Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What Moving Taught Me About Writing

Well, friends, phase one of the move is complete. We have driven back and forth between our house and grandma's house a few times. Hubby had another kidney stone right in the middle of the process. We finally got the place completely empty and clean last night. And then we had the longest drive of our lives as baby girl protested being in the car for another 2 hour drive, while two boys fought and screamed and shrieked at each other. Clearly, it is time to be done and stay in the house for a few days.

As we were driving home last night, I thought about my story. The one that has been shelved for the past few weeks as we've dealt with the move and part-time job and other things that have come up. I realized that my move is a great source to draw from for writing purposes. So here's what I've learned.

1. Things happen quickly and you start right where the action is. For us, this move was a pretty sudden thing. We made the decision and moved in about two weeks. We had planned to move gradually, but that just wasn't the way things were going to work out. Most of the time in our writing, we have to put our characters right into the thick of things. We can't drag it out and leave them hanging around waiting for things to happen.

2. Things are going to go wrong. Kidney stones. Screaming kids. Multiple trips. Despite careful planning, things don't happen the way we expect them to. In a character's journey, they need to go through a few bumps. Things can't be smooth sailing the whole way.

3. Even when you get where you are going, things aren't going to be perfect. Because we moved two weeks early, the in-laws house wasn't quite ready for us. That means boxes are stacked in the living room. We are sleeping in the guest room. There's still some cleaning up of the little apartment we will be living in. And then things have to be moved into the attic for storage. With our characters, sometimes, the end of the journey isn't really the end. It's going to be the starting point of something even bigger.

4. There's a lot of clean-up and repair involved. We had to pack everything, but that wasn't the end. Once we were out of the house, we had to fix all the little things that we'd put off. Put up gutters. Patch the hole in the wall. Fix the leaky faucet. And then we had to clean it up. In writing, just when you think you are done, there's still going to be some clean-up involved. Tying up the loose ends. Making sure all the story is told. And going over it a few times to work out all the bugs. Do a little editing. It's going to need it and you'll only see it after everything else is done.

So there you have it, friends. What I learned about writing in the middle of my move. What have you learned about writing recently?

Monday, August 8, 2011

I swear, I'm crazy!

Just checking in briefly. We had originally thought we would be moving at the end of the month, but now, it's more like moving at the end of the week. We want to rent out our house and most people want to be able to move in before school starts next week. So, I'm going to be a crazy person for the next few days. And it's going to be awesome!

Wish me luck, friends. Hope you all have a great week.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Changes are a brewin'

So, things are changing again. Didn't someone once say, "The only thing you can count on is change?" (Ha ha. That's punny. 'Cause you count change. Ha ha.) (Okay. I think I'm funny. You don't have to agree.)

We've lived here in our own home for almost a year now. And we are moving. Hubby's job is requiring a relocation. To his hometown. So, we will be finding a renter for our house and moving in with his parents. I never in a million years pictured something like this, but meh. It is what it is. I actually really like my in-laws, so it's not as horrifying a prospect as you might think. The thing that I am saddest about is leaving my own house. And my garden. The garden is almost more sad than the house.

We have one month from today before we have to be all settled into our new situation. And there is a ton of stuff to do to get us there. We have to clean out the house. Clean out space in the in-laws house. Find a renter. Fix up some little stuff in the house that we've been putting off, like adding gutters. And still do all the other stuff that usually comes with our day. I feel like I'm swimming through deep waters without a scuba.

So, if things are spotty, or there is absolutely no writing news from me, that's why. I'll be here, staying afloat, just trying to get everything done. And it will be good. At some point.

What's challenging you today, friends?