Christmas has come and gone, and so have both my decorations and my health. Now before you all start attacking me for my un-Christmassy spirit, let me lay it all out for you: new baby, new house after 10 months of bumming off family, hard-core Holiday season. (We were “smart” and moved the WEEK of Thanksgiving. Brilliance, I know.) Add on to all of that a cleanliness complex and the intense desire to see my living room without looking through a billion nutcrackers I had no other place for, and you might begin to get an understanding of why everything came down FAST. I mean, I literally finished college, came home, became a stay-at-home mom because that sounded fun, and spent the next week trying to cook a myriad of cookies with the four-year old for Christmas presents, because “that’s cheaper.” Lies. Alllll lies. Next year, people will get a craft from the boys and be happy with it. So there!
All that said, the stress and insanity have led to that age-old bane of winter: the Drippy Nose Cold. I’m not quite sure how to survive. My bathroom trash cans are over-flowing with wadded up tissues, my nose runs like Niagara Falls every time I slightly test gravity, and I think I pulled a muscle in my neck from sniffing. How’s that for a trip to the doctor’s? “Doc, I need some of the good stuff. I’ve pull a muscle in my neck and can’t see straight.” “Alright, how’d you do it? Car accident? Slept wrong? Wrestled polar bears?” “Ah…no… I sniffed too much.” I can just hear my mother telling me to go blow my nose. Doesn’t she understand, though, that you can only blow your nose so many times before a.) you are living in the bathroom blowing your nose every 5 seconds or b.) your nose turns into a massive bloody appendage worthy of a Kleenex commercial.
Alas, life must go on. My head may feel like a gigantic melon, my cheeks might feel full of rocks. My nose may be an endlessly dripping facet of nasty, and I might use up all the tissues and toilet paper in the house, but life must go on. So, I valiantly head forward, back into the melee, armed with a roll of Charmin and my trusty Lysol. If I fail to re-emerge, send in the foot patrol. I might need some Dayquil or something. Maybe, JUUUUUST maybe, if I survive, I’ll share a little of the chapters I’ve edited. Maybe. IF I survive.
We writers (and artists in general) know that true art is an expression of ourselves. Whether it be a commission or a free-flowing piece, there must be that little grain of something that says, “This is who I am.”
I’d lost that with “Calypso.” I’d become so focused on the fame and the finish line that I lost sight of why I was writing in the first place: to tell a story. I’d lost my connection to Kira in my multiple attempts to make her more intriguing. I’d lost my connection to the romance and mystique in my failed efforts to create more drama. I’d worn myself out trying to match the political intrigue and mind-games that some of the Greats achieve. I’d lost myself.
I would love to tell you that it’s all better now, but that wouldn’t be true. Perhaps this is any writer’s struggle, the tug between how you want the characters to sound and how you keep your connection to them. I don’t know. I know very few writers who have openly said that they struggle to connect. I can tell you that it is getting better. As I stop demeaning myself, I’m beginning to see the qualities of Kira that are also in me. Rather than seeing myself in the weak, whining, scared child who was my first incarnation of Kira, I can see myself in the overly-righteous, stubborn, logical Kira that is beginning to form. I am finding my connection again.
This may seem trivial to many of you who read this blog. I know it’s not the usual topic I blog about (not that I’ve been blogging much lately), but it’s a major part of my journey. On top of that, if I’m struggling with this I’m sure some other writer somewhere out in the void is having the same problem.
If you are, take heart. Step back and examine what is wrong. Why can’t you connect? What part of your character is blocking you? I’ve been amazed by the complexity of the human spirit. I can at once be the self-effacing girl-child that I first wrote freely, but I can also be the strong leader that is now beginning to flow. Hopefully, the revelation or the struggle helps someone. Otherwise, I’ll be content with discovering more about myself.
Today is the third day of school and my brain is finally feeling rejuvenated! Call it boredom, call it focus, call it nerd-dom, but I always feel better when I’m in a classroom. There is something amazing, something nearly magical, about a classroom. Ideas are exchanged, facts are taught, knowledge is imbued. Ah… I love it! I’m strange, I know, but I always have a secret countdown going in my mind for any new semester.
With the return of school also comes guilt-free access to libraries. Guilt-free access to libraries brings quiet, peaceful, clutter-free spaces. Quiet, peaceful, clutter-free spaces promotes writing! (And I feel that I should credit my 8th grade logic teacher for that lovely flow, regardless of the missing “therefore.)
I’m excited! Are you excited? Not only will Puck be progressing past the chapters I’ve already written, but Calypso shall slowly become more polished as well. Unfortunately, I missed my goal for 2012 of having Calypso out to agents by December, but 2013 is a new year! Today is a new day! Optimism! Yay! (Not sure where this energy is coming from… The espressos have abandoned me for months, so this must just be EXCITEMENT!)
If you’re not acquainted with Puck yet, shame on you. Based off a story I wrote for a BookRix contest months ago, it follows the rather ordinary life of Rebekkah As-Yet-Not-Last-Named, her spunky best friend Joe (and his collection of v-neck shirts and paranormal paraphernalia), her shape-shifting cat guardian, and a rather attractive man determined to ruin love across the globe. Interested? Check it out at my sister blog site, sgrickettsonline.wordpress.com. Chapter 3 will be up on Friday. If you love it, share it with your friends. If you hate it, please keep hateful posts to a mildly-spitting minimum. (Free speech and all, but seriously… Your bad ju-ju will rub off, and that will make me cry.)
I decided to do the crazy and start a web serial of my own to allow y’all a little more reading material (albeit INCREDIBLY slowly) while you wait for Calypso to head to agents and publishers all around. (Hopeful thinking creates realities, right?) Think of it as a benevolent advertisement. We all benefit: you have a story to read and the time to agonize over what Rebekkah will do next or what delectable creation will come out of Joe’s mind next (Recipes for both the white chocolate mocha and the creation in the posted chapters will be going up.) and I gain a larger readership to join those of you fabulous enough to already be following me. A win-win, I’d say. But, I need your help in order to accomplish it. I can post blogs all day long and no one might read them. You, as the reader, are invaluable. If you like a post or you like Puck or Calypso, share it on Facebook. Tweet it. Do any of the other number of sharing options you can. DON”T steal it and say it’s your own. I will hunt you down and cut off your fingertips.
Consider this: the larger the crowd the blogs draw, the better I look to potential agents and publishers. It’s much easier to promote a book that people already want than one no one’s heard of. And who doesn’t love a great alien love story/survival tale?
Anyway, enough of my blabbering. Welcome to 2013! Check out Puck. Keep your fingers crossed that my A.D.D. allows me to edit Calypso. Read a book as often as possible. And… Drink more coffee!