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Update On My Writing

July 17, 2014

Chapter 1 text image for post about writing

I began writing in earnest in 2006. I remember reading, at the time, a quote by someone writerly who said something along the lines of, “Write four books. Then decide if you want to be a writer.”

I remember thinking, “Four books? Seriously? I’ll be lucky if I get four books written in my lifetime!”

It’s eight years later and I’ve written three and a half books. I should have that last half finished by the end of 2014. That will be my four books. And, yes, I want to continue to write. I have other ideas/projects cluttering the back burners.

My first two books are novellas, Love’s Compass and The Setting of the Sun. They each took about six months to write and six months to edit. I publish independently so it took close to another six months to design, publish and market them. These phases for the two books overlapped with one another and I’d started my first full-length novel in the meantime. That book, Love, Topaz, is now in the final edit phase. Since my initial editing is finished, as it’s in the hands of others for suggested edits, I’ll work on the jacket design. By early November it should be published.

The fourth book, Kaleidoscope Chips, is a tough topic. It takes a lot out of me to write it so it’s been slow going. I think I first sat to write it in 2010. It’s about the devastating impact male rage can have on a family. As my first three books take on various and positive natures of love (the human drive to seek out love, loves power over death, the infectious nature of love), this fourth book portrays the far and deep reaching destruction of one moment absent of love.

Fortunately, I have come to know that my characters in Kaleidoscope Chips are true to human form – they are people of inspiring resilience. Their instinct to survive astounds me. Their courage when facing fear astounds me. The cat and mouse behaviors, the subtle but constant hum of terror that permeates one family is nearly too painful for me to write because of its tragedy.

But a central character in this book, Mike, a kid of ages 14 – 18 when he talks in first person, monologue style, is the hero in my eyes. He’s so damaged, he’s hanging on by a thread. But every word he spits out is another blow against the tyranny that’s destroyed those he most loves and that threatens to destroy him. He has no idea that the work he’s doing, just by expressing himself, may very well save him and at the same time elevate the others and usher them to safe ground. He’s making a valiant effort. I’m watching Mike closely, hoping he prevails.

Since the first three books are hopeful stories and thematically about love, the departure from this comfort place as I write Kaleidoscope Chips is a challenge. I can only write for short bursts. Then I have to get away from it. I recently read through and edited what I have written to date. This is my habit always as I prepare to advance the writing of a story. Prior to this read-through, I hadn’t touched the book in nearly nine months.

I think writing this post is another step toward getting mentally prepared to revisit Mike and see how he’s holding up.

Photo credit: By Photos Public Domain [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2014 9:51 am

    Sounds a tough write. That aspect of male rage which turns into deferred aggression, picking on those who are vulnerable and weaker, is such a part of our festering world. So many men appear to have diminished self-esteem.

    Like

    • July 27, 2014 1:53 pm

      It is tough. I can only handle it in small doses. I can feel the pain of my characters. It’s hard to see them in this setting. But in the writing I move back and forth from the past to the present, where most have survived though they don’t necessarily thrive. Some of us are so resilient while other’s spirits are so fragile. As for the raging men, I don’t know if it’s diminished self esteem or episodes of depression or a bipolar disorder. The most puzzling aspect of it to me is that the ones who bear the brunt of the rage are often those the man loves most.
      Thanks for commenting.
      Mary

      Like

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