Friday, March 16, 2012


The kids with Tigger
Writing a book is a bit like planning a vacation.  When the idea first hits me, I can hardly wait to begin.  I plan out a few details of what I'd like to do, keeping open space for those unexpected things that come up.  My family went on a trip to Disneyland a few years ago.  It was nonstop fun to the point of pain, and very much the way I feel about writing a novel.

When I first boarded the plane, excitement abounded.  I'd never been to Disneyland (or to Serenity, Oregon--my fictional town in Always and Forever where Zach and Lilly live).  There is a certain joy found in the beginning of the adventure.

The problems started when I finished exploring Disneyland (or Serenity) and decided to go on a ride (write a scene).  There's always that pesky line (or in the case of writing, a problem with the plot).  At Disneyland we had no choice.  We stood in line, bored out of our minds.  Perversely, being bored is the best way to forward my writing, too.  Housework usually does the trick (folding laundry is especially good for this purpose).  Eventually, my Muse starts speaking to me, and I can hop on and enjoy the ride.

About halfway through the vacation, exhaustion sets in.  All I want is a day by the pool, relaxing and resting my aching feet.  However, the kids (or characters in the book) aren't content for this to happen.  They want me to play with them, chase them around, have races in the pool.  Even if I have a chance to rest, I'm sucked in to thinking about what will happen later. 

Eventually, as fun as they may be, all trips come to an end.  My family got back on the plane and returned home; Zach and Lilly finished telling me their story.  However, that didn't mean my work was over.  We destroyed the house with everything we set down upon entering our home, suitcases needed unpacked, the laundry needed started, the five million pictures I took needed downloaded off the digital camera and placed on zip drives.  In the writing world, this process is known as editing.  Unfortunately, editing goes on almost as long as the trip itself. With the help of my good friends at Critique Circle I'm finally seeing an end to all the chores I need to do.  I'm exhausted, but happy. 

The crazy thing is, even as I grumble about having to clean up, even though I'm exhausted and I just want a break, immediately the next trip is forming in my mind.  In real life, we began planning a trip to the coast as soon as we got home.  In my writing life, Madeline Scott started speaking to me, trying to force her story into my mind, before I even got close to being done cleaning the mess Zach and Lilly made.

There is a certain joy to writing, or perhaps it's an addiction.  All I know is, I'm excited to take my next trip!


  1. Chantel, ain't that the truth? Characters competing with kids for attention. With each other and with chores. I'm glad there's no ticket for Driving while Plotting, but they do have a way of taking over everything, even your vacations!

    1. And they are very naughty children! Way worse than my actual kids! LOL. Be very careful driving while plotting. That gets dangerous! Thanks for stopping by, Rachelle.

  2. I love hearing about the journey you are on. I also love seeing you so excited about writing. I will keep following you blog, waiting for the release of your book.

    1. Thanks, Mo! No clue yet if I am going to send it off to publishers or hire my own editor and self-publish. Many of my beta readers are getting close to the end, so I will have to start making decisions soon! I really appreciate your support!


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