Thursday, July 23, 2009

Writing and Avoiding the Hospital

Siren's Song, which by the way has been whirring along about as quickly as my fingers can type, hit a major roadblock. At first it wasn't an obvious roadblock. I wrote Chapter Five. Then I deleted it as it bogged down and didn't go where it needed to to fulfill the outline. Again I got my page count. Next day, poof.

It took me awhile to realize the stagnant pool that I was swimming in and that I was going no where with this scene.

In quiet desperation, I did what I rarely did and let the characters take over. I was surprised when a character who was not even supposed to be in this scene turned out to be pivotal. Then he took over the scene, got it going where it was supposed to go and fixed the whole muddle it was in. Staring in shock at the completed bit that was exactly on track again with the original outline, but totally shocking to me, the author and supposedly all knowing being in this world, I again was left wondering about something I have seen other writers wonder about.

When we are truly telling the story, when it truly has us as it is supposed to, are we the vehicle for our characters, the storyteller, the creator, or are we just hanging on to our seats like the reader, listening with some internal voice going, "Oh, that's what he wants to do!" And when we are listening quite quietly enough, still enough, then and only then, will the story reveal itself to us???

Or are we making it up as we go along?

Ah, sometimes it is both, isn't it?

Anyway, onto the non-fiction end of my world... I am still sick, darn it all. The mean, old doctor (My doctor is neither mean, nor old, if you want accuracy in reporting. He actually puts one in the mind of a pirate and is quite nice. However as he is the one that orders people to come at you with pokey things and other torture devices and pills and such, Mean and Old in this case were suggestive of my feelings toward medicine in general, not towards my nice, young, pirate-looking doc. Sorry, doc) requested more tests, which, by the way, are far too degrading for me to even list. As I am in very nearly excruciating pain tonight, I am sure I probably should have gotten said tests at the hospital today, as ordered. However... yeah, I didn't. Again, I reiterate, exceptionally degrading tests. Instead, I filled the prescription he gave me (only 24 hrs later than he requested) and started the meds (about 34 hrs later than he requested) and hopefully the pain will subside. (Because he is a pirate and I am sure, even without testing, the medicine I don't want to take, but have finally started taking will work.

But the kids have loved having me home. We have finished reading aloud Odd Stuff and all that I have written on Sirens and they are chomping at the bit for me to finish Sirens and Blood. However they have conceded (grudgingly) that perhaps I can only be expected to produce a chapter or so a day. Per book.

If I ever become a terribly famous writer and am given deadlines, I feel I will be prepared as no publisher or editor can compare to the kids.

Most mothers have kids who are saying things along the lines of, "Mom, is dinner done yet?"

Not mine. For mine it is, "Mom, Finish the Book!"

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