It’s New Year’s Eve at ten o’clock in the morning. It’s sunny outside and 32 degrees. I brought in the hummingbird feeder last night and put it back out this morning. Yesterday I failed to do so and it was frozen solid by morning. Today I’m being a better bird person. (Please do not call me a hypocrite for feeding the hummers and hating the heron. The heron ATE MY FISH!! Including my very own Big Guy, may he rest in peace. To my way of thinking, hummers are cute and herons are evil!)
From my interactions with readers, many non-writers out there seem to be under the impression that writing gets easier as you go along. This is NOT true.
The book I’m currently working on has been a struggle. For one thing, I discovered that dealing with the chronic pain of a three month long ordeal with bursitis is not good for locating and tuning in to your muse. So that kept things from going smoothly.
The book is supposed to be a combo mystery, a joint investigation that features two of my sets of stock characters, ones from Brandon Walker’s world as well as ones from J.P. Beaumont’s. It was also supposed to be called Stand Down. The problem was, for months, I could barely get those two guys to speak to each other to say nothing of speaking to ME! Finally the other night, during the kind of restless, wrestling-with-the-devil type agony that usually comes at the END of a book, I realized what was wrong. Which brings me to a story—an illustration of the difficulty, if you will.
Years ago, Bill’s and my first Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door trip was a twenty-one day excursion in France. While there we visited Hotel Dieu, an ancient medieval hospital in Beaune. Walking into the main room, I saw that the far wall was covered by a huge tapestry that included a battlefield horse. It wasn’t until I was right next to the tapestry that I realized one of those magnificent horses had lost a leg. It hadn’t fallen over yet, but it was doomed all the same.
And that was what I realized was wrong with the book I was writing—it was a three-legged horse, limping along on a fractured set of points of view. So this week, I’ve removed one troublesome storyline and put it into a novella. It’s the part of the story that gave the book it’s title, so the novella is now called Stand Down. It’s a major piece of Beau’s and Mel’s story. Yes, Beau will still be working with Brandon Walker on the original case, but with all the action that was such a distraction from the main storyline out of there!
That new book doesn’t have a name yet, but it will have. I’m excited to go to work on it. I have all the pieces, and now I’m sure I can bring them together.
Happy New Year, folks. I will NOT be taking New Year’s Day off!