Friday, December 02, 2005


We recently posted Marilyn's article called "When the Muse Takes a Hike" in the Playground library. I read it, thought about it, rationalized it, but still find myself in the same pickle I've been in since Reno. My brain is on pause. I've been writing paralyzed since I got the full request. I've always been the kind to write 20 pages in one day, then not write again for three weeks, but this time its serious.

When I signed up for an editor appointment, six months before the conference, I was certain I would be done with my MS. By the time Reno came, I was sadly about 2/3 done. After absorbing all that data from Reno, I had to go back and incorporate what I learned into the story. Since Reno, I've written approximately, oh, say 25 pages. "What??" you say? "Your editor requested the full and you haven't sent it yet??"

Uh, well, yeah, that's about it. I've thought, revised, plotted, added a subplot, etc., but I'm still not done. I told myself that I WILL be done in time to submit to the Golden Heart. No deal. I sent a card to the editor thanking her for the appointment and telling her I was doing some more revisions and would hopefully have it to her early in the new year. Other than that, the file is taunting me from my flash drive.

My characters are silent. My muse apparently on hiatus. The rest of my life is on full speed, however, making the time to sit at the computer and force the words virtually impossible. Excuses. Call it what you will, perhaps the truth is just that I'm afraid. Afraid to finish and send it in. Afraid to get rejected. Afraid to get accepted! I'd build an entirely new playground website to avoid finishing this book. It's horrible. I thought that if I did well in a recent contest that I'd be spurred on. That I would know my book wasn't crap and I could leap in and finish, sending me on my way to publishing stardom. I finished 3rd. Pretty good, but yet the fire hasn't lit.

So here I am. The holidays are barreling towards me. The Inlaws are visiting for Christmas and my house is getting dirtier by the second. My boyfriend and I did some serious engagement ring shopping over Thanksiving sending my mind into a whirled frenzy of wedding thoughts. Work is intensifying, making my brain, which often focuses on my stories as I drive home, focus instead on employee relations issues and training classes. Plenty to keep my mind off Quinn and her dilemma.

In my mind, I can see my brooding Irish hero as he glares at me from time to time, looking at his watch. I don't know why he's so impatient. He's immortal. I'm the one with the time crunch here. Hmmm...blogging...another way for me to avoid writing the book...


Problem Child said...

Ummm, not to state the obvious, but ALEX!!!

We're going to take you off playground duty if you're using it to avoid your ms. (If anyone gets to avoid their ms, it's me, darn it--no one wants to see this one other than my CP).

Now a wedding, well, that would be a different kettle of fish had I heard about the possiblity BEFORE you posted it to the blog. I must insist that all major news be posted privately first.

Third place is GOOD! (Spoken by the person who has yet to final in any contest.)

So, looks like we're plotting (nagging, same thing) Alex at the next gathering.


Maven Linda Winstead Jones said...

Well, Smarty Pants, I don't know whether I should give you a big hug or send you to the corner for time out. Maybe both. **g**

You're letting external crap come between you and your book. When that happens, you lose some (or all) of the joy of writing. Forget the editors, the contests, work, and yes, even engagement rings (for a little while :-)) and finish the damn book. I can tell just from reading your post that you're stewing over all the "what ifs" instead of concentrating on the story itself. That's the only place you have any control, when it comes to this business. The book.

Just tell the story, and then kick back and enjoy all the other stuff for a few days, before it's time to start something else. :-)


Instigator said...

Don't make me use the whip. You know I enjoy it just a little too much. And yep, sounds like we're going to be plotting Alex at our next gathering. If nothing else, discussing the project with four other people who understand might get you excited again (because I think you've got a great story with an interesting twist!!!).

And rings? YEAH!!! The minute you get it you better be calling us all! (ok not the minute but you know what I mean) A wedding on the playground. Now that will be fun :-)


Rhonda said...

Maybe you need to take some quiet time just for yourself......break out some aromatherapy and just relax...let the imagination fill up with ideas. Might work, and if it doesn't at least you will feel a bit more ready for the holiday rush!

Gigi said...

Sounds like you are suffering from a case of just can't get it done. Like in School when you had a paper due and you just keep putting it off until it gets to crunch time.

You just need to wake up tomorrow put everything on hold except your story and start typing. I bet you will surprise yourself with the work you do.
Good luck!