Tears and Circling

IMG_20141213_082304In all this time, I haven’t gone four weeks without a post, but I think my absence was well deserved.  It has been eight weeks since I started rewriting Circling to better match my second novel, Forever Falling, in tone and POV.  I just finished, right now, this very minute, and it was really difficult.  Here I sit, typing through tears, in Starbucks.

Tears for me are a very rare occurrence. As a person, I lean more toward stabby than teary.  A character flaw that probably comes from my ties to Slytherin and it is sure to get me through the zombie apocalypse. bUT THIS FEELING IS SO OVERWHELMING. (oDDLY i JUST WENT INTO CAPS LOCK- i LIKE IT).

Writing is fascinating.  That initial concept that leads to the pure flood of unstoppable inspiration, cropthe outpouring that is the first draft, it is nothing short of magic. It is a drug like none other, and I’ve tried a few. Then as it all develops, the fine tuning is like adding love to passion. Story develops and characters become real, setting becomes something that can be seen, felt, tasted, heard, inhaled. It is20140919_204758 pure beauty for a writer. This tree, Angel Oak, outside of Charlerton, SC, is where is all began for me.  I’ll love that tree forever.

But still there is more and more detail. Then the details need examination and that examination needs fine tuning, too. It becomes a cycle, I have felt this sense of Circling if you will. It became difficult these last eight weeks. Vices became more important. That low level of depression and frustration had taken hold, making everything more difficult. Now I think I can let it go. The relief is enormous.

I’m looking for a copy edit, NOT a content edit. If you have a recommendation, please use the contact page and send me an email. I want to have Circling and Forever Falling both edited and available to the public by mid-February.

I am shocked but the support of family, friends, coworkers and complete strangers on Twitter. I don’t know how anyone would ever get through this alone. Everyone reading this, know that I am so thankful for you. I am also so grateful for music.  Music is my healthiest addiction. I know absolutely that these headphone have saved my life.  Hours and hours of listening, to calm me, inspire me, soothe me, keep me awake, put me to sleep. My god I love music.  The photo above is the Black Keys in Baltimore a few weeks ago. I haven’t seen Mumford & Sons yet, but they sort of wrote Circling with me. I’ll leave you with a song that makes and breaks my heart, all at once.

 

Setting the Scenes

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Well hello there!  I must confess a first draft does not lend itself well to consistent posting. Here I am with a few minutes on my hands and I think it is time for an update. At my last post (aside from a guest post and share) I was sitting poolside in Park City, Utah, turning a business trip into a fuck load of fun and adventure. Before that fantastic opportunity arose, I had booked a short trip to visit Asheville with a good friend.

I have always wanted to visit that famously quirky, musical, artsy, beautiful city tucked away in the mountains. Starting Book 2, I felt that I needed to find my characters.  For me characters and plot are completely driven by setting. My friend was very supportive of my insane I have to go to Asheville to find my story declaration and found us a wonderful hotel,  a bizarre car, fantastic concert, etc.

20140613_134721With regard to the car. I am full of regret I did not photograph it. This Dodge Avenger was not my typical ride. I was a bit put off by the fact I literally had to spread my legs to drive it. Who’s damn idea was that? The steering wheel only fits between one’s thighs, it raises no higher. Few things can rest between one’s thighs and be so disappointingly un-erotic.

wpid-20140612_211230.jpgAlas – I digress. We ate in amazing, interesting little restaurants. We saw Andrew Bird perform at The Orange Peel and about 27 other musical street performs every day. We walked the waterfall that Katniss  Everdeen walked in the Hunger Games. We drove miles and miles of mountains and walked miles and miles of city. There as quite a bit of bourbon and red wine, too. I took about 1,200 photos. And in all of that, the story began to reveal itself.

I am almost 30,000 words in now. I am a big believer in revising. The first draft is all about meeting these people. You have to meet them and then decide how and where, they will have what kind of sex. And then, I have to decide how I’ll destroy them and finally how (and if) they’ll save each other. On examining my first drafting style it seems I let my characters be very lovely to each other for awhile. I need a lot of words to fall in love with them before I can load them down in conflict. I’m there now. The pain is starting to flow. We are all bleeding on the page.  I think I’m enjoying it a little more than they are though.

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I looked back at my Freeing The Pain post to remember what it was like with Circling. I have to say this is an intense process. My sleep is effected, my day job work focus is for crap. This is truly all consuming. There are very few people on the earth that understand this and it is a little isolating. One of my favorite writer friends has been a bit off the grid. I miss our plot chats. Writers I implore you, appreciate those writer friends who want nothing more than to debate whether you need to mention if your character spits or swallows.

(Too much? – I certainly hope so. XOX)

 

Writers, Please Advise

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Hello Fellow Writers,

I am hoping for your sage advice on finishing my novel. The notion of writing THE END is very complicated for a former editor.  My revisions have continued and my book has increased another 13,000 words.  I want to develop my characters further and further. The plot becomes more in depth.  The narrator has more to say. The setting descriptions can become more sensory.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I can’t seem to let go.

I am heading to Asheville in two weeks on a research and inspirational pilgrimage for my second novel. My goal was to have Circling completely wrapped before that new adventure begins.  I really like finishing one thing before moving on to the next.  Now I am wondering if I am doing Circling a disservice by forcing the end according to my arbitrary timeline. Or am I metaphorically delaying sending my baby away.

I truly can not decide. I am considering setting Circling aside to “breathe” while embarking on the first draft of my next project. My concern is that I’ll never “get back in” if I walk away and enter a new world.

Please advise writers friends.  Finish it now or let it rest? How do you ever let a book go?