Book Two: The Ruby Pendant
Book Two: The Ruby Pendant
Hello Mixed-Up Filers!
How is everybody? I know many of you are saying to yourselves, “Whoa, Jonathan, are you sure it’s time for you to go again? I mean, it’s only been two months since your last post!”
I know! Believe me, I was shocked too. I wasn’t expecting to go before sometime in July. But, since they surprised me and let me go now, here we go.
This is an unusual post, (well, aren’t they all?) in the fact that I am not writing about any books in particular, but just about a state of mind and a process. It actually hit me because of Baseball Spring Training. I love baseball. It’s my favorite sport. So much more strategy than in any other game. People who think otherwise, please don’t write me to disagree, because you’re wrong. But anyway, the thing about baseball and spring training, is that it’s a rebirth. The previous season has died and is no more. So, all the teams technically have a fresh start. As I said, it’s a state of mind. Anything is possible. Now, realistically we know that teams like the Marlins and Astros have zero shot of winning the World Series this year, but in Spring Training, it’s a magical time where we believe that anything is possible. Heck, I even get optimistic about my New York Mets, well that is until the season starts and I come crashing back down to earth and curse the fates for making me a Met fan, but still, we believe that miracles can happen. And why not? That’s what this is about. That’s what I find happening to me with regard to writing.
A rebirth. My rebirth.
Now, I know that New Year’s is usually the time to get that sense of rebirth and new beginnings, but it doesn’t work that way for me. And I think the reason why is because New Year’s is still winter. I know, I know. I live in Florida. The people panic here when it reaches the 50’s, but it IS still winter. Even though it’s more of a state of mind than a grey-sky, cold weather thing, it IS still winter. I mean, we’ve just finished up hearing Christmas songs on the radio and making resolutions, so that frame of mind does exist. But when baseball returns, my mental switch changes. It’s time to get out of the winter doldrums and get a sense of renewal. As I said, a rebirth.
For those who know me, you know that I am an extremely private person. EXTREMELY. I don’t like to share things, especially private things. But, I realize that I did just that in my last post at New Year’s and I am doing it now. It’s because writing is such a personal thing, those natural feelings tend to come out. In the back of my mind, I do realize that other people are going to read this, and knowing my comments section after I post, it’s around one or two other people, but I do know. Still, you can’t help the personal feelings from coming out. So, again for those who know, I had a very down year. Life happens. Issues with the health of my parents, some thisclose misses with writing, and the fact that I was currently working on a dark story, which had a lot more to do with feelings aof concern for my parents than I cared for, sent me to a place where I didn’t write. I just couldn’t. I was in a place where I couldn’t find the inner strength. Inside I knew that those who don’t write have a very difficult time getting published, weird how that works, huh? But I still couldn’t get myself to go. I mean, I didn’t stop entirely, but the passion I always have in losing myself in it, waned.
Until recently. That’s the new season to me. The rebirth. I’ve been sitting and writing and have that spark again. It’s not a psychosomatic thing, or maybe it is, but either way, I again found that passion to lose myself in my stories. And embrace it. It’s spring, a time for new beginnings.
Anything is possible in a rebirth. This is the time. We are made new again. Miracles are possible. It is time to embrace the possibilities once again.
Get back to the story you let go. Get back to the feelings you once had for it. Get the passion back.
This is your time.
Anyone have anything similar? Would love to hear from others about how they revitalize themselves.
I recently hosted a dinner party. Not an easy task for me – especially since “Mom” got added to my title – so I planned it all out and made list after list (my husband would call it obsessive, I call it organized and prepared).
Ingredients for a great dinner party (and how it compares to fiction):
- perfect guest list (characters)
- spotlessly clean house (setting)
- menu complete with drinks, allergy considerations and kid friendly food (plot)
The day arrived. Everything was going smoothly – according to plan.
One hour before the guests were due to arrive my husband received bad news from his family overseas. (Characters in chaos!)
Half an hour before the guests were due to arrive my seven year old had a melt down and tore apart the house. (Scene altered!)
Ten minutes before the guests were due to arrive the power went out. (Dinner was in the oven, so this messed up the plot in more ways than one…)
Did our guests have fun? YES
Did I have fun? Well…
There were moments of worry as we lit candles and then tried kept the kids away from them. There was stress as I pulled pasta out of the freezer to cook on the gas stove and raided my non-working fridge for sauce ingredients. Anxiety as my husband and I listened for the phone in hopes of an update on our hospitalized relative. And every time I tripped over a toy I was reminded that I no longer had control of the situation (and I don’t like losing control).
But… was the evening memorable? YES!!
I think the event would have been successful (and I would’ve had a few less grey hairs) if it had gone according to plan. But it wouldn’t have been as memorable. And probably not as fun. It was the unexpected – the extra stress, the extra tension – that made it special.
So, for my next work of fiction I will plan – characters, setting, plot – but I won’t bother with a detailed outline. I will let it unfold in ways that I don’t expect, no matter how hard the task or how grey the hair.
And hopefully the outcome will be special – more special than anything I could’ve planned on my own.
Yolanda Ridge is the author of Trouble in the Trees (Orca Book Publishers, 2011) and Road Block (Orca Book Publishers, 2012).