Friday, June 23, 2006

Heat and the Writer

As I turn the air conditioner down another notch and feel guilty, I confess I'm not capable of doing my best work, or any work, for that matter, when my wrists stick to the wrist support and sweat dribbles off my nose onto the keyboard. I fight the hothouse flower syndrome, mostly because I can't stand the transition from hot, humid Southern summer into freezer-cold houses, but now and then I give up. Mostly now I've surrendered to the AC. The year's longest day was just forty-eight hours ago, and I'm ready for fall. For fall planting - there's a mock orange I never got into the ground, and more bulbs I've collected over the past few months - and for the promise of cooler nights and crisper days. The September race that sets the field for the Chase. October in Martinsville, the small track roaring. We'll collect our racin' child from her university and keep up the family tradition of weekends with Nascar. Right now, I'm packing for Daytona and the 400, adding extra sunscreen in the suitcases, loading the tailgating gear.

I thought it was hard to write in the summer when my children were little, but it's just as hard now. I can find a zillion other projects demanding my attention. Hours spent watering the Viette day lilies, the zinnias and geraniums, the pikake and impatiens, weeding the garden and mulching it, are well spent, but not conducive to finishing a book. Sigh. I'll get it done, but only if I can't find any more excuses to pull me away from the office. Now that I've given in to the AC, I can't complain that it's too hot to work at the computer.

But I can worry about the Mountain Laurel I put in the ground two weeks ago. Maybe I'd better check on it, see if it needs more water in this heat.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A Theme Runs Through It

After attending a wonderful workshop presented by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer, I started thinking about a book I've always liked, (and wrote several years ago), but wasn't quite sure what it was missing. Every time I re-read it, I knew it was some of my best writing, but there was an element I hadn't found when I reworked it over and over, and I still wasn't happy with the final result. The workshop gave me that 'AHA!' moment we writers live and breathe to receive. That one theme I'd missed came to me with such clarity, I ran home and started to write.

I love the company of other writers. The creative energy never fails to work its magic, and the gift of new ideas and ways to get the words down on paper is priceless. Even when the writing is trickling like mud through an hour glass, being with other writers lifts me up and inspires me to get back to work. The writing has been slow recently - family obligations, graduations, life - but I'm ready to plunge back into the melee and start shaping characters and plots again. I love this part the best - the stage where I'm learning who these people are and why they're doing what they're doing. Reworking a finished piece is never fun, and it's hell when I can't figure out what went wrong. Whenever I see the missing puzzle piece, however, I feel as if I've been given a gift from the writing gods.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

New Website is up!

Please stop by and check it out. Let me know what you think!