The muse and I hit the road again tomorrow; therefore…
1.) No blog on Sunday.
2.) Postings of the blog Monday thru next Saturday will be erratic in their timing. They should all happen but good luck to you guessing the hour.
3.) The Hushing Days will once again be tied to the backburner. I don’t suppose the manuscript will be very happy about this. Expect piteous cries.
As the laborious editing of my 18th novel continues, I have come to regard each of the book’s twenty-odd chapters as characters all their own.
You see, in my mind, final edits should simply be a case of dolling scenes/chapters/etc. up. You know, making them look good for company (i.e. agents, publishers, and the like).
Chapter Fourteen had to rock its hound-dog appearance.
Chapter Eight will be decked out in the finest party duds.
Chapter Nine is sporting a parka and mukluks.
And the Prologue went 18th century Twiggy.
When all these fine “characters” come together, it will hopefully be one heck of a party. A shindig any reader would feel happy to lose a night to.
Bottom line: Do whatever works for you to get the darn book done… even if it means playing a little dress-up.
Just to be clear (and one must always try to be sparkling clear about such things or psychiatrists make even more furious little scribbles in their notebooks about you), the new meds are not working.
Not one iota.
Not a smidge, not a skoch, not a wee little bit.
My obsessive worry about patently unworriable things is just as keen as ever.
Tomorrow will be my last day on this trial run. Therefore, tomorrow will be my last day of popping that particular pill.
Well, not good exactly, but it’s all fine. I’ve been living this way for twenty-odd years, let’s give another twenty a go.
As my editing of The Hushing Days has reached a vexing bipolar stage (where despair morphs into glee at the drop of an ill-placed prepositional phrase) I am mixing things up a bit today. Oh, the edits will still have plenty of manic-depressive hours to whittle away at my sanity this day, I just plan to intersperse a spot of chili-making into the yo-yoing process.
Onions, carrots, peppers, adobo sauce, beef and three kinds of beans will all be called into duty. My Dutch Oven stands at the ready. Cumin and oregano are locked and loaded. My whole arsenal of culinary talents are being drafted into action to prove to myself and all that Chloe Stowe can do something sane, right and good!
*pauses, reads over the post, winces*
The utter silliness of my life stuns even me sometimes.
If I ever, ever get it in my fool head again to write a story about six brothers instead of let’s say the manageable two or three, please slap me silly.
Lock me in a cupboard amongst the canned peas.
Tackle me to the floor and bind my fingers together with gorilla glue.
Wrestle me into a hoop skirt and stuff me up the chimney.
Tie me to a tree in the front yard, slather me with honey and call in the bees.
Whatever it takes, just stop me!
Every blog this old in the tooth (we’re on our 3rd year now of daily posts) should really have a mission statement. Some kind of brief synopsis explaining to the uninitiated why the blogger does blog so devotedly. Nothing fancy, mind you. Just something concise and straight to the point. (No rolling your eyes at that. I can do concise. I can.)
So, as Year Three begins on The Words and Madness here is my mission statement. Fair warning: it may surprise some of you.
Mental illness can be an excruciatingly lonely disease. Most suffer it in silence. The stigma attached to confessing such an illness often seems too damning to bear…
So, this blog hopes to offer company to those quiet ones. A daily, often kooky reminder that there are others flapping about in the crazy waters with you. There is an author by your side, one who finds comfort in babbling about her writing career (the only true normalcy she can find in this life).
Company is this blog’s priority.
Comfort with the occasional surprised smile is this blog’s hope.
Post Note: I feel completely too full of myself right now. Delusions of grandeur, anyone?
Well, the Prologue to The Hushing Days has been completed.
If you’re expecting an exclamation point at the end of this statement you’re about 10 hours too late.
Let me explain.
While I will never, ever be truly satisfied with any opening gambit in any of my novels (perfectionist and psychiatrist-proven worry wart here, remember?), I was appropriately excited to get that prologuian beast off my back. Exclamation points were truly everywhere.
I felt so cocksure of myself that I even celebrated by browsing international real estate sites and drooling. I only dare do this when my writing is going so well that I can believe, for a fleeting moment or two, that someday I will make money enough to house shop.
This joy lasted approximately 3 hours –until my brain finally caught up with my soaring heart.
Ice water was tossed.
And that exclamation point was rubbed hastily out of existence.
But if you look really, really close and hold the paper just right, a stubborn shadow of my excitement can still be found.
My heart, you know, is quite a gritty scrapper.
With the end of the month hiding in tomorrow’s shadows, readying a caustic “Gotcha! January’s done, what have you done?”, we should really take this time to objectively review this month’s writing accomplishments. Evaluate what worked well, what didn’t work at all, and what worked but was a heck of a pain. Perhaps some kind of flow chart could be drawn up?
We could just concentrate on today’s work.
While writing is all about reflection, either fictional or factual, the writing craft is wary of mirrors.
Post Note: I have no idea what any of this means. It just popped into my head, sounded kind of wise, so I went for it. Apologies are probably in order. If so, you have them in spades.
I have either channeled a brilliant strategist or chickened out altogether.
The Prologue in The Hushing Days requires a fight/battle/all-out-scrum between 18th century soldiers.
Alas, I am not a writer of scrum. At least not a very good one. Practice makes perfect, I suppose, but scrums with muskets are surprisingly rare in most contemporary romance. Pity, that.
Anyhow, I’ve decided to avoid putting fight to word completely. Instead, I am having a panicked character remember the fight (and retell it to the reader) in bright, angry flashes of memory. Hence, the plot points get across without the audience getting bogged down in useless detail. (This being a prologue, one must avoid bogging at all costs.)
Strategist or chicken? You decide.
I’m leaning toward some kind of feathery spawn, myself.