Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Attitude of Gratitude

I'm working really hard right now to let go of fear. There's so much in the world to be afraid of now, and to be angry about.  Terrorists and politicians feed and prey on our fears constantly in their efforts to manipulate us, to control our emotions and decision making processes.

And then, out of the blue, God/dess drops a big one on you and the yammerings of the politicos fall to the background while you deal with a Life Event.

My elderly mother fell and injured herself severely, followed by: emergency transport to the nearest Level 1 trauma center, then emergency surgery, then days of recovery in hospital, then transport to a skilled nursing facility for long-term rehab.

My mind has been numbed by the overwhelming fear.  And through it all, there have been nuggets of shining silver:
  • She fell in the house, with the brand-new air conditioner, so the +100F heat was not a factor
  • The people who found her were the community First Responders - trained to deal with any emergency
  • The hospital has the highest rating for any Level 1 trauma center in the State
  • The orthopedic surgeon on call that day is one of the best orthopedic trauma surgeons in the country
  • The hospital gave her (and us) the most exemplary care I've ever experienced
  • The job I find so tedious has allowed me to:  1. pay for the new A/C unit.  2. take time off to care for her.  3. Help pay for her portion of the bills.

I'm trying to stay focused on those positive things, and not dwell on the possible negative future.

My eyes are here, on the present.
My heart is letting go of the fear, focusing on the positive, and most of all, being grateful for all that did and did not happen.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Random musings on writing

I'm writing again, and studying.  (Pardon my grammar/punctuation - this is just musings/train of thought)
Story/Book Title:   The Truth Will Out, a Geneva Maxwell Mystery

The story is going along great - I've finally found the right tone, the right pacing, the right voice for it.  The protagonist - 86yr old Geneva Maxwell, former WWII / Cold War spy - is so clear in my head.  But there's a very strong secondary character whose head I just cannot get into.  Perhaps that's his character - he is a chameleon, hiding in plain sight, and you (I) don't get to be in his head.  He's a consummately professional spy, so maybe that's part of his persona.

I don't normally plot out my stories - I'm more of a "pants-er" - I write by the seat of my pants.  But I picked up a book called PLOT - and I'm working my way through it, realizing all the places / things I need to know before I can really write out the story.  So... I'm plotting.  Not in a detailed way, but I'm laying out all the big things, what needs to happen for the resolution I see.  Letting the characters guide me on what will/won't happen.  There's an interview that Geneva needs to have with someone who will give her key information... I'm not sure quite how to make that happen - or trigger that action.  But I feel certain that if I just let the character guide me, she will end up where I need her to be.  She will receive the information that will unlock the secret, and will lead her to the real killer... 

I'm also working on character arc: how the character grows from the beginning of the story to the end.  How that growth affects the action s/he takes, and what s/he has to do/overcome to manifest the outcome.  For instance, GM has to overcome her innate distrust and fear of everyone associated with her former life in order to accept Hugo back into her life, and in doing so, reveal who she is/was to the (very small) town.  And she has to learn to trust that they will not reveal who/where she is.

I find I'm loving the process of writing mystery.  I gave up on writing romance many years ago, when I discovered that I can't write a "happily ever after".  Life is more gray / ambiguous / tumultuous / twisted -  and nothing ever turns out all rainbows & daffodils... unless the pot of gold landed on someone's head in the garden.