Oh, my poor neglected blog.
Let’s hope my regular readers haven’t given up on me, and understand that to deliver consistent quality reads in regular intervals, sometimes my blog suffers a bit.
I took a vacation last week. An overdue one. I met up with my big Italian family and headed to Puerto Rico for some sun. I have that horrible winter seasonal disorder so I struggle, and a bit of sun and beach always heals me in all the right ways.
We had seven children with us, which made it even more chaotic and fun, and my cheeks and stomach hurt from smiling nonstop.
We had the pleasure of being able to visit Flamenco beach, which was rated number 3 in the entire world. Pretty cool, huh? Like all things worth doing, the trip took effort and time. Someone had to get up at six am and get on line to buy tickets for the ferry, then had to wait in that line till 9am when people actually began showing up. The ferry ride was an hour, and when we got to the small island, we rented Jeeps. This also took a while, and we stood in blistering heat, eating ice cream, while we waited for the Jeeps to be delivered. It took us a while to get to the beach because most of the narrow roads were blocked, and we ended up backing up and praying nonstop for survival while we negotiated between honking trunks and confused construction workers.
But once we arrived there, we feasted on paradise.
Turquoise waters, powdery sand stretched out in unspoiled glory. The mountains shimmered in the distance as if looking over his ward, making sure all was well. The waves were just big enough to have fun, but if you got pulled under, there was no undertow like the Long Island and NJ beaches I’m used to.
We all jumped into the water and for a while, I soaked in the sun and watched the children play. Then noticed something important.
They all had different techniques for dealing with the waves. The two girls were fearless—they went out as far as possible and took on each crest with an aggressive intent to beat Mother Nature. When they got dragged under, they got right back up, teeth gritted, and determined to wrest victory from the next one.
My oldest liked the middle. He didn’t want to go too far in, nor be too far back. He analyzed each wave to decide how he’d attack it. If it was too big, he’d dive under. If it was manageable, he chose to try and ride it to shore. The mini ones he just jumped like a little duck and got wet.
My youngest stayed far, far back. He watched his cousins with puzzlement that they’d try to take on the ocean and think they’d win. Tentatively walking a few steps, gaze focused on each wave, he’d quickly run back to safety and then jump them on his own terms. It was obvious he thought the others were not that intelligent.
My other niece liked to dive. Didn’t matter if they were big, medium, or small. Each obstacle was an opportunity for her to go deep, and smiling at her victory, she believed she’d beaten every last wave.
As always, my mind went to my writing, like it does for every analogy of life. I am currently in the midst of writing Any Time and Any Place and searching for the loose threads of the story, trying to pull them through and figure out the deepest levels of my characters to make them real.
It struck me with each part of my books I write, I have imitated each child’s unique plan on taking on the ocean.
In the beginning, I am fearless. I wade deep, sure I’ve got this book nailed, full of superhuman ego that zaps in my veins like fire. God, I love that part. It’s too fleeting, and disappears way too quickly to be replaced with….
The first quarter. This is the time in my book I’ve slowed down, and am studying the map of where I’m going. Did I make a wrong turn? Should I dive quicker, back off, or just let the mini waves carry me to shore? I don’t mind this part as much because the next phase is the worst for me…
The middle. I hate the middle. I become my youngest, trapped in a story I can’t really figure out and refusing to take a step further. I make a bit of progress here and there, maybe one scene goes well for a while but then the wave crests and I need to run back quickly before I get pummeled. It is a time I’m testing my story, deciding where it’s leading, and not sure yet whether I can trust my instincts.
But then, oh, then, I get to dive. I pass the middle and see the final stretch ahead of me, and there is no fear left. I know what I’m doing again, and I’ll go back and fix the rest of the crap later. This is the time I dive under every wave and come up smiling, not noticing anything but how good it feels. I am one with nature. I am one with the book.
Every aspect of life can relate back to writing. Where are you in your writing journey right now? Is there a life experience you can note down that reminds you of writing?
BTW: My newest Searching For novella is out at Amazon for only 2.99. The reviews have been amazing, so please help me get the word out and recommend the book to a friend, buy it, or leave an honest review. It is so very appreciated!