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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

When the Muse Refuses

It seems lately I’ve talked about personal stuff and other nonsense on the blog. I haven’t talked much about the very thing I signed up to talk about when I started blogging. Writing!

Part of the reason I haven’t been talking about it is because I really haven’t been writing. I’ve been working on edits—which is not my favorite part of the process. Not by a long shot. The other half of the dilemma is what I need to write is not what I want to write. Last summer, when I was approached by three other TWRP writers about this anthology we’re writing—Sons of Summerville—it sounded like a lot of fun. It still does. But after writing Small Town Christmas in 2006 and spending a lot of time in 2007 on The Model Man…I’m burned out on contemporary writing. Remember, first and foremost, I’m an historical writer. (Ironic, isn't it, then that my first two sales were both contemporary? LOL)

In 2006 when I wrote STC, I had been immersed in historical writing and researching for the better part of six years; it felt good (and a little scary) to take a break and write contemporary-- and just as good when I sat down and wrote TMM. I love those characters and that story, but … I need a cowboy fix! (Hence the eye candy today)

I do have a few scenes written for the Sons of Summerville* story, and what I have so far I really like and my CP’s seem to like it, as well. But yesterday I threw caution to the wind and started working on a story that’s been in my head for a while now, one that I’ve been researching for quite some time. Texas Wild Card, the sequel to Wild Texas Wind. There’s a character in that story who has been begging for his own story pretty much since he appeared in the first scenes of chapter five of WTW. And it felt good! I was walking on air all day long, and still have that gushy, gooey, giddy feeling that comes from having spent time writing.

So what do you do when your muse refuses? Has there ever been a time when you’re supposed to be working on one thing, or planned to work on it-- but your muse was sending you in an entirely different direction?

*For more about the Sons of Summerville anthology, check out the blog I posted on Romance Book Junction a couple of months back

Sunday, August 3, 2008

For lack of anything better to blog about...

Dear Migraine,

How nice of you to pay a call today. Again. You’ve been my constant companion now for seven days straight. Quite frankly, I’m really growing tired of your company. You’re there when I wake in the middle of the night, you’re there when I go to bed; you’re there first thing in the morning, too.

I’ve tried everything to get you to go away. Prescription medication—it works for a while, but two hours later you’re back again. Over the counter stuff with way more caffeine in it than I need. It rarely works, and always leaves me with that jittery, over-caffeinated feeling. Niacin, that lovely B3 vitamin that makes me feel flushed and warm and makes the tips of my ears burn. Sometimes that will make you go away. But so far nothing has sent you the message to go away and stay away.

What is it this time? Stress? Hormones? Changes to the barometric pressure? What brought you to my doorstep this week? I’d really love to know so I could do something about it. I realize we see more of each other in the summer than we do in winter, but this is ridiculous. We're simply spending way too much time together.

You realize, of course, that when you come all I want to do is lie in a darkened room with an ice pack on my head (don’t feel bad, my mother has much this same effect on me and it doesn’t stop her from visiting, either.) But I can’t do that. My life can’t stop because of you. I’m a mom, I have a job, and a house to keep up. Yet you manage to suck all the joy out of life anyway. I can’t read, the words blur and dance on the page even with my glasses on, so reading to my babies at bedtime is out. I can’t watch TV—the lights are too bright and the moving images make me feel even more dizzy and nauseous than I already do. I can’t do half the things I'd like to, and certainly not with my usual energy. Even the act of walking across the room is painful, every foot fall slams into my brain like a brick wall. Even if I tiptoe. But I’m stubborn so I don’t give in to your demands. I tough it out, until I can tough it no more. I head to bed early, hoping a good night’s sleep will send you packing. I wake in the night, feeling somewhat better and hope that you’ll be gone when morning arrives.

No such luck.

Thus has been the pattern now for seven agonizing, painful days.

I hope you’ll take this message in the spirit it was intended, migraine, and not be offended. We go back a long way, after all--more years than I care to remember. And really migraine, it's not you--it's me. I'm just not that into you. I'd say we can still be friends but there's just too much water under the bridge for that. I think a clean break is best. For both our sakes.

So go away. And don’t come back anytime soon.

Your friend in pain,

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