Monday, January 6, 2014

Outside the comfort zone

finished Happenstance in the late morning yesterday and quickly drafted a review for Hippocampus. While I felt the book deviated from standard storytelling technique, in the end, the author (Robert Root) brought everything full circle and fully incorporated his title. Well done. And his message seemed much more thought provoking than I thought it would be. I try to connect with what I read and I found more of myself than I thought I would in this piece. If you want to know more, you’ll have to wait until the issue releases.

I also did something out of character for me and pitched a creative non-fiction piece to the editor of Hippocampus. It involves another writer, one I’ve known and respected for quite some time now, and I hope this gives me a chance to bridge our careers. The boldness of pitching a story idea without even knowing if the subject would say yes is, again, something out-of-character. It made me wonder if I could find something to pitch to someone every day. That is a lofty goal, but the change in thought process might prove to force me from my rut and perhaps bring progress. 

The child returned to school today and the husband to work. I don’t work until 4 p.m. It’s a wet day and all of my umbrellas are missing so after walking child to school I am enjoying a hot cup of decaf chai. I realized this morning that I only have six more months of my morning walk as next year my daughter will ride the bus. I’ve had the same routine for four years and the change may prove disorienting. 

My list of things to do is short, but it’s an unpleasant list. I already tackled the dishes and I think the laundry will wait. I need to decide what comes next. Work on my resume? Research refinancing the house? Deal with bills? Develop a long range budget? Organize the 2013 paperwork for tex season? The choices are undeniably dull. 

I could entice myself with tasks like “query an agent” or “pitch to a magazine” but my heart isn’t there either. Would writing be a valid choice or would that be neglecting more important household duties?

I have made dribs and drabs of progress on the Jacqueline/army medic story. A sentence here and a paragraph there. I think I sorted out the time frame last night. I think the story begins in early February 2003. Why 2003?

These initial novels take place in a certain historical context. My main characters have to be a product of post World War II France. My strong female character in the Fashion and Fiends trilogy Basilie d’Amille was a corporate raider in the 80s and had other business background that just wouldn’t work in the dot com and later economies. Later, my fashion model character has to come of age in the late 1980s because she’d be too curvy and athletic to be a supermodel post Kate Moss’ success.

Even their families couldn’t exist with a shift in time, the impact of various wars and international conflicts impacted these families in ways that created who they are.

But don’t worry, later stories can bring the families up to date. 

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