Seedlings

germinating_seedlingI had a blogger reach out to me yesterday to ask the age-old question, “where do you find inspiration?”  She went on to explain to me that she loves blogging and writing for her local paper, but feels that itch to do more.  She hopes to write a novel, but has no idea where to begin.  Sound familiar?

I preface what’s to follow with this:  There is no correct answer.  Everyone has a unique process, and it’s usually the thing that comes most natural.  It’s often from some medium that makes you feel alive and creative.  However, if you’re having trouble recognizing what that is in your life, I have a few things I hope will help.  I promise that if you truly desire to write, it’s in there already.  Sometimes we just have to go fishing for it.

Because I am a human being, that’s where I start first.  For me, the voice shows up before anything else.  I have no plot, no setting, no secondary characters.  I usually start with one small notion I find fascinating and start exploring it.  Accents, locations, smells, intentions….everything else is born in time from this tiny little seed.  It might start as small as picturing the first person that pops into my head, and just writing a list of adjectives about him or her.  I’ll often see a character’s face the first time while listening to a great song.  I’ll purposefully put on music that makes me emotional, and just start going stream-of-consciousness on the keyboard.  It doesn’t need a point….that grows later too.  The one thing I make sure of is that a being is speaking.  I might later realize that voice died years ago, or is inside a cat….but I start with something that had consciousness.  Life.

If you’re just more setting driven, and need a picture to get yourself going, there’s a simple fix there too.  You don’t have to buy season tickets to The Met, or hop a plane to Paris.  Just google “pretty landscapes,” and start scrolling through the pictures.  Write down which emotions the depictions evoke…then start writing about the person who’d be feeling that way, or the person who’d fit in a picture you like…or who wouldn’t fit.  One of these seedlings will eventually take root.  Once you hear a character’s voice, it’s going to keep talking.  It’s going to tell you where to take it.  Don’t be afraid to step into it’s shoes, give it the ol’ first-person try.  Be it.

Do you plan every word you’re going to say to every person all day long?  No.  You run into people, or circumstances, and you respond.  Your character is no different.  Make a live thing that interests you, and just write.  Eventually that character will stumble into some drama…but it has to actually get to it.  It has to move.  It cannot stay still, or it does nothing.  And the only way it moves is if you do.  Make your fingers dance….start scribbling.  For God sake’s don’t over think  it…first thing with a pulse that comes to mind.  There’s a reason it came first.  Write about it, even if it sucks.  You will stumble onto something that won’t.  In the beginning, there are only small sparks.  Nourish them for a fire.

Here’s a prompt for you today to help you get started:

Every night before you go to bed you see her standing there by the mailbox.  It never fails.  At 10pm, there she’ll be, barely visible through the dim moonlight.

And go! (Use all five senses)

Good luck!

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The Roaring Lost

I want to feel the tingle when the era romances me. I don’t want to find it in a book, but I want to fall into it one day, find some kind of secret door that takes me there, like a wardrobe takes children to Narnia. I want to be blinded by the rose-colored buildings on the French Riviera. I want to fight my hips a little before giving into the swing music. I want the melody to be nearly hushed by Hemingway’s cursing that the booze only makes louder. I want to look to see what annoys him so and find Zelda Fitzgerald doing something half mental, half charming from inside her drop-waisted dress. I can’t wait to hear what she spouts back at the gifted lush with her muttled southern accent that perfumes the room in both Alabama and Carolina drawls. I want to see F. Scott in the corner shaking his head at himself more than her. For he is the one who chose her, because he is addicted to her more than anything else.

When back to the homeland I want to buy liquor fresh off a smuggler’s wagon. I want the driver of the wagon to have an accent like Al Capone, and vanish like an apparition as soon as the whiskey bottle touches my lace-gloved hand. I’ll throw some back with the brown paper bag still wrapped around the bottle, and wink at the police officer across the way after I do it. I think I’ll like prohibition actually, because it will give me a reason to be scandolous.

I will only want to stay for a second, though, in this era that draws me like a fly to honey. I have to know how fleeting it was myself to get the full effect…that lost generation. It just teetered on the edge of things it couldn’t get enough of…maybe because enough was too much, and killed everyone off who wanted it. Maybe that’s why the generation of poets, artists, musicians, and novelists were know as the lost ones…I never fully will understand that though. Their influences haunt me so.

I like to believe because I am from Asheville, North Carolina, that somewhere in the 20s, maybe when the Fitzgeralds were stumbling out of a fancy restaurant a little too drunk for a classy joint, Zelda brushed the arm of my great-grandmother, who was walking home with an armful of groceries. Maybe something, some particle of the magic fell onto my ancestor, that was carried through the wombs of the women before me until it embedded in my skin. Now it is soaked in, and I can’t get it out. I understand something about it, and breathe it a little bit. That lost generation is somewhere, and I’m thinking maybe, it’s somewhere inside me. The lost, they are still roaring indeed.

Drama and Charm

I’ve decided that so many writers come out of the South, not only because of the charm, but because of the drama.  The drama may even be the charm.  Oh, how dramatic we are, bless our sweet hearts!  We are all dramatic because our mothers’ are dramatic, as were their own.  I think it is because we are from the land of Scarlet O’Haras.  This woman rocked the world of literature, cinema, and married men everywhere, but she’s just the embodiment of the land.  The South tried it’s little hardest to tear an entire COUNTRY apart.  I picture the two sides of the Mason-Dixon line having a tea party when the lower side decides to take it’s dainty white gloves home and throw it’s own (not caring the upper side owned the teacups).

 The South throws us curve balls all the time:  a hot day in January, a hurricane that reaches all the way to the Blue Ridge Mountains, a random earthquake once in a hot blue moon, a couple swing states in the world of politics.  The atmosphere and the people alike love to keep ’em all guessing. I know I do…

These absurdities that The South is are the reasons for the tall tales we hear on the front porch every summer.  Everyone knows the kind I’m talking about; the kind your grandmother tells over and over that get more unbelievable every time. We chuckle while we listen, memorizing those precious wrinkles on their faces all the while.  What we don’t realize, is that we do it too.  We’re dramatic by nature.  While we’re sitting there enjoying Mamaw’s sweet tea, we’re thinking of who we’re going to tell next, and in what yummy fashion we’ll relay it.

I came to these conclusions by noting the widespread panic caused by the weather forecast today.  I’m guilty; I’ve always reacted to snowy conditions like a cat reacts to water.  I just don’t do it.  I don’t like it, I don’t know how to drive in it, and I don’t leave my house when it comes.  I do however, enjoy it slightly one time per year, as long as it only lasts a day(which it only does), and I have access to a sled (that I use in the one inch we get).  Other than that, I’ll take summer please.

What I did like today was the pandemonium I got to experience with my fellow southern comrades.  I was chuckling looking at people post their pictures of bread and milk on Facebook.  However, I did get a little nervous when I realized I had not yet been to the store.  Being unprepared does not set well with a type “A” personality such as mine.

Nevertheless, I’m looking out the window , watching the foretelling clouds roll in the like blankets of Crisco on Thanksgiving, and I’m smiling.  I’m smiling because I am scrambling around with my soul mates, the ones who made me a writer, who do not know how many stories they’ve written.  I am scurrying through the grocery store aisles with old men who believe we are about to encounter the storm of the century, and old women who are crying over not making it to the beauty parlor today.  Then, I will get in my 4-wheel drive SUV (even though nothing has stuck yet), and nag my husband to be more careful the whole way home.  We will probably arrive safely, but I guarantee, I’ll make an adventure of it…because I’m dramatic, of course.  And you readers, you’re charmed.

 

“I can shoot straight, just as long as I don’t have to shoot far.” -Scarlet O’Hara ~

 

 

Delicious

I don’t control my writing ideas, which is great in a certain way.  They aren’t synthetic or forced by any means.  However, I can have a little trouble getting away from period pieces.  I’m not drawn to a particular era…it’s just old ghosts in general.  I’ve bounced around, having love affairs with the civil-war era, antebellum era, and birth of rock n’ roll.  My latest victim?  The WWII pin-up era…yum.

Jenna Lee Ravenel blew into my mind like the sultry apparition she is last night at about dusk.  Her essence came out of the drunken breath that her now elderly lover was slurring his West Virginian drawl through.  She’s a story too bittersweet to tell on her own tongue.  I see her, but I don’t know her all the way yet.  I have a feeling she’ll never completely know herself.  I think this will be a tale more bitter than sweet, but the kind of bitter we love to keep tasting.  Jenna Lee will be trouble for me, and for everyone who reads about her, and I can’t wait.  She will be fleeting, hard to hold onto, and somehow will wind up buried in a lost era that can only be dug up again by her long-lost lover.  He’s her only hope for her to ever be found again.  That’s my premise so far…

I don’t mind I’m doing another period piece.  The past is delicious to me.  It is the home of scandals, and unfavorable truth.  The past is where stories are born, the parent’s of the present.  I love to dissect it, look at it from afar, and evaluate it.  It teaches me who I am, who I was, and maybe who or what the future will be.  The past is a completed tool we rarely use, because it’s a sharp tool.  One is bound to get pricked when digging in, and must have the fortitude not to get sucked into the time-warping gyre.  It is my job as a writer to go back into these tombs, and unlock the mysteries by finding artifacts of the human soul left in their natural habitats, while being careful not to lose myself there.  One must be careful in findings so delicious.  Ultimately one can only learn, but never truly go back.  Nostalgia is a nasty parasite, and usually hides somewhere with the things that have been swept under rugs.  The beautiful thing though, is that it’s all still there, but can no longer hurt anybody as long as they never try to relive it. Just learn from it, and do something great with it.  Most, however, cannot.

I have a feeling my Jenna Lee will learn of dealing with the past the hard way, toeing all kinds of lines.  I will just sit back, letting my hands do the work, getting lost in her fragrance, her struggle, her scandals, and most of all, her deliciousness that will make her a star.  Then, maybe, she’ll make me one.

Finding Checkmate

My writing and I have reached a stalemate.  I have a thousand stories running through my head, but I can’t make a move. I’m locked into the throes of the writing world, but I’m starting to feel like I’m in handcuffs.

It isn’t writer’s block, quite the contrary. I get a new idea when the breeze smells right, or when I hear a song that makes me tingle in the deep places where I think I truly understand something in the world for a minute.  However, I don’t want to write it, because it’s become painful for me. I feel kind of like I’m in love with someone I can’t be with.  We are two figures sitting across a chess board, looking into one another’s eyes, unable to move.  

Needless to say, my queries aren’t going well.  I’ve gotten too many polite rejections lately.  “Mrs. Hollifield, you have an interesting project, BUT.”  “Dear Writer, please excuse this form letter.”  “Mrs. Hollifield, you’re writing shows promise, HOWEVER,…”  I feel like I’m getting dumped over and over again, yet I keep signing up for new dating websites and taking blind dates.  Do I have any other choice?

I suppose I could leave the game, pitch a fit because I just don’t see the correct attack path yet.  I suppose I could knock the pieces off the board, with an impressible strength for a girl of my stature before muttering something charming , and walking away with the board tucked safely under my arm like I’ve just showed everybody.  I can’t though…I can’t walk away.  I’m hooked.  I’m eager, but still, I don’t know how to move.  I can’t help being in love with those pages that hold me hostage.

I read articles about how immobile the literary world is right now, which doesn’t exactly inspire me.  I hear things about how it’s all who you know now.  I’m going to have to pay big bucks to go to prestigious writer’s conferences, and enter contest after contest.  I’m going to have to hear yet hundreds of more rejections, these articles say.  I read pages and pages of this until my eyes are blood-shot and I no longer crave anything except cheap wine with a screw-off top.  I think if I take up alcoholism it will be with Boone’s Farm strawberry, available at any gas station…

Within a few days, in the typical quick-whimmed fashion I do, I had signed up for yoga, ballet, and hip-hop classes.  I took solace in my cheerleader/dancer background, made some new fitness goals, and decided to camp out there until I could process reality again.  I didn’t pressure myself to partake in National Novel Writing Month…it just wasn’t my time.  I had to retreat and look at my strategies again, by not thinking about it at all.  This turned out to be a rather good thing…I took a little sabbatical from my chess game, finding my confidence elsewhere, but I didn’t pack up the board.  I just needed to feel capable at something again, while I regrouped.  It was excellent therapy, and I don’t plan on stopping.

So, I feel like I can breathe again, and I have a plan of action.  I’m going to suck it up, enter those prose contests, lick some boots at the writer’s conferences, and keep sending queries. I may have even decided against alcoholism. I’m also going to finish up the Creative Writing program through a school that focuses on preparing writers for publication.  I think I can make it this time, since the math and science classes (that ensure inserting a pencil in my eye for enjoyment) are behind me.  Why not?  The time will pass me by anyway.  Maybe somewhere in this battle is the way to checkmate.  And who am I kidding?  I always get my opponent in check…it’s just a matter of when and how.  But, as always, though I look still, I am coming.  I am finding checkmate even right now.

 

Sweating the Scott out of Me

The picture above is the best thing I’ve ever seen.  When I first laid eyes on it, the little writer goose bumps on my arms woke up and stretched.  Whoever drew this was a freaking genius, and the tagline is second to none.  I’m slightly disappointed I hadn’t already come up with this myself.

I think F. Scott Fitzgerald might be the most charismatic novelist to have ever strutted the Earth.  The bookstores really should keep his works in a special location for fear they might catch the other books on fire. His shouldn’t even be available in paperback…that’s just asking for catastrophe. Something sizzles madly out of his books and I’ve been shocked a time or two by one of his masterpieces.

As I begin to even approach one of Fitzgerald’s writings, before a word has been read, I hear the Big Band music strike up from somewhere I can’t see.  I chase the music, never quite finding it, but smell the aroma of a fine cigar on the way.  Zelda’s perfume still lurks in the breeze, and something that can only be felt in Paris jolts my senses awake to something of another time.  Feeling his ghostly essence in the air, I open the dusty book cover, and let him have me.  I chase him about the pages the whole way, trying to reach out for the bottom of his coat, but knowing he is somewhere hanging out in 1927, somewhere I imagination will never fully conceive.

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald were fabulous people, and they couldn’t even help it.  Like the pink sunglasses he wears in the picture, his allure sat on is face like a quirky accessory.  However, that draw pulling people to him while the words spewed out of him, was attached.  Whether he was troubled, tormented, brilliant, or busted, he was wonderful.  He wore Zelda on his arm as perhaps one of his only flaws, and it made him all the more beautiful.  That troubled woman bled out of his hands and onto pages.  That endless wit spoke for his generation.  Even Hemingway was drawn  to him like metal to lightning.  Really, aren’t we all?

I think I love Fitzgerald so much because he got it.  He got that idea that sometimes I think I get.  He looks at things in their natural states, agrees with all the flaws, points them out even, but then decides to enjoy them anyway.  Sometimes he basks in superficial delights for the sake of joy, but never denies the fact that joy is a thin veneer over what’s really there.  He doesn’t think life is all roses and wine; however he will buy those roses and drink the hell out of that wine.  I think I do it this way too.  It’s how I stay sane.  I stare ugly in the face while toasting to all that’s beautiful.  Thanks, Fitzgerald, for paving my road, but without forsaking the unruly weeds…

Because I am enthralled with the person, I am intrigued by his works.  It’s so obvious Fitzgerald wrote because he had to, and he had no choice but to charm the page with delicious ink.  It was F. Scott, and it can’t be taught.  I don’t want to learn it either, though a little of him is in me out of pure adoration;  I just want to be it, drip with it…and one day when my novel is in a bookstore I want it to sweat the others out, making a sauna of that place because I, by God, dropped it like F. Scott, sweated him and myself both out of my pores, and made scalding literature that will leave the test of time in flames.

And now, a few of my favorite lines from the master to finish us off…

“Often people display a curious respect for a man drunk,  rather like the respect of simple races for the insane… There is something  awe-inspiring in one who has lost all inhibitions.”

“After all, life hasn’t much to offer except youth, and I  suppose for older people, the love of youth in others.”

“In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o’clock  in the morning, day after day.”

“Life is essentially a cheat and its conditions are those of  defeat; the redeeming things are not happiness and pleasure but the deeper  satisfactions that come out of struggle.”

“Riches have never fascinated me, unless combined with the  greatest charm or distinction.”

“To write it, it took three months; to conceive it three  minutes; to collect the data in it all my life.”  (On writing a book…so true)

 

Grant Tilley on Forgiveness

Today’s life lesson while editing my novel:  Forgive oneself…

We often preach that it is noble to give other people second-chances. I believe this myself, that in most cases people should be given an opportunity to redeem themselves.  However, I’ve noticed that it is considered particularly unsavory to give oneself another go.  Instead we see that as failure, commence the torture rituals, and then try to find a nice safe place to bury all the evidence.  We either brow beat ourselves for the things we aren’t proud of, or we cower from them. 

I used to think embarrassment was the reason, and it is to an extent.  However, to a much greater extent, it’s pride.  We are raised to yes, give others the benefit of the doubt, but in our own situations, to never EVER forgive ourselves for short-comings.  That’s the meat of it too…the forgiveness aspect.  As self-respected Southerners we are sentenced to wallow in our own wrongs, then hide it from others, and under no circumstances whatsoever, let ourselves by with it that once.  I am not saying to go into a situation knowing you are going to commit a fallacy of some sort, then let yourself by with it.  I am saying we cannot grow or find happiness unless we give the past up, yet walk down the same roads with a different attitude. The hard part is trusting ourselves to walk them right this time even though we don’t think we deserve to show our faces.  We have to beg for forgiveness where necessary, but above all forgive ourselves if we want to have a prayer at living again.

I learned this from Grant Tilley.  Grant is the main character in my latest novel.  He’s a tortured blues musician who started out as a naive young boy with a heart of gold, just trying to make ends meet on the wrong side of the depression era.  After about a decade of destroying all that was good in his life, he has to face old ghosts.  While I was writing some dialogue between Grant and the old flame he was begging back into his life, I realized something only as it came out of his mouth.  He told his love he didn’t deserve her, therefore he didn’t think he was worthy of  her love.  At that moment he had a revelation, and discovered that he didn’t deserve her because he hadn’t forgiven himself.  He was still wearing the clothing of the man he used to be, not the man who could love her the way she needed to be loved.  He had to love himself to love her, and that would make him worthy.  Love is worth.

I’m starting to sound like I’m giving a sermon, and even as I’m writing this am beginning to understand some I’ve heard before a little deeper.  Love is the divine part of us, and I’ve said it a million times.  However, when we traipse about wearing pride as a badge of honor we can’t find it.  We all have old ghosts to face, and people’s forgiveness to ask for.  However, we must be vulnerable to do that, and  face all of our ugliness in the mirror, and say, “that’s okay this time.  I love you anyway.”  It is then we know we deserve the love of another person, because we know we are worthy enough to love ourselves.  Thanks Grant Tilley, you’ve opened my eyes once again.  It would be a lie to say I created you…you’re just in there clawing your way out.  What a brave voice you speak out of me.

***A side note to writers…remember this when the query responses start pouring in…forgive your short-comings, fix them, and roll again.

To the Demise of Caricatures

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters.  Characters are caricatures.” – Ernest Hemingway

I believe in writing reality.  I believe literature is one of the best tools to better understand ourselves, as well as each other.  When a writer creates a scenario in a make-believe world it is unbiased.  When we see ourselves in a particular archetype a character represents, presented in the fictitious written word, we can examine ourselves without offense or the possible judgement of others.  Instead, we can get lost in a different world, escaping our own, yet coming out with a better understanding of it.  We are freed by people who are real to us, but that we’ll never have to actually face.

I like to write character-driven fiction.  All of my projects are written in first person, from the prospective of my protagonist, and this was not on purpose.  Any writer’s work is a reflection, a manifestation of that writer’s personality in some way.  In studying my characters I have found they are on journeys.  They start with goals or dreams, and despite hardship and an always present internal struggle, have to find their ways back to them.  At some point they are pulled away from the path they know is the only one that makes them feel alive, and come to the point of breaking before discovering it again.  The characters come from somewhere in me, and I’m surprised at how long it took me to really see the psychology behind it.

In the two novels I’ve completed, both of my main characters began their voyages in early adolescence.  That’s where the foundations laid in childhood butts heads with the person we are destined to become.  That’s where the water in the pot starts boiling, and where we start making plans for the future by discovering.  We find our natural talents, develop our personalities more in-depth, and first search, cluelessly for tastes of puppy love.  It’s when we’re green, and just impure enough to start feeling hungry for something we haven’t found yet.  The road we start down here accounts for so many of our beginnings, my beginnings.  That’s probably why I revisit it so much, and why my characters first appear to me at this age.  They are me.  They are constantly coming of age, constantly just missing the mark, and constantly certain they’ll hit that mark somehow, someday.

My mission is to share my discoveries through my characters, and touch people by illustrating their lives in prose.  It’s my way to come out from any structures I hide behind and radiate.  It’s the only way I know to really connect with other humans.  I think it’s because we’re all the same down in the meaty parts, where it hurts to get pricked by a needle.  However, those parts need checked out from time to time.  I hope my stories tell truth, and that they do not draw caricatures.  I don’t want to sweeten up what the real soul actually looks like.  I don’t airbrush my writing.  I write about people, because that’s what we are.  Literature is our way to refuse to shy away from it.  The truth is we are all sketched up in the same ugly likeness, hallmarked with certain shades of greatness.  How dare we, with the ability, not write it in that same likeness.  Let us annihilate caricatures.

Time to Contend

I’m terrified to finish my novel.  I have about a chapter left, and well, have had about a chapter left since May.  For whatever reason, I keep putting if off.  At first when I realized I was so close, I was ecstatic.  I was already picturing the cover art, and how it would bring life to the beige shelves at Barnes & Noble.  It would be my masterpiece.

However, the romantic music in my head began to fade, and I shoved my laptop in a drawer.  I concerned myself with other matters like work, vacations, sun-bathing, reorganizing my closet, and watching old episodes of Friends all day.  I complained about how busy I am, while sitting on the couch at noon in my pajamas.  I am avoiding my novel, which I am in love with, as if it will open Pandora’s Box the second I lift the lid of the laptop.  Why?  I spout off constantly how I want to be this great writer, and that this is the only thing I really, and I mean really know how to do.

If I finish the novel, I’m no longer working on it.  I’ve done it, and I have to do something about it.  I have to send query letters to agents and get ready to tighten up my muscles for the hard blows.  I know I will be backed up against the ropes, feeling them dig into my back,  while I let the George Foremans of the literary world have their way with me.  They will send letters saying things like,”the project just isn’t right for us,” “keep trying,” and “due to the large amount of queries we receive, we can only select a few manuscripts.”  I will act like I’m unaffected by this because even the great writers have gone through it, but really each rejection will make me sick in the deep parts of my stomach I don’t like to address.

However,  I have to do it.  I have no choice but to step into the ring, knowing full well I will not come out unscathed.  I have to ready myself for the beating of my life, but with one thought in the back of my mind…I will win.  I will take the punches, weaken my opponents, get off the ropes, and never stop coming at them.  I will wipe away the blood with explosive words on stiff pages, and just start throwing punches over and over until I’m so engrossed in the fight that I no longer feel the pain.  What else can a writer do?  A novel has to fight like hell to make it to a shelf.  That’s any novel.  It has to be a contender before it can be a champion.  There’s a time to contend, and a time to win…now my book and I contend.

I will finish my novel by this time next week.  I think I decided that just now.  I’m entering the ring, ready to contend with all the meanest, grittiest heavy weights because I have to.  It’s in me already.  It’s not a fight I even have the ability to choose.  I’m a contender by nature.  All writers are.  I just wake up in the ring, and the bell is resounding.  It’s time.  Start dancing, Lorna.

Star-Crossed Lovers

A writer and a new idea are like two star-crossed lovers who meet every once in a while, when the tide is just right for an explosive union.  It is an unplanned rendezvous dictated completely in the throes of the universe.  It is a love affair that comes upon as rarely as leap year and rocks the Earth off its axis.

Ideas cannot be created…they are bits of matter that ignite whenever they come into contact with other particles.  When they ignite in the same vicinity of the person with the pen, it’s magic.  It happened to me today…

I’m a real sucker for the chance to exercise my love for historical fiction.  Oh, how I love a good period piece!  Lately I’ve been looking to shake things up a bit and focus on a more modern story…and just like that,  something I read about the Gulf War sparked a beautiful father-son tale stretching over a twenty year period from the pre-persian gulf conflict to post War on Terror (with a little love in the mix).  Somehow my story and I crossed paths through a memoir George W. Bush wrote about his decision points during his presidency.  I never thought old “George Dubya” would have anything to do with my next piece of fiction, but he did.  He happened to be that bit of unsuspecting matter in the air that led to the spontaneous combustion of inspiration.  Who knew?

Now, on an ordinary Sunday in early Spring, something great was born.  Perhaps my third novel?  Time will tell…but the rush of getting to splatter some more ink into my “ideas” journal was enough to call it a successful day in the world of writing.  I never know when my lover may call, but he did today and we spent some time hashing out the logistics of a new masterpiece.  I’ll ride the waves of this meeting for sometime probably, until he beckons again through some other unsuspecting object.  It’s like getting into Narnia…it’s never the same way twice, and it’s impossible to plan a trip.  However, I know if I’ve been once it will summon me again.  And, as always I will sit on my porch with nothing but the gentle breeze beside me, like a lonely teenager waiting for a soldier stationed in a far away port to return to her…I will wait for my star-crossed lover to find me again.