Status Update: NO CHANGE
So yeah, I took a week off. The last time I typed a single word was last Saturday.
I don’t feel bad about it. Not at all.
I got a lot of ‘other’ things done and I came up with a different approach that I think will put me back on track.
So first, a rundown of the ‘other’ things…
I had cleanings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – all of which Emily came with me to. On Tuesday we had Story Time at the library and the shopping afterward and more shopping that evening. After my cleaning on Monday we drove over to a house in Raymore where the husband had lost his job and they ended up losing their house. They are moving to Utah and she is an avid crafter. I got tons of craft supplies, most of which I didn’t really want. So on Tuesday morning I went through everything and took 3/4 of it to Goodwill. The rest of the week was spent going through what I had kept and squirreling it away.
One of the things was an easel, which I transformed into a chalkboard for Emily…
Which matches the paint in her ‘garden room’. This also brought to my attention the little red rocker. Which used to look like this…
But Emily took it outside at one point and the paint began to flake. So I painted it and it now looks like this:
Which has made me eye the rest of her room and think, “I really need to finish the project I started last year.” Which I think I will do over the next couple of weeks. I might add more to the blackboard as well. I’m thinking of ‘framing’ the blackboard in little flowers and then also writing the names of famous artists on the purple painted board below. Finishing her room will include finishing the counting theme I started and also expanding into her closet and including that section for the wall paint and counting theme with creatures.
I’ve also figured out what I want to do with my office, which is in desperate need of painting. I want to paint all of the walls blue, similar to the ‘picture’ wall already there and then do a mural, a tree with birds and flowers on it.
Ambitious? Yes. Achievable? Definitely.
We won’t get into the living room and master suite that also needs painting. Let’s just say I’ve got a lot of painting projects coming up.
This weekend will be full. I have a Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme class to teach and also a coaching call at 8pm. Tomorrow I will paint and possibly garden, and I have a 30 minute coaching call at 5:40 pm. I still plan to write, though, which brings me to say, enough of the other things. Let’s talk about that different approach!
So my problem was this: I still didn’t have a complete handle on the plot for Book 1. Big problem? No, not really. At least not according to Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and author of “No Plot? No Problem!” Now that’s a great title and so appropriate for the problem at hand. Chris writes in the Introduction to the book about the lessons he learned in the first years of running NaNoWriMo, (which by the way, I fully intend to participate in this year) that “Plot Happens.” And I believe this, I truly do. Another good lesson he shared right before that is “Being busy is good for your writing.” And I could not agree more with this.
I LOVE writing, I truly do. But I also love my garden, and teaching classes and spending time with my daughter and doing projects around the house. For others it may seem to be a frenetic pace, but damn it, I’m determined to manage to do everything I love and not miss a minute of life and living.
But back to the problem at hand. Where to go next? I realized that it was actually two things stopping me – the ‘rule-breaking’ of having a schoolhouse in a medieval town (and a Victorian schoolhouse at that!) and the fact that I didn’t have a fully realized plot. Both of these things combined stopped me dead in my tracks.
The situation reminded me a lot of when I was writing “War’s End” and the time had come to kill off a major character. The thought of her dying, and all of its bloody finality, flummoxed me for weeks. How could I kill her? I liked her! But she had to die, and I had to learn to kill off people who I liked to move the story forward. So instead of writing the death scene right away, I wrote the moments up to it and the moments and day directly after. In essence, I killed her bloodlessly, then finally, after I had done the deed, went back through flashbacks and showed how she had died.
So I’m going to do something like that with Book 1 – I’m going to write the action scene, the destruction of the thing that is the source of the illness and death. Then I can write backward and explain it. I am essentially skipping forward, as I did soon after I began Book 1, in which I wrote the end of Book 1. And that is what I will do here. I’m simply skipping forward a few chapters and writing the conflict scene which I think will help me with the details leading up and away from it.
Convoluted? Confusing? No worries, I think I can do this and when I do it will make sense to me, and eventually to you, the reader. By the way, I just set a Task in Outlook to remind me of NaNoWriMo and wrote this in the Notes section:
2,000 words per day
How about a funny novel? Have fun with this, go for it!
Start it with this:
It was a dark and stormy night. Well, actually, it was a warm and sunny day in Florida.
Here is another thing I’ve been thinking of. When I told Dave I had twelve books he asked, “How long is it going to take you to write these?!” A reasonable question when you consider that “War’s End” has taken about twelve years of on and off (mostly off) writing. He actually suggested I put out one every three months, which I kind of rolled my eyes and scoffed at when he said it. But you know what? I think he may have a point. I think that, if I can manage 1,000 words a day I could have a book completed in about four months. Four and a half months with editing and six if things were slower than I would like.
Now that is an ambitious goal. I’m actually proposing having the entire series done in less than six years, possibly as little as four. Impossible? No. Probable? Probably it will be longer.
So now I leave you. I have a house to clean and food to prep for the PSRT class.