“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly;sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” ~Ernest Hemingway
I’m writing a new book. The beginning hasn’t been easy. The necessary time for working has been hard to squeeze out of my schedule. That’s always true during the holiday season. There are always so many things to do – shopping and cooking and wrapping and decorating and cards and Christmas programs and parades and …well, you get the idea. I’m sure it’s the same for you. December brings us many good things to anticipate but it also slams us with lots of expectations. We have to do this or we have to do that. I mean, haven’t we always made a fruit cake or a dozen kinds of candy or whatever tradition you want to keep going?
I love traditions at Christmas time. But I’ve lived enough years to know the best traditions are the fluid ones. The kind that can be adapted and bent to a family’s ever changing life. Of course, it’s not a tradition that I have to write a story in December. Often that’s the month I’ve had to put my stories on hold for a few weeks. This year my plan was to keep writing, keep pushing out words, give myself a quota of so many pages a day, keep working while squeezing in as many traditions for Christmas as possible.
That’s still my plan, but plans have a way of running off track at times. Especially when the words are stubborn, embedded in rock and I’m out of blasting powder. But every rock has a story and with patience and determination, I’ve chiseled out quite a few stories in my time.
This story is growing in my thoughts, developing even while I’m not thinking about it in that mysterious subconscious. My characters are beckoning me along their story road although I don’t think they’re quite sure where they’re headed. Right now they seem to be hesitating, a bit confused, at every fork in their story road. But isn’t that the way life is for all of us? Unknown turns ahead of us. At times we may want to linger in some grassy meadow of pleasure along our life’s road, but always we eventually must go on down the road to the next destination. My characters don’t have time to linger. They have a story to live and I have to find the words to tell it. And I will. If I have to chisel those words out of the rock of imagination or dip them up out of the well of experience, I will. I am a storyteller. That’s what I do.
I hope you have time for all your traditions and to enjoy the wonder of the Christmas season. Thank you for reading.