Back in January of 2014 I started writing what was supposed to be a collection of short, sexy stories. The point was to simply have fun cranking them out and keep the pressure of writing to a minimum. The first sordid tale was about a woman who drifts from one temp job to another, seducing men along the way as a form of entertainment. My goal was to wrap it up in approximately 8,000 words and have it done by April, but it turned out that this new cast of characters had a lot more going on in their lives than I realized. I think I blasted through 8,000 words in about two months, and had no intention of being finished. Unlike my other writing projects, I knew from the very beginning how the plot would unfold and how the story would end. It was a story that simply couldn't be told in 8,000 words. Things took a twist when a minor supporting character stole the spotlight and hijacked the original plot. As a writer, it's always fun when you breathe life into a fictitious person and they prove they've got a mind of their own and that they don't want to do things your way. For a handful of weeks I worked very little on the story and focused on my summer job as a painter for UW Madison. In between patching plaster walls in Elizabeth Waters Hall and painting every single dorm room of Sullivan Hall, I made lots of notes and observations in the meantime. I even managed to write a little here and there during evenings and weekends while still enjoying a substantial amount free time with friends and family.
I took a trip to Maine and New Hampshire, where I stayed on an island and ate my share of chowdah and wicked awesome fresh lobstah!
Here's the view from one of the cottages:
I attended a couple weddings:
Yes, that is an unsupervised child climbing the tent pole at a wedding. He informed me that he's homeschooled right before his little brother spit frosting in my face. Seems like they could use more education in the social skills department, but I'm guessing their parents could as well. I dealt with the situation by putting on a hat and drinking more wine.
I worked on my tan and learned how to drive a pontoon boat:
I finally figured out how to make the perfect peach pie:
I helped a friend during the end of hay season:
Writing can be tough when you have a lot of pressure to wrap up your project, whether it's from outside voices like fans and publishers, or the voice inside your head. That pressure can also make writing feel like a chore, and to me that's the fastest way to kill the creative spirit. Since I began this project with such low expectations, the pressure has been nonexistent. Lack of ideas and lack of direction was never a problem with my current work in progress; only a lack of time. Instead of giving myself a set deadline and wringing my hands about finishing this new novel, I've kept in mind that writing is about the journey, not the destination.
I'll get there when I get there.