Sweat plasters my hair down and cools the ridge along my spine. Two miles went by in 36 minutes but the sky's smoky haze has wormed into my throat again, turning it scratchy and causing sinus congestion. All worth it if wearying to begin my writing day.
I'm at the gathering stage of the writing moment. Walking down here, I've adopted my evolved methodology to begin writing in my head. "Okay, where am I?" I ask the muses, referring to the current novel in progress. It's still 'Everything in Black and White', BTW. The muses responded, "Talon is in the Marriott with the rescues. Cassidy is battling Death." Passages swim up. More small details of the rescue are to be added. Greater verisimilitude for the scene I'll begin today emerges. I take it from there.
The evolved methodology was demanded because of the longer walks. I'd walk and think about what I was writing. Conditioned to do this in so many minutes because I'd be at my coffee shop by then, I'd be ready to write. But with the current situation, I have another mile to go. Thoughts drift. I've redesigned the master bathroom and need to meet with an architect friend to go over the plans. I'm still ruminating about how to landscape the backyard. I'll hire professionals but I want a vision of what I want before I do. I'm hiring a small company for some small remodeling and repair projects and ordered parts to repair the central vac. Thoughts of family and friends arise. Two friends just lost their sons unexpectedly, 32 and 34 years old. Mom's fiance is going into open heart surgery for aortic valve replacement tomorrow. They recommend Belle live in the nursing home because she can't take care of herself any longer but she's resisting. Jeff's recovering from the stem cell process to treat his brain cancer but is now suffering Bell Palsy. I don't know what's going on with Jon. Our valley's smoke is wreaking havoc on Larry's COPD. That leads to Oregon's warning that we're maxed out on fighting wildfires. If another fire breaks out, we're in trouble.
The new method takes me back into the writing mode. It works well, not just with walking but to squeeze some writing into the day. Sometimes, I don't have the time or place to walk. So the new model was needed. "Okay, where am I?" The muses always answer promptly and diligently, herding my inner writer to the words. As I write a project, I see more and more of it more completely, more fully. It's fascinating and beautiful.
This novel has grown from one to three books, yes, a trilogy. I wrote Talon, Cassidy and Mother Nature's scenes and story in parallel. A month ago, noticing the pattern, I recognized Cassidy and Talon's stories were intertwined and related but could be told separately. I didn't want to do anything hasty, though, and put it into the brain for contemplation. While at a writer conference learning about epublishing, the three panelists remarked that their experience shows it's easier to build sales of a series rather than stand alone novels. This was true for their genres of science fiction, fantasy, and historic fiction. They said the data holds for other genres, for everything except 'literature'. I still didn't split my novel into three. I've made heat of the excitement decisions before and regretted them. I wanted to ensure I thought it through before acting.
The other piece of this is that my wife and I came up with our fictitious business name, the one to be used for my publishing efforts. I was mining my brain for an idea. Nothing uncovered spoke to me. Then my wife called and made a suggestion, mentioning that it had just suddenly come to her. Part of it was already in use so we needed a second part to differentiate it. That came to me a few days later so we've initiated the paperwork to make it ours. 'Dark Red' will be my first book. The current trilogy will be the next. I've begun interviewing copy editors.
Meanwhile, talking with friends about fiction is fascinating, especially with my wife's book club members. They're such intelligent readers, wide read among many genres and topics, with very specific likes and dislikes. I listen to their commentary and apply it to my approach. One confesses that she attempted to write a murder mystery and stopped, stymied about how to go on. She'd reached a point after 28,000 words where she had no idea what to do or where to go next. I cannot fathom that. How can you not know where to go? I always consider that a temporary issue. Ideas spring up. I shop and compare them. Then just begin writing from one. A whole other direction typically leaps up from that.
But here I am, the gathering upon me, excited about where I'm at, what I'm doing, and what I'm writing. I share that excitement with no one else but this blog, these posts, keeping a pretty low profile about it, sharing a little with friends on Facebook and mentioning it in passing when others ask, yes, I'm self publishing, and things are in motion. But mostly, I go about it quietly, not wanting to jinx it, but excited about where I'm at as a writer.
And terrified. The chance always exists that I can't tell a story well, that I'll fail at marketing or publishing, that my efforts will all come to nothing but the trickle of a dream slowly dying. That is life. You never know until you try.
Time to write like crazy, one more time, for if nothing else, it's fun and rewarding. That's why I've always written, to satisfy the reader in me.