Monday, September 27, 2010

Finding the Darkness in the Light

Spent the day snorkeling with my family out at Electric Beach. The water was so amazingly clear this morning, fish were everywhere, my son tried out his spear fishing (luckily they all got away-- because catching fish means cleaning fish and I wasn't really looking forward to that). Our sea turtle friend even made an appearance. The kids are so comfortable with him and he seems vastly indifferent about us. It was yet another day in Paradise laying on the beach in the sun... warm sand between your toes...

So how do I go from that place, to the dark, dark place that I am currently writing about?

How do you find the darkness in the light?

Well right now it's easy really, especially easy knowing that I took my last Ambien Saturday night and that I have many long, anxious, sleepless weeks in my near future...

And there is always the job situation, or the lack thereof. And the irksome feeling that I am vastly under qualified for nearly all the positions I seek and that at 38 with a degree in English Literature and years of education experience and retail experience, I pretty much have very little to offer an employer... (And I know that's the unemployment talking, see what a layoff does to your self esteem...)

And there's the anxiety about this move... and our financial security... and the kids in school... and a future that is so unknown...

Oh yeah, I can find the darkness in the light, easy peasy. Now leave me alone. I need to write.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Being Beat Up by Mockingjay

Don't you just hate it when you finish a great book?

I just finished Mockingjay, (I know, I know about time, right? But hey I've been a little busy moving my family across the Pacific Ocean and all).

Anyways, I am currently suffering that post-partem depression that sometimes hangs over me when I finish a great book.

I'm not sure what it is exactly, whether it's the fact that I feel like I've become part of their story and then suddenly I am left all alone, my new friends having deserted me?

Or that is it simply that the story is over?

Especially those books that you have been anticipating for so long-- I mean I had Mockingjay pre-ordered like 4 months in advance! So you wait so long and then finally it's out, you buy it, you devour it (in like 2 days) and then it's all over... and then what?

The Blahs.

Is it some dissatisfaction with the ending?

No, I don't think so.

I think quite possibly it is just assimilating back into the real world, where things aren't quite so adventuresome that put a pallor on my mood.

Extracting myself from the adventure...

This is why I try so hard to pace myself, relish the words, get lost in the experience.

But then I find myself curled up on my couch at 2 in the morning, realizing I blew my wad, and it's over.

It's put me in funk, given me a case of The Blahs (which is a hard thing to do when you live in Paradise).

This feeling is a sure sign that the author has done their job, and very well. After all why else would I feel so beat up, and damaged, and left all alone?

Ah... the glories of a great book!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Settling In

Well we've made the move, the BIG move.

We packed up our things and moved ourselves to the beautiful island of Oahu.

My husband is settling in to his new job, my daughter is adjusting to High School Aloha Style, my Middle School son is in a delayed holding pattern (we seemed to arrive at the end of his Track's first semester so he has another couple weeks of summer) and I, I am trying to find my groove again as an author and mother. And a middle aged woman looking for employment.

I received a phone call today that snapped me back into things. A phone call commenting on my writing that helped me realize that my vacation is over and that I need to get back to work. More than anything I really just want to get going on my next project, a story I am really, really excited about.

The thing is, before I can move on, really immerse myself in this new great idea I need to take advantage of what I've learned and the connections I made during my SCBWI conference. So I am currently making a few tweaks to my manuscript (like my main character's age, I had no idea what a difference a year makes to a publisher! Congratulations Reese you are now 12 instead of 13!) and I am sending off all those queries and manuscripts to publishers and editors that are usually closed to submissions but are open to those of us who attend their presentations. Yay! And thanks to Deborah Halverson I am editing in a new way. (Although eventually I will just send it to her and utilize her services.

So I was realizing today that I need to get on the ball for two reasons--so I don't miss out on the opportunity to utilize my conference information AND so I can dive into THE DARKNESS my next novel. In the crazy hectic few weeks of packing and unpacking a household across the pacific ocean, I've lost a valuable part of my day, my writing. And though I've gained the beach and the sand and the surf and the turtles and the fish and the warmth, I still need my writing. And this story I have in my head right now, this girl, she really wants to be heard. So she will.