Monday, October 25, 2010

Concept of Renewal

When something in your life gets stale, can you find a way to renew it? Over the past few days, I've learned something about renewal. I hesitate to tell you all how ancient I really am, but my body had been stiffening to the point I needed help to get to my feet. I thought I was staring eternity in the face. One of our two dogs has been having a similar problem and I assumed he was nearing his demise as well.
My wife had been looking for something to give the poor creature to ease his pain and, when she read that condroitin and glucosamine might ease his joint pain, got an idea about me. We found that human products were a fraction of the cost of the animal equilivant and only missing a proprietary ingredient the drug makers put in to make their product exclusive. She got it at a dollar store for less than most discount stores charge and I took my first dose, not expecting much of a change. The very next day I moved my limbs freely and pain free for the first time in a long time. Wow, what a difference!
It's been three days and I feel ten years younger. I did more yesterday than I could have done in a week before. Doggie had his first dose yesterday, and this morning jumped to his feet and came running. This is a eureka moment for the two of us. Don't know if fate has been put off a bit longer but I can enjoy what time there is left. I know, sounds a bit dour, but forget that. I'm ready to go for what's in front of me and not worry about my inevitable demise. Yeah, babe!
On another front, my writing had begun to slip into that stale category, too. I'm doing my pre-planning for NaNoWriMo and last week put down enough back story that I'm ready to begin writing, plot and character arcs well in hand. This has happened before, several times, but I manage to forget how I renew my writing verve, over and over again. It's back and I'm ready for it! That also makes me feel ten years younger.
How about you? Has your prose gotten weary on its feet and stiff in the joints? Sometimes a little pill called inspiration can get you jumping to your literary feet just as one of those things I'm taking got me jumping to my physical feet. My literary inspiration?? It will be revealed in due time. Stand by for a super story that will be born standing on its feet and ready to run!
Pat Dale

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Genealogy anybody?

One of my daughters is fervently involved in recreating our family ancestry. I've often wondered about certain members of my family but I always put off researching the subject. Now, though, I can see why she might be concerned.
Lecia is almost forty and starting to have some health issues. She's asked a lot of questions which I always try to answer as completely as possible. She is not willing to take enough for enough and has instituted a search into the past. It turns out, my maternal grandfather was cursed with atrial fibrilation and it was a contributing factor to his death at age sixty-six. That woke me up. You see, I've been troubled with the same heart condition for at least a decade. My father had the malady but it didn't contribute to his death. An accident during abdominal surgery caused the cancer in his bladder to spread rapidly.
So I've got this crazy jazz-like rhythm going on in my heart because of genetics. And all this time, I thought it stemmed from my love of the music I played for years. My answer is much more poetic, don't you think? But no, I got it coming and going; both sides of the family. We also share a blood idiiosyncrasy known as 'factor five'.
That explains in part why at least two of my daughters have had health issues related to that wayward factor. And why I should give a darn about genealogy. Turns out, it's fascinating. When I go online to research members of my family, I usually spend at least an hour and often more.
I've seen the death certificates of a number of ancestors; a bit chilling but also instructive to know that they could write and spell a century or two before I landed on the planet.
How many of you have developed your family tree? Any notable citizens turn out to be related to you? Any infamous ones?
Lots of questions here, and just maybe fodder for new storylines. Just what a writer needs, especially a fiction writer. As we all know, fiction is truer than fact in most cases. Well, we do, don't we?
TMWYT (tell me what you think)
Pat Dale

Monday, October 4, 2010

Are you happy with your writing?

Not as simple a question as it seems at first glance, is it? Actually, I'm less concerned with true happiness than with how my state of emotional well-being affects my creative output. On the one hand, I can't afford to be too pleased with my WIP if I expect it to achieve acclaim and acceptance. On the other, too much nit-picking and frustration lead to stagnation, and that ain't good either.
Let's break this thing down a bit. I have to admit it's nice to sit in a comfortable office, clacking away at my keyboard, immersed in all the trappings a successful author could hope for. Pleasant music in the background, temp and humidity optimal, a good meal in my tummy, and my dogs at my feet to field my outbursts of temper or elation. What could be better? If this does not make me happy, what will?
Maybe best seller status for my latest release? Maybe a three book contract sold on a mere sampling of the first two books? Perhaps, a national TV book tour, including all the major networks?
Would I be happy if I never sold a single book, but neither did I have a single rejection letter staring me in the face? When is a project truly finished? Finally, does it matter if my characters come to life in my head but never see the light of day?
Lots of questions and a myriad of answers, all correct and none false; at least not to the one who gives her answers to this forum. I'm truly curious--strike that; I'm ravenously anxious to hear what all of you have to say about what makes you happy in your writing.
I must close this post with an apology for the hiatus of the last two weeks due to illness; my own one week and my dog the next. I had a short term flu bug that made a most unwelcome return engagement week before last. Then last week, my one year old pup tried to eat an acorn. He'd swallowed linoleum, plastic, metal, shoes; you name it and he'd eat it. But not the little acorn he gobbled up while on a run in a local park. Darn dog nearly died on me. Can't have that happening; he's the inspiration for my NaNoWriMo output next month. Oh yeah, I'm doing it again. I just sold the book I wrote in that exercise two years ago, and I've got this idea for a truly funny story centered around a large dog who thinks he's people.
Let me know what you think about happiness in writing. Meanwhile, may the creative bug bite you in the, uh, spot that gets you slamming words into your chosen method of writing. Cheers, Pat Dale