. I will be going to Houghton every morning for breakfast and I will be taking wine and movie breaks. But for the majority of my three day weekend I will have my hands on a keyboard, my ass in a chair, and my music blaring.

Wish me luck!


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