Thus quoth Arnold the Governator on the Terminator 2 3-D experience at Universal Studios Orlando on my honeymoon. And whaddya know? Here I am, gentle viewers. I’m back.
I apologize for the pre-during-post-wedding absence, as well as the confession that I teared up during the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at the Wizarding World in Orlando. Yet that all happened, and now I’m here again, watching the leaves selectively change on the tree outside my balcony and jealous that my now-husband has a job where he is appreciated and paid for a valued skill and I don’t.
Now where was I? Pity party aside, I spent the last couple weeks thinking a lot about my second draft in spite of the honeymoon. Part of what has prodded those thoughts along has been my re-reading of the Anita Blake series. I’ve been reading the books over very critically, turning my eye to things I do myself (that I consider failings) and watching for things that are done particularly well (that jump off the page and rip my throat out).
The first book in the series is mired in the passive tense. Mired. Caught in sludge and almost drowned. I remember not being able to get into it when I first read it and that it took several tries to get through. The rest aren’t like that — if you watch for those things, you can see Ms. Hamilton’s evolution as a writer in even the first few books of the series.
Reading is fuel. It fills up my tank and makes me want to write when I get stuck in the sludge myself. Right now, Anita Blake is hauling me back to the keyboard to start typing again. I may have limited time and a lonely sense of helplessness pouring out of my professional life, but the determination is still there.
The holidays are approaching, and I know they can be hectic, but part of what the fledgling stage of marriage has impressed upon me is the need to move forward. The need to contribute, to do something I am passionate about. And so I write. I will write. I will read. I will publish my stories and market them to the best of my ability.
I have more than one horse to climb back up on post-honeymoon. A lot fell by the wayside in the past couple weeks and months as the wedding sort of took over everything. I was warned (correctly, it seems) that the doldrums may await our return from Orlando’s sun and playtime. That, if nothing else, is a nice spur in my behind that might succeed in getting my feet back in the stirrups. There are goals to meet, agents to win over, and a bright shiny novel to polish till it blinds you.
On the subject of the novel, I have a great deal to commit to paper. The night after we flew back in, my husband (yep, still sounds weird) and I went to see Thrice play in Towson. One of the other bands that opened for them marvelously formed a backdrop for some deep pondering as I listened. Their sounds haunted me, pulled forth tendrils of the conclusion of my story. It is a trilogy, you see, so the third book is rather important. I hadn’t thought much into it before, aside from a few forays and snippets, but as O Brother played, for the first time the protagonist of the third book sunk her fangs into me. She’s a cool wind from a dark, dark cave. She is lovely and strong and somehow more important than the other two main women who lead the first two books and their narratives. She is the key to everything that unfolds. A guardian and a protector. A survivor. She sacrificed everything to be that person, and she did it without thinking twice. She is stunning and bright and one of the most interesting characters I’ve met from this world. I can’t wait to start putting her on paper, seeing what flows out.
There was a clarity that came through that music. I think I might just be forced to get their CDs on my computer so that I can listen to them when I start my first draft of book three. I have a feeling it’ll be useful to open up those gates again. Music can be a mysterious muse, but a reliable one. Sense memory is a powerful thing.
Aside from returning to my trusty constipated dinosaur of a computer, I also need to return to the workout world. I may or may not have eaten my weight in burgers over the course of the honeymoon, and let me just say that yes, the calories still count when you’re celebrating. At least to the scale. Yikes. I met a fabulous pair of gingers at the Maryland Renaissance Festival a couple weeks ago, and they fight with swords. They said I could be their medium ginger (not often that I would be called medium at five foot ten — large ginger tops six feet), and that I could come play with pointy objects with them.
That came out wrong.
Anyway, if I’m to swing claymores and other swords about, I need to get my body back to the condition it was in a couple months ago before the wedding stress dove down my throat in the form of ice cream, more ice cream, pizza, and more ice cream. But I digress.
The stories have returned to swirl about my brain, my fingers are itching to let them out, and life is supposed to return to whatever state of normal it hovers near. I’d say it’s about time I get my bum in gear, don’t you, gentle viewers? As Rafiki would say to his little fingerpainted lion on the inside of his treehouse, “It is time.”
Or perhaps he’d just run around banging me on the head with his staff and singing, “Asante sana, squash banana, wewe nugu mimi hapana…”
The honeymoon is over. Now the real work begins.