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Last week I had to remind myself again. It seems a weekly occurrence for this thick-skulled writer.

Don’t get stuck on the missing details.

This is the first draft. I am building the skeleton around the heart. The sinew and other organs can be added later. It is not going to be a complete, fully-functioning work on the first pass-through. I am not that writer. Do I look like S.E. Hinton? No.

Write what you know now. The rest will come.

As I am writing each scene, more snapshots of future scenes and future moments in this scene reveal themselves. Maybe that’s why it takes three hours to write one scene. ๐Ÿ™‚ (How many hours to write my first draft?)

I already know some written scenes will not be in the final manuscript. And I know some that will likely be combined. But that’s good. Some scenes are only meant for the writer: to deepen my understanding. They feed the story. They feed the writer. They are the pieces digested and turned into bone and muscle.

It will all come together: after the 4th, 5th, 6th….17th, 23rd, 31st draft. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am a builder, a laborer. Not a finger-snapping magic wielder. I have the privilege of being a sojourner in my characters’ land, and I want to experience each scrape, each slide, each fight.

I love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

This first draft. It will be a gruesome thing to behold: flesh here and there, bones exposed, fractures, organ pieces pulsing. But that heart will be beating.


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6 Minutes

When I’m at work, I focus on work. When I’m home, I focus on writing. I was following this pattern on Tuesday morningย at work. Problems were being solved. But, more than I realized.

When I reached for a drink of water, I found another part of my brain was still concentrated. I could feel it straining. I was confused. What problem was I trying to solve now? I was in between work problems. Oh well, drink over – on to the next work problem.

A couple hours later, as I walked toward the restrooms, I felt it again. What was this pressure? Was I forgetting an important task? It was bothering me now. Still, I ignored it when I arrived back at my desk. I had work problems to solve, goals to achieve. If it was a work task I had forgotten about, I would remember when it was ready to share with me.

Lunch time. I walked to the kitchen. The concentration continued. I felt it as soon as I set my work aside. And then an idea was thrown to the center stage of my mind.

It was a potential answer – not one I would accept, but it might lead to a viable option – to a question I had asked myself the night before:

Where was He heading?

More like a series of questions. What was my ending? I had one previously, but things had changed. Before I started the middle segment of the book, I needed to reaffirm and re-alize my ending.

It hit me in a rapid, multi-crash wave. My subconscious mind was working on my novel problem while my conscious mind focused on my work problems.

Throughout the afternoon, every time I reached for my water, I felt that pressure. But now I smiled. I let my subconscious mind work on my novel while I did my job. I accomplished my goal for the work day, working toward the two week goal.

I called my grandmother on my drive home and spoke with her briefly. After we hung up, the snapshots of multiple scenes came fast and vibrant. I had my ending. I knew where he was going. I was elated. My subconscious had answered the question. (Our brains truly are incredible.)

I glanced at the clock after I parked the car. 6 Minutes. It had only been 6 minutes since I hung up with my grandmother.

I replayed and developed the snapshot scenes as I walked up to my 3rd floor apartment with a smile on my face. I fed my cat (crazy cat lady, yes), and then sat down and wrote for an hour and a half, before taking a break to feed myself.

I feel so blessed to experience this discovery – to create.



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Surprised Again


I thought I knew who she would see, but suddenly it was not. It was someone new. This added a whole new dynamic.

Sometimes writing is like unveiling a painting of many colors. Each addition is a new color unlocked. It stretches from its initial discovery, and I gaze in wonder at all the places it fills and the colors it blends with – completing the painting that much further.

And, speaking of color, I amย soย ready for spring.

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Innocence to Import

I surpassed my writing quota yesterday, which was great, as I undershot the day before that. Sitting down to write continuously – rather than jotting down notes or writing different scenes (of which I have pages filled) – never fails to remind me just how little those filled pages are compared the enormity and complexity of the story. I see all the white spots – all the Unknown. It’s exciting, but daunting, if one dwells. But then, that’s only if I look at all the work yet to be done as if I needed to do it in one day. Instead of seeing it for what it is: a wonder-filled journey of discovery. Every day filled with possibilities.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon something unexpected. Nothing monumental, but still a mystery and a thrill. You see, I knew this place existed – had known for a few days about this one place in particular. But I did not know the main character actually entered. Once she did, I was perplexed. Now, what would she be doing in here? What could she be after? Confused, though I was, I continued writing. And then, there she stood: a new character. Again, nothing huge. Just a moment in Main’s life. I admit, I was curious about this new woman. Writing the exchange, I could see purpose in it, but nothing Main would not store deep in a closet of memory, probably never to open again. And then it happened. One line and the atmosphere changed. It was no longer merely an innocent, every-day (or, every other day) exchange. Suddenly, it was personal.

One thing I was fairly certain of: Main would remember this woman. This was a moment to remember, and someone to wonder about, here and there, over the years.

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Losing Myself Behind the Walls of Music

I love looking back over my music playlist to see the places I lost myself in another world. Most common when I’m writing – as I often listen to music to block out other noises – but occasionally I get caught up reading while my music is on. Sometimes it’s just short segments: “Didn’t hear that song.” Sometimes I’ll find I’ve missed a long line of songs. This time – reading rather than writing – I found that for the past 45 minutes I have heard part of every other song, almost exactly. Just one segment where I missed 2.5 songs in a row.

When I’m writing I generally hear one song per 45 minutes, or sometimes part of a song every 30. The familiar songs fulfill their purpose: blocking the noise by allowing my mind to relax so far into their memorized path that I am completely unaware of it. Creating my writing closet with walls of music.

I don’t know why this interests me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m a strange one.


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The Journey Continues


I love this journey.

I have been back to writing steadily for more than a week. Back in the thick of the journey. It’s incredible. I love when the unexpected happens. Love it when my expectations are completely wrong. I love when my characters surprise me, especially when it’s two main characters that surprise me. This is the beauty of writing.

The characters know how to write their story far better than I. And I love it when they take over. I love that feeling: when my eyes are following the words my pen writes, listening and watching my characters, and my eyebrows flick up in surprise or I have to smile in admiration at one or more characters. I love it when they surprise me, and I have a feeling they love to surprise me. Like: “Bet you didn’t see this coming.” “Bet you didn’t know this.”

Their version is so much better. It fits better. It is the real story….What I want to uncover.

Happy to be discovering. ๐Ÿ™‚



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So I plunged back into my book yesterday. To actually writing and brainstorming on paper rather than just contemplating. Yesterday I was cementing the culture of the book more firmly in my mind. (Reading history books is excellent stimulation.) But today a new scene started playing in my mind. An emotional and telling scene for the protagonist.

Listening and transcribing what she was saying during an emotional outburst, and thinking about the truth in her admissions, I found myself, yet again, saying: what the heck am I thinking? I can’t write something like this. Well, I can, but how can I publish it? Is the world ready for something like this? Can they accept a character like this?

I know some can (like me), but the majority? Will they misunderstand her and abuse her with their false beliefs? Can they see and accept the darkness and the light at the same time? Will they believe her: that these two extremes exist in one person?

I know that other characters may share versions of different traits and struggles, but none are her. None have her combination. I don’t know any like her. So there’s no one to be the guinea pig. No one to test the market. And those characters that I think could identify with her and be friends with her…Well, I’m not sure how the rest of the world feels about them.

She’s closer than a daughter, and closer than a friend. Our relationship is different than either, and my feeling-levels vary from those presets. She’s in a category of her own. I am protective of her, and yet so very proud of her. But can readers possibly catch a glimpse of what I see?

I’m the only thing between her and the world, and the only one that can bring her to the world. I am the river and the bridge. I can’t cover parts of her because readers may ridicule her for it, or simply misunderstand her, which is so much worse. She wants to be honest with the world, and I must let her.

So today, I resisted the urge. I let her say everything she felt, and I wrote it unabridged, though I did cringe on occasion. Not because I dislike it, but because it goes against every protective instinct I have to let her be so transparent. But I did it. And I determined yet again (you see, I go through this battle quite often) that I must write the entire book this way. I can’t muffle her. The readers can either accept her or not. They can love her or not. But she will be real. It must be unabridged.

I hope, one day, you get to love her as I do. ๐Ÿ™‚


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