A Wintry Scene

Wintry
Our first real cold snap this winter has come through over the last week and, while it hasn’t quite been cold enough for snow, at least at the altitudes we live at, it has been a nice week of cold, wet, windy weather. It made for a different sort of inspiration when writing my entry for the July Fever series of guest blog entries and giveaways being run over at Gemini Girls. I’ll have my post appearing in late-mid July, if anyone’s keeping track of what I’m doing.

The weather wasn’t only an inspiration for the July Fever entry, it has also helped shape some scenes that I’ve been trying to write. Writing is still going fairly slow, but at least I’ve managed to sketch out some scene ideas, and have been able to use the weather inspiration to finally be able to tie together the two major sections of one of my next books (when I can get around to releasing it).

After all of the family upheaval of the last couple of weeks, we’re finding our new “normal” again but, if one thing is certain, it is that there is never anything that can be regarded as normal about our family. My muse is coming back to me after having given me some time to grieve and celebrate in recent days. Now to see what I can get to do in terms of being able to write.

A Week of Joy and Sadness

HappySad
I haven’t had the chance to do much writing this week. It has been a week of immense joy and sadness -- peaks that I had only ever dreamed of, and depths that I never wanted to see.

We welcomed a new life into the world, and farewelled another.

The one we farewelled was not completely unexpected, though it was sudden. A matter of days from the first time they looked a little off colour to no longer being with us. They had a very good innings, making it well into their nineties, and living independently right up until the very end.

She has been waiting for you for just over a decade. Go. Be with her. Leave behind the disease that took her, and the age that took you. Join your child and grandchild that went ahead of you both. We will mourn your loss and will reflect on the many joys that you brought into the world.

We will never forget you.

We love you.


Goodbye.

The little one we welcomed had been expected, but the date of arrival was not exactly known. I don’t know that I could have written a delivery like this one, where the active painful part of labour was over within a matter of minutes and baby was given to mum for a few hours to bond and nurse before being weighed and measured (and all that other stuff). Even more surprising was the shift in handling of newborns over the last dozen years or so. Gone was the whisking away at high speed of the little pink and purple goo-covered monster before handing over a cleaned, pink mini-human. Instead, the newborn was wiped semi-clean and passed up to mum straight away, even before the cord was cut. It was so quick that the first breath (and corresponding cry) happened while lying up on mum’s chest. The cord was clamped and cut, and that was it -- there was no further medical interaction with the newborn for a few hours.

Once the weighing, measuring, and first couple of injections had eventually taken place, it was off with mum back to her room. No side visits to the nursery. No washing clean (that’s a mum and dad job when they’re ready -- first bath and all that good stuff).

We have been waiting for you for over a decade. Your loving parents and older siblings have longed to have you join us and welcome you into this world -- it is yours for the taking. Your little cries, quiet as they are, are enough to melt the hardest man and make willing slaves of us all.

Though only a matter of hours old, you carry over three centuries of known history in your names -- carry your ancient family names boldly into this modern world. Let them serve you well, and you will wear them with honour. Centuries of family tradition have been reignited with your birth and, through you, they will carry on for centuries more.

We love you.

Welcome.

Writing Again

Break
I was enjoying a week without writing after the effort I raced through to get the out-of-genre title finished. Originally I was planning to take more time before getting back to writing again, but I found myself unable to stop thinking about some of my stories and where they would be heading. I couldn’t stop visualising some of the scenes yet to be written (and some of the ones that had already been written and which needed writing again), so I sat down this weekend and started writing again. I was thinking that this weekend would just be a lazy long weekend, away from work, study, and writing, but obviously my muse had other ideas for me. At least there’s the third day of the weekend to make use of tomorrow to get some good writing done. I finally finished reading a book that I’d been stuck on for a couple of months, so there were small successes.

Now that I am writing for myself (and my readers) again, I can relax and take the time to properly build the scenes and characters without feeling rushed as I was at the end of last week. The deadline was good -- it forced me to actually finish the story, but I think that the book I sent off was lacking in some areas. I didn’t plan on doing so, but I went back and read through the book again, and felt the same emotional responses as I did when I first read it after writing. The funny thing is that I didn’t actually feel that sort of emotion while writing it but, even though I know what I wrote and have since read it multiple times, it still tears a fresh set of emotions out of me.

I think that the last couple of books, including the unreleased one, have unlocked something in me. The mysterious 40,000 word limit in a book has been passed without any real issue, and I can feel the next 10-20,000 words after that calling to me. The Deferred Honeymoon cheats a little, as it builds off an earlier starting point, but my unreleased book was written from scratch to be 40,000+ words, and I can feel that there’s a range of my works in progress which will be heading past that level without any real difficulty. This is a good thing, as I had previously been struggling to work out what I was going to do with them up to the 20,000 word level, struggling to find a way to even get to it.

Of course, books aren’t written specifically to reach a pre-ordained word count, but as long as I can tell the story that I can see in my mind, then I’m happy. The recent experiences have shown that I can keep those longer stories held together without making things feel forced, or at least too forced.