Well, long time, no see. It seems that I have neglected my blog once again. And I’ve grown tired of making apologies for my lack of posting and making unfulfilled promises of more writing to come. This is just what you get when you follow this blog; sporadic posts (at best) and long lapses. But, I do promise that when I do write, I will try to entertain and/or inform to the best of my ability. I’m not going to mail in a post for the sake of throwing some words on here. If I have something to say, I’ll say it, but if I don’t… I’ve had so much happen over the time since I last posted that I almost don’t know where to start, so I’ll go at it my favorite way, and the way I live my life…ADD style. Whatever comes to mind first gets written first. Try to keep up.
The thing that prompted this post was my book. Yes, I am still writing that thing. It actually might be the biggest contributor to my lack of writing on the blog for the past six months. I have always used this blog as a kickstarter for my fiction writing when things weren’t going well, or when I would get stuck on an idea or situation. So, I guess the lack of blog posts could be construed as a good thing. The book is actually going along better than it has in a while, which is due to a couple of factors.
The first is my new writing group, Authors Anonymous. I put this group together, with a couple friends from a creative writing class, back in October as a way to keep me on schedule with my writing, and to have people to critique my writing. They have been invaluable to my process. (Thank you, AA!) ((That was a sentence I never hoped I’d write. At least, it was in a good context this time.))
The second reason is a personal one, but it might be the best tidbit you have ever gotten out of this blog. If I ever start doing writing lectures, I think this will be my focal point. Learn to listen to yourself as a writer. That might sound simple, but it may be one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned early on in my writing career. Sometimes it is harder than others. You can usually tell by reading your work if it’s crap. If you’ve read any at all (which you must to write), then you know what is good and what is bad. That’s the easy one. It becomes hard when good writing masks a bad idea, and that’s when you really have to listen. I’ll give you the example that brought me to this epiphany.
My book begins in 1965, just after Hurricane Betsy has ravaged the Mississippi Delta region. Think Katrina, only bigger and badder. This was the first hurricane to cause over a billion dollars damage, which is over $10 billion in 2013 dollars. One of the main characters is fighting his way down for his uncle’s funeral which is happening almost immediately. I was loving my dialogue, and the new character I introduced, but something still wasn’t right. It didn’t hit me until I was reading some more about Betsy and the aftermath. When I read that it took some residents of New Orleans up to 10 days to return to their homes after the storm, I knew what my inner writer was trying to tell me all along; even though my writing was good, the characters actions made no sense within the setting that they were given. I made the necessary adjustments and now I have fallen in love all over again with my book. Well, almost…
There has been this long lying nagging feeling about the title. I love the double (or triple) entendre of the beautiful secret, but I feel that the title might be beating the reader over the head with the fact that there are secret that you need to look for. So, there is a new working title… Bayou Dawn. It conveys the secrets and mystery of the delta with its dark swampy areas and voodoo mythology, as well as the hope and newness of the dawning of a new day. Of course, as a visual writer, I had to make a new book cover.
Well, this update has turned into a couple posts. I’ll start the other (and more important update) later. As for now, I’ll leave you with the quote that has caused a lot of the slow down on the blog and the refocus on my novel…
Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing. ~E. L. Doctorow
So, blame my lack of blogging on Doctorow.