Plates are spinning

You know, this past year has been a little bit like Dating a Dervish. A wild ride filled with highlights, low-lights, deadlines, pressure, exhilaration, joy, and sorrow.

There’s no need to detail every event, since most of them are documented here on my site. Suffice it to say, that just over a year ago I was an aspiring writer and today I’m preparing second editions of both of my books. It’s thrilling and it’s daunting because the expectations are higher.

As I go through these manuscripts with fresh eyes and some wonderful feedback, I find that I’m hypercritical of each and every word. Yes, that’s a good thing. However, with the new agony of every sentence, I find even greater challenges to my limited skill as a writer. In the process of revising and rewriting roughly 150,000 words, I’ve learned new ways to add shading and depth to the already existing story. My goal is not change the original story arc but to add another layer. My critique partner calls it amplification—The ability to change one or more words to make the action or the scene stronger and more authentic—my definition.

As I have been doing this, I’m incredibly distracted by an array of disjointed thoughts, new story lines, new plot devices, and new actions for existing characters. And therein lies the rub. Two damn many plates!

The thing I like best about writing, is what I call “fresh writing “—you know, open a vein and let it pour out on the page. No expectations, no editing just let the story flow. As a rule, my stories are character driven. People show up, fictional people that is, and I observe them. As I do, situations develop and together we solve them. I create worlds and participate in the stories. When I’m fully immersed in a new story, I can’t wait to get up every morning and join my new friends to find out what we’re going to do that day. It’s terrific. That’s how I managed to rip through nine new manuscripts in about four years.

The good news is that four of them comprise The Damaged Series. The first two are published and now being revised for a second addition, the third draft is finished and ready to be polished for submission. The fourth is half finished. And don’t get me wrong, I love the adventures of Zeke and Anne because they’re like family to me, but I also love Meg and Nicole, Kirin and Silke, Sam and Gloria, Sam and Lucille, Kai and Riley. They each have a story to tell. Each one is different and each one as compelling. There’s even a new character, Brett Connors. I know very little about her, but she’s mysterious and has something very important to tell me. Oh yes, and a short story for an, as yet unannounced, anthology. (Stay tuned)

Aside from all that…

There’s the a life of a writer—the promotion/learning/networking duality. And the very real side of life that involves responsibilities to friends, family and four-leg-eds, car servicing, computer servicing, swamp cooler servicing, banking, bill paying, shopping, housekeeping, Dr. Visits, vet visits, monthly meetings, social obligations. Oh yes, where have I built in the time for worrying, agitating, handwringing, and a little bit of catatonia.

(this is just for fun)

>>>>>I won’t even discuss the Internet.<<<<<

I just wanna tell stories, that’s all.

Thanks for indulging me another rant, two weeks in a row. Who knew? I guess when the force is disturbed…

For the ever hopeful, my beautiful new cover

15 thoughts on “Plates are spinning

  1. I don’t know…but I think a four- or five-book series called “The Swamp Cooler Chronicles” would be a real nail biter. I can see Gillian Anderson in the lead role. Cue eerie music.

    Imagine the cover possibilities?

    Just keep telling those stories, Barista. They push back the darkness and leave a trail of light for others to follow. We’re all in this together.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and your kind words, Ann. I’m thinking the series may include the adventures of the summer of 2012…they continue with the great Thursday Hail Storm.

  2. Write On, you! Twirling plates and balls in the air — all a matter of balance and knowing when to stick your hand out to spin or catch! Rock it.

  3. Commendations for courage, stick-to-it-tiveness, and plain old PLUCK (with a magnum of talent thrown in). Your Panama fan, awen

    1. Thank you so much for your heady comment, I am humbled and re-motivated to keep at it. It doesn’t always feel that way 😉
      ps my home away from home is San Pedro, Belize.

      1. Nice spot! You’re always welcome to visit us here in the mountains of eternal spring! We’ve retired to our own vacation (I’m not sure that’s grammatically correct but it is just that).

  4. Life has certainly changed for you and you’ve welcomed it with open arms and enthusiasm. You’ve written two great books and have readers tapping their toes waiting for the next adventure. Life must seem like a whirlwind sometimes but, I think, you’ve got a firm grip on what brings you joy and inspiration. Nicely done Barrett.

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