Breaks are necessary and reviving, but routine is my best friend, next to my husband. As my daughter, son-in-law, and Buttercup left this morning, I gave hugs and kisses, belly rubs too. Buttercup was edgy as her folks were in and out, loading the car. She seems to crave routine too, along with walks, food, and copious palms laid along her back. I don’t need excess stroking, but as I sat to write, once the last goodbyes were said, a strange, lovely energy ran through me. I read over what I’d written yesterday; yes, I snuck in some work on Boxing Day afternoon, after mulling over the WIP. It’s going to be a few chapters shorter than I planned, with a sequel to follow. All that time not writing or prepping The Timeless Nature of Patience was usurped by family, the dog, Christmas, or pondering the novel-in-progress. Enough thought went into it that I was left with no other choice; end the novel well before I originally decided, then write another to finish (or elongate) the tale. No, I’m not looking at another six-book saga like Alvin’s Farm, maybe just one more to follow Where The Ball Is. I’ll know when I get to the end of the next one, Where The Heart Is, although I assumed The Thorn and The Rose, the second Alvin novel, was going to be it.
Ha ha ha ha ha!
Anyways, back to what I was saying. This morning, around nine thirty or so, I had read over yesterday’s installment of the WIP. All I had to before starting to write was plug in my ear buds, listen to today’s song, then let my fingers do the work. Living Colour’s “That’s What You Taught Me” was supposed to document Kendall’s meeting with his former soccer coach, laying the seeds for Kendall’s possible return to sport. Instead it was Kendall telling his parents what he had asked his girlfriend Sarah. Listening to the song, I could feel renewal flowing through my arms, right down to my fingertips, my brain engaging, as if I had actually been hooked back into some writing pipeline. I have never felt that sense so strongly, and it was shocking. I know this is my gig, no doubts there, but I had reveled in those days off, both from writing, also publishing Timeless Nature. Yet, when the moment presented itself yesterday, I scribbled over 3,500 words. And today I hit nearly 5K.
You can take an author from the keyboard, but you can’t take the words from a writer.
I had a fabulous Christmas and Boxing Day, spent with those I love most, rain falling more often than not, quite British actually. We watched Doctor Who on Christmas night, a hot mess my friend Julie rightly described. It was sort of a Doctor Who Christmas in this house; I received a book of spoilers journal and a Vincent van Gogh exploding Tardis mug. My husband got Dalek socks, the newly married couple Tardis and Dalek salt and pepper shakers. We played the Alan Turing Edition of Monopoly last night, another gift for that new couple. My youngest kicked butt with the green properties, I was the second to go out. Which gave me time to finish reading over yesterday’s work, then plopping a quick post about the merits of time off and how my brain managed to sort a new direction for that novel.
But today is December twenty-seventh, Christmas is over. Even in the UK, it’s just another day. And for this writer, some truth, that while a holiday is required, so is that which fuels quite a bit of my heart. Family is foremost, but another rush beats right under them.
Sometimes it takes a special moment for the fire to return. One of the best parts of “The Snowmen” was the one-word test Clara was put through. As a writer, I hooted as she chose the exact piece of language to best prod The Doctor off his cloud, a brilliant touch in an otherwise chock-a-block episode that did pique my interest in the second half of season seven. No use shooting more shows if everything is wrapped up in one Christmas treat.
(But there is something to be said about letting an audience digest what has been proffered; Strax is alive! Vestra and Jenny are married! Clara is… Heh heh heh, no spoilers…)
In my book of spoilers, lines break up blank pages, but I’m not looking to record what River Song needed to document, at least not on paper. I capture plots and people on Word documents, it’s what I do. It really is, my goodness, how humbling and wonderful it was to realize that this morning, like a delightfully gentle brick upside my head. Music does it, just like now, Hans Zimmer’s “Up Is Down” from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. I’m listening to that tune, but not imagining Johnny Depp and friends. I see a legion of women young and old saving San Francisco from imminent doom.
Yes, my creative brain is always ticking. Descendants of Maidens is the title of that tale, waiting for its moment in the sun. And in the meantime, as I finish a slice of double layer pumpkin pie and a refreshing cup of decaf Yorkshire tea, I’m back on the horse, ready to see out 2012 with a heart-pounding, dramatic flourish. Where The Ball Is is nearly done; what will 2013 bring?
(A post detailing those plans coming soon…)