I often get my best ideas in the shower. I guess a lot of people do. William Walton, my writing partner, takes this so seriously he has a dive slate attached to his faucet so he can record the ideas he has there and not lose them. Today I had two that could be keepers.
The first began with what many people do at the turn of the year. I was reviewing my life and as usual the need to finish things I had started, a natural segue to my book. I realized that when I began writing The Call I had my protagonist, Lis, be twelve years old. For a variety of reasons she is now fifteen. But that does not change my obligation to a resolution I made when I started: to have the book published by the time Caroline, my granddaughter and a partial model for Lis, turned twelve. I wanted her to be able to read about her fictionalized self when she was Lis’ age. This morning I realized that only gives me until November. The time is tight! Caroline will be 12 on November 2nd this year. Even if The Call had already been accepted for publication it often takes a year to 18 months following acceptance to get a book published.
I know, I know, some of you are thinking I could cheat and rationalize that there are three years and change before Caroline is fifteen. And since Lis is now fifteen I could give myself time, but that was not my resolution. My window of fulfilling the resolution as it was made is closing: time to pour it on!
In another vein entirely, ideas have recently been percolating about Book 2, at least tentatively called The Circle. While I haven’t written them yet I know the opening two pages, the prologue for this follow-up book. Today in the shower I had a revelation. I now know the last two pages. All that remains is to fill in the rest!
Did you laugh? But that is exactly how I started The Call. One day I had an inspiration and sat and wrote the prologue in less than an hour. Despite all the editing I have done and real changes I have made to the book itself, the Prologue has remained almost exactly as it came to me, only a word or two edited. After I wrote that beginning I continued researching. Then some time later the ending made itself known to me. The rest is, as they say, history and I set off on the adventure of connecting the two pieces.
Since both books are set in the middle ages there is quite a bit of superstition embedded in them and in some of the characters’ belief systems. But if I am honest I grew up with a lot of superstitious thought that seemed elemental to my family’s culture, interwoven with my ethnic culture. We couldn’t spill salt, sing at the table, or open an umbrella in the house! So I guess I will choose to believe that the thought I had this New Year’s morning is an omen for 2012, and another sign that I must quickly complete my work on the first book. 2012 will be the year of The Circle! Well, and hopefully of getting The Call published. By November….? I hope so!
Now that I have written this down, a sort of new resolution of one type or another, I have to keep it or at least keep at it. Stroz, the leader of the Guardian Order who protects Lis, who is not a superstitious person, says at one point early in The Call, “Luck, fate, we make our own.” I guess I need to get on with making my fate, keeping my resolutions, and honoring the omens. May you do the same in 2012 – Happy New Year!