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Excuses and Decisions

I worked on SONG OF ILWEN last night. It’s a story I jotted out years ago and then just shelved it, but I always liked the story and the characters. It is 24,000 and mostly complete. Somehow I lost some chapters, but I know the story. This is one of those things that got written out a chapter a day so it’s as crude as can be and needs a lot of fleshing out, but the bones are there.

I’ve been torn about whether to work on this one or DRAGON VALLEY. I like that one because it gets me away from the young protag and it has a haunting love story.

Each time I sat down to work on either of them, however, I just couldn’t concentrate, as I’ve said before. After fiddling with Ilwen last night, the magic returned. My little pixie did some fun things that turned on the movie in my head. I could see her doing these things and worked to describe the scene accurately. Having a movie in your head doesn’t always translate so easily to the page, especially with the migraines. For whatever reason, they affect the part of my brain that connects things or lets me see down the road.

I can’t remember the last day I was pain free. Probably the day I fell at work. Mostly, it’s just chronic with spikes. On those days I give up, take pain pills during the day and sleep the day away. Wasting another precious day God has given me, but since I am accomplishing nothing, I’m not really sure what difference it makes if I stay awake.
The marvelous thing is, I am able to write. It’s my decision to do it or not. Some no longer have that.

Lauri, a friend from the Books and Writers forum and a member of the gnomies, passed away on April 11. Lauri was a talented writer, a generous friend and a fighter. She’s fought cancer for years. They would get one major battle under control and she would be declared cancer free. Then another bout would rear its ugly head. In between she worked and cared for her rescue cats.

The last time she was having problems coordinating her movements. She fell and went to the doctor and that’s when they discovered the cancer was back. This time, it was in the brain. She bravely made arrangements to sell her home and make sure her cats would be taken care of. Then she moved back to be closer to her family and lived in a little cottage next to a friend’s house if I remember correctly.

Lauri was always faithful about getting on our weekly chats and even when she didn’t feel well, she was upbeat and funny. Sometimes she didn’t stay long because she didn’t feel well, but she was always a joy to see when she popped in.

She continued to try and write, but the drugs and surgeries often made it difficult to think. When she did recover a bit, she’d pick the work up. She, like all the gnomies, was a talented writer.

She will be missed terribly in so many ways. I know it’s selfish. She was in pain and now she is free, but I want to hear the ping when she pops into chat.

Another friend is suffering from a debilitating disease. She’s fought through it and finished her historical romance. Her characters are luscious and the story is just as rich. I was so excited when I got the email she had finished it. I haven’t read all the chapters yet. My excuse, as always, the headaches make it hard to read much at one time, but I am always left wanting more when I quit.

And then there is Alicia Parlette. You can’t help crying when you read her story. What a tragic loss. Look at what she has to say, however.

“It became really like a lifeline in a way for me because I would often come to conclusions about things – things I didn’t even realize until I had written them.”

There is so much truth in that statement. I discovered this a few days ago. While meandering around, trying to figure out how to solve a problem, I realized the answer. Just writing about it revealed the truth. Perhaps this is a lesson we should all take to heart.

As Maya Angelou said, “You may be in pain, but that doesn’t give you a right to be a pain.”

Write through the valleys and the pain. V.C. Andrews did, and she did it with style.

Yes, your children cut deeply into your free time to write, but there are so many people out there who would give anything to have one child to love.

Your job takes away from your writing time, but how many people would gladly take that job and the paycheck so they can stop worrying about how they will survive?

You have writer’s block. 
No, you have an opportunity to explore something else. Work on another story and let your problem child sit in the time out corner until it works out its issues. Transcribe a page from one of your favorite authors. It not only makes you realize how they construct sentences and string the words together into a lovely strand of pearls, but it primes your creative pump. Your subconscious mind is a marvelous tool. It will skitter around solving things while you putz around ignoring the process. Of course, the solution will usually come to you in the shower. Get some dry erase markers so you can jot down something to trigger the idea you will forget before you get out of the shower.

I made up my mind a few weeks ago I would accomplish something each day. I get up and clean my face, use toner and moisturizer. It isn’t much, but I had gotten to a serious I don’t care point.

I make sure the dishes are done and the sinks scoured out each day. Not a big thing, but just bending over to scour the sink is painful. Rather than wimping out, it’s just one of those things I decided must be done even if I don’t feel like it.

I do the laundry when I need to instead of when I have absolutely nothing to wear.

I write something. It may not be good, but I write.

I unpack one box a day.

I pack one box for Will a day.

I bake cookies each week. There are days when my knees absolutely threaten to kill me if I get up, but if that is the baking day, it must be done.  The soldiers appreciate it and it’s a commitment I have made to myself to honor them. If the day is really bad, I may make a few pans of fudge instead of so many cookies.

If you look hard enough, there is always an excuse not to do something. It’s up to you to make the decision to do it. If you decide you can’t or don’t want to do it, live with the decision and quit beating yourself up with guilt. When you make the decision to write or whatever you want to do, you will do it. Driving yourself insane because you didn’t do it doesn’t make it better. It just means you didn’t do it and now you are probably driving everyone else around you nuts.
Each day is a new beginning filled with the promise of something exciting. It might not look like much at first. It might wobble around and fall, but it’s your opportunity to make something beautiful.

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