Thursday, April 26, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Whenever I finish writing a book, I face a dilemma of sorts. Should I take a breather and wait two, three weeks, or longer, before I begin my next book, or should I just get right down to it and crank out another one. The second option is probably the best. It seems that the more books one has available for sale, the more money one is likely to make. But then the question becomes what to write?
The truth of the matter is, I have no idea as to the plot of my next book. I know I want the book to revolve around a character in my latest novel, Swan Loch. I want to place my character in a couple of bad situations and see if he can work his (or her) way out of them, but that's about it.
Of course, not knowing what happens until it does has never stopped me before. Before I wrote my last two novels, I knew how they began and how they ended , but that was it. Each time I had entered a race knowing a finish line was in the far distance but with no knowledge of the obstacles in between.
Most authors have a general idea of a story in their heads before the first page is typed. Some have the basic plot premise written down in outline form. The thrill for me is flying by the seat of my pants. I love to create scenarios as I write. And I enjoy bringing unexpected characters (both heroic and evil) into the mix. For me that is the difference between going on an adventure or typing out a homework assignment.
I imagine there will be times when I've pretty much figured out who will win and who will lose. Who will get the girl and who will go home empty handed. But right now, I'll take the thrill of the unknown.
Now where was I? Oh yeah. I think I'm going to take the first option and enjoy some time off, maybe a month or so, to catch up on my reading and work on my tan. As for my characters (and I'm talking to you Jake),  I'll say don't worry, I won't forget about you. I promise I will place you in a hair raising situation or two before the summer ends.
Please be patient and stay out of trouble until then.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Keeping Up With My Chores

My wife, Roni, gets irritated when I write stories on my PC or laptop. What I mean when I say that is this; my wife feels strongly that there are much better ways for me to spend my time at home while she works. That's the catch, you see. She's working and I'm at home relaxing in front of the computer all day. In the meantime, important house chores are being neglected.
The yard is not mowed as often as it should. I am told weekly is the correct timeline. Clothes are not being washed (I believe three times a week is the prescribed schedule for this). And, I'm afraid I've also been negligent in the basic housecleaning assignments such as vacuuming, dusting, and maintaining a sterile bathroom.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a slob by any means. It's just that I feel I have more important ways to spend my time.
When I informed my wife of this fact, she immediately drew up a weekly house chore work schedule, scanned it, then ran off several copies on the computer. These copies were then placed throughout the house, in places she knew they would be seen. My computer monitor received one, as did my pillow (over and under). Whenever I thought I had found them all, another would pop up. Removing the offending paperwork was an exercise in futility. They would always be back in the same spot the next day.
I'll never understand how she accomplished this without help, but I must admit that her strategy worked. She wore me down. It took more effort to find and remove the lists than it would have to implement her demands.
She won, as she always has and always will. I now do my chores regularly as told. My wife is happy. The house is clean. The grass is mowed. Everything is right with the world.
My writing took a small hit, but I still find ample time for it. Occasionally I still find a list while going about my business. Each time I do, my wife assures me that it was paperwork I missed the first time around. As for me, I'm not so sure, but I can't be worried about that now. I have vacuuming to do.