Tag Archives: Other Side of the Sky

Another Five Pages

I seem to finally be getting into the swing of things writingwise!  Today I progressed another five pages through chapter 1 (and really that’s chapter 2 because I already have a prologue completed).  I’m back to writing long chapters. Supposedly thrillers like The Enclave have a convention of short chapters (about 15 pages or less), but I don’t by nature write short chapters. Especially not when I’m starting out. This chapter is currently 26 pages long, but I expect that will end up a bit shorter. My comfortable range is around 20 pages per chapter.

I also rediscovered my research books today! Not that they were hidden. They’ve been sitting on shelves in my office and in my bedroom in plain sight all the time. But today it  suddenly occurred to me to take them off the shelves and look inside!

Whoa!  Inspiration on every hand. And I’m not even reading in earnest, just skimming, stopping to read whatever catches my eye. Very fun. One book, called “As the Romans Did” actually has recipes! And actual invitations in which the proposed fare for the dinner party is laid out as an incentive to accept, or in one case, punishment for having accepted the invitation and not showing up:

So! You promise to come to dinner, and then you don’t come!  You will be tried and fined the full cost of the dinner, and not a penny less. My kitchen staff had prepared one head of letuce for each of us, three snails and two eggs each, barley soup along with mead and snow (you’ll pay for the snow first, although it melted right in the dish), olives, beets, cucumbers, onions and a thousand other items no less sumptuous.”

I also, before starting any of it, went outside with Quigley in the midmorning (now that it’s cool enough to do so) and sat on a bench in the shade in our backyard and just drank in the quietness, the peace, the trees and the birds and the grass. It was wonderful. I also wrote a bit in my journal, until suddenly I was moved to come inside and get going.

The important thing now is to keep it going. I think part of the problems I’ve had in all this is that I kept getting interrupted by one thing or another. I’d have a day or two of work, then suddenly events would intrude and I’d not be able to pay any attention to the book. Usually another day like that would follow. And then I’d have lost the momentum and want to do anything but go and start to write again. I feel differently today.

Hopefully tomorrow I can continue this run. As things stand now, it looks as if I can since I don’t have any big plans… but as I know far too well, plans can change in an instant. I also know, though, that my times are in God’s hands and if He wants me to get this book written He’s going to have to at least give me the opportunity to do it, even if I don’t take advantage of it. My intent today and hereafter is to make sure if the opportunity is there that I DO take advantage!

123 Windows

Well, yesterday I woke up early all ready to write. Unfortunately Quigley had scraped my fingers in play the night before and I’d gotten out a sack of frozen peas to put on the scratches, then was distracted and left the bag on the plastic chair mat in my office. With all the humidity we’ve been having the peas had not only totally thawed out, they did so in a puddle of condensate both on top of the mat and under it.  

So that’s what awaited me when I went into the office to work. Thus, before I could get started I had to dry everything off, then prop up the mat against my office chair so the carpet would dry. I could still sit in the chair and work, but only on the side desk, not at the computer, which I’d already turned on first thing — before I’d seen the peas. Anyway, I went over a hard copy of the work I’d done the day before, seeing new places to add things, modify, delete, etc and scribbled my changes into the lines and margins and on the back.

By then it was time to do the morning chores, water the grass, do tricks with Quigley, eat breakfast and finally leave at 8:30 to take my mother to her doctor’s appointment at 9. I was back by 10, and went into the office to find the carpet dry and put everything back the way it was. Then I wiggled the mouse to wake up the computer only to discover that it (my computer) had gone insane. It had already opened 123 Internet Explorer windows, 5 Search Windows and was in the process of trying to open more of each. Clicking X’s with the mouse would close one of the search windows, but did nothing to the 123-and-counting IE windows. Escape didn’t work. Nor Control Alt Delete… and before long another Search window started opening as well.

So I just turned it off, thinking I must’ve done something with the chair while I was fooling with the mat so it had somehow pushed the keyboard. Though it was admittedly difficult to imagine how it could possibly have pushed both the start and the number 6 key to get the IE to open…

I waited a bit, then turned it back on only to get the BIOS screen telling me there were no drives except the CD/DVD drive and which, though it invited me to use various keys to move through the screen, was inoperative. I shut the thing down again and went to call my hubby.

Long story short, I spent the entire day messing with the computer, at long last reaching the conclusion that the problem was my keyboard. Everything worked fine as long as the keyboard wasn’t connected.  I did Bible class with only the mouse. But you can’t put in text changes with a mouse.  

Today I got up and connected a spare keyboard before turning everything  on. That seemed to work okay. Then I deleted the browsing history (which took a looong time) and did a full virus scan, which turned up nothing. The good news is, I’ve not had one instance of rampant IE Window opening for the whole day, so it really does seem to have been the keyboard. Unfortunately, the old one was a broken keyboard and my wrist is not happy about the new flat model. So in the next day or so I’ll probably be heading off to the store to get a new broken keyboard. (Talk about confusing… I’m going out to buy a new broken keyboard to replace my old broken keyboard which really is broken…)

But the cool news is… I have now reached page 9 of Ch 1, in spite of everything. I’m kind of amazed.

She Went Out Not Knowing

Today, to my surprise, since it did not seem at all likely at the beginning, I actually got back to work on Sky. Briefly. Not terribly productively but, I did. The first thing I did was to go in, stare at my stack of folders and then start a nonstop. Which I’m going to share here, thereby killing two birds with one stone [ just remember nonstops are stream of consciousness; I’ve edited only to clarify the gibberishy parts]:

Well, I’m in here, finally. Ready to work. Sort of. By that I mean, I’m here in the chair, I have nothing else to do except maybe eat, because I’m hungry and it’s past lunch time. I have done this over and over.  Sit down finally, stare at the stack, nothing in my head. I just sit there staring at it, wanting to do anything else. So try rebounding…  This is my gift. God will give me the ability to do what He wants me to do.  Fear and discouragement and frustration are emotions of disbelief in the fact that He has all under control.

That my Father, like me, actually intended that I should have been working all this time and whoa! Look at what happened! We’ve gotten nothing done. So then He’s going to condemn me, right? Tell me what a bad girl I am because I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. Okay, that’s nuts, He would never do that. But then I get angry. “Well, God if you intended all this other stuff to happen and me to be so undisciplined, then why…

Hmmm… is it an accident that I just read Jennifer McGuire’s (Hero Arts artist) blog about how she gets all her zillion cards done? When she goes over to mom’s for dinner she brings images to color while chatting. In the car she cuts out shapes while driving a long way to church. Um. I have to drive myself and I wouldn’t be able to see if I tried to color at my mother’s because it’s too dark. Plus we don’t go over there for dinner any more. I could do it while watching TV but I don’t like doing that. So.

Now my hand is falling asleep from trying. And I’ve not even been writing 10 minutes. So what’s up with that? Of course I knew that I had problems. The barriers and hindrances and obstacles to writing this book have been monumental. Overpowering. I’ve not been able to even do a proposal. So… um. I stopped, distracted by email.

Am I making bad choices, Lord? Should I be focusing on my calling, the writing? Should I have not done Christmas?

I’m not getting a strong Yes! That’s what you should have done. So I’m going to conclude that it’s not. That I did everything You … well, that I mostly did what You wanted me to do. I’m a woman under authority. And my husband does take precedence.

So. I haven’t missed on Bible class. I have kept up the blog and people are reading it and are apparently edified by it. So. Now it’s time for Sky. And I want to go eat my sandwich. Hmph.

I don’t know what to do. Don’t know how to get back into the book. Lord, I need guidance. I don’t even know how to start. Read through it all again? Go read entries from when I was starting former books? Oh. Yeah. I could read that section on starting a new book…

And at that point the nonstop was interrupted by a phone call about two minutes from the timer beeping. I did eventually go read the section on the new book and found it quite helpful. The biggest help was the verse at the end:

“By means of faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance;  and he went out not knowing where he was going.”  ~ Hebrews 11:8

Oh yeah! That’s right. He didn’t know where he was going. Just like me Cool!