It’s been about seven weeks since I posted an article. I missed it. But sometimes life takes a front seat and we just have to go with the flow. Spring has sprung, the weekly serialized fiction in the local newspaper is going well, and the proof reader is going over the manuscript before it comes back to me for the final read and approval.
The garden is in–well mostly–and the supplies for canning are ready.
So now I turn my attention to book two. I’m a pantser by nature, but I’m really working hard at creating some kind of plot before I get into full-blown writing of the first draft. I know the beginning, and the end, but that elusive middle is just…well…elusive. I think I’ve finally figured out how to fix that. I think I just need to know my characters better. I like character driven stories. And I especially like stories where there are multiple points of view and each has a story. My job as the writer is to make sure their goals are at odds with each other. I really like it when every surprise, or turning point, is caused by one character succeeding in something that creates a major disaster for another character.
Again, Trey Fontaine, FBI agent extraordinaire is the main character. If he doesn’t sound familiar check out the article about him below, dated January 28, 2011. And again there will be at least one person who has psychological problems. In this book Trey’s goal is to save some missing girls who have been traded to a Columbian drug lord.
I’ve been letting this story stew in my head while I make tomato preserves and tomato juice, and watch the hydrangeas sway in the breeze. It was with me when I took a great Self-Editing class, and then when I took a Plotting class, both of which I was unable to really participate in, though I kept all the lessons and emails from other students, so I can maybe absorb it slowly. (I just keep taking classes on Plotting, in the hopes that something will gel and I’ll finally create my own form of plotting.)
I remember when I was all anxious to get a book accepted, to get it out and share it with the world. I remember when I stressed out over self-imposed deadlines and whether I was good enough, and if I would ever learn to do it right. But I’m kinda over that. Stressing only makes me sick. Worry only takes away from the time we have here on earth, time that could be better spent with friends and family, with flowers and humming birds, and a cozy nook with a good book.
Okay, I know all that sounds kinda lazy and unacceptable in this fast paced world. But really, did stress and worry ever get you anywhere? Don’t get me wrong. I work well under pressure, and I can deal with that. I can set a deadline and work to meet it. There is a big difference between stress and worry, and a healthy ambition with self-imposed pressure to succeed.
I hope that everyone who reads this will consider giving up worry, and working to reduce stress.They are unhealthy, even damaging, and also useless. No matter what your job is, no matter what kind of pressure you’re under, take a moment to breathe. Walk around for a minute and look out the window. Smell a flower. Enjoy a good meal with friends and family. Don’t take those moments for granted. Everyone has been given a limited number of minutes, hours, days. The time you spend gaining balance in your life and relaxing are not wasted. The wasted time is the time spent worrying and stressing. Give yourself permission to live in the slow lane now and then. You just may find that you are more creative and productive there.