A show of promises came in doubles yesterday when a rainbow formed over my emerging daffodils–an ancient symbol of promise for better days along with my own floral symbol of promise for spring light pushing back the darkness of winter.
The daffodils haven’t quite opened yet, but these brave flowers have stood tall through a lot of unusually cold days. I’m at 600 feet above sea level so I’m a little colder than the valley floor, but mine are on their way.
Here come the first ones today on a balmy afternoon. Almost there.
By next week I expect they’ll be in full bloom as I sit down to begin writing my new book. I’ll take that for a promise. May the book be a good one. The actual writing is always exciting for me. I appreciate the show of hope nature provides.
A good crowd turned out for my talk at the Roseburg writers group meeting this week. Thanks to my friend Heather Villa for snapping a photo.
I appreciated the friendly reception and the interaction during our lively Q & A afterward. This being a group of writers, the discussion delved into the writing process.
Every author develops some kind of process for writing a book, and when asked about my own I tried to describe what isn’t so much a daily regimen but a progression through the various stages of the project.
I don’t write every day. I need to take in a lot of information before I’m ready to write a novel.
This could be compared to breathing. Inhale before exhaling.
As a writer of historicals much of that inhaling is research. Read about my subject. Imagine my characters interacting in worlds I discover. Read other novels to see what other authors do. Visit places. Soak in the smells, the sensations. Open myself to the ideas that will come in if I let them. Listen to my muse.
Scribble down what comes. That’s writing of a sort. Exhaling as I go. Some of those notes may find their way into the final pages, word for word.
Eventually I’ll reach the stage where the flood of ideas must be brought to some pattern, an arc of storytelling that will lead me through from beginning to middle to end. Once that’s organized–and yes, I do outline–the story spills out. Then I’m fully breathing out the air I’ve been breathing in. The long exhale.