I have always had a long list of book projects waiting for my attention–some are on hold because I got stuck on them, some on hold because I haven’t found the right frame of mind, and some, because another project popped up that struck my fancy. Resurrection Sticks, was one of those Writerous Interruptus species, and it only took me a week to write this novella. It took on a life of its own and I just let it lead me.
I had been looking through files of notes on ideas, and came across a dream I had about what I could only call “resurrection sticks.” I thought maybe I could get a short story out of it. Many of my ideas come from dreams–when i can remember them, that is… So, I decided to try to write a story about these sticks…Once I got started, though, it became a bigger project and so I just willingly let it take me where it wanted to go. I love it when that happens.
My partner Kate, was also finishing up a book (Building Character) and hers became more than she thought, as well. But while mine was just around 30,000 words, hers became 117,000 before it was over. As authors, we must always allow the story to be as long as it needs to be to tell the story, and there’s usually no way to know what that’s going to be until it’s all over and the smoke clears.
One thing I learned about her that I found intriguing was that her writing method was different from mine, though we both achieve the same result. She is one of those write-straight-through authors. She writes, and doesn’t go back and change things or adapt things–the story just comes out and it is surprisingly clean, needing little editing. Mine, however is a series of scenes–dialogues, events, character backstory, and I have to weave them together somehow, find the connections and come up with some kind of sensible interplay among all the elements; this, while allowing the characters to take me along on their story. Whatever develops usually means I have to go back and alter something, add something, take something away, make it all fit somehow. The crafting I do is hard work. I am jealous that so much of her story comes out well-wrought on the first pass. There are even red herrings and foreshadowing in her story that work nicely some 10,000 words later when something else new happens on the page as she types. It’s fascinating. Did I say that I’m very jealous? I guess that makes me a made-writer and her, a born-writer. I am just amazed that on some subconscious level, her story develops in such a linear fashion…unlike mine, which includes me trying to fit square pegs in round holes. I wonder how other writers are in this regard. So I’m interested in how it will be for us writing a book together, and if those two methodologies will harmonize. With just the initial collaborations we’ve done, it seems our styles will work well together.
Now we’re both sort of taking a break for a day or two before we tackle the co-authoring project on our book, Hanging the Moon. I’m excited about the project.
This is going on amid my plans to move to New Zealand to be with her permanently. So much going on right now. I feel as though I’m preparing to relocate to another planet. When you’ve never been out of the U.S., and sudden;’y you’re going to another country to live for an indefinite period of time, all within a new relationship with my dream-woman, whom I thought I’d never find, it can be a lot to assimilate. My head is spinning. So much will change. All my created comfort zones will have to be tossed out the window, and I will have to reframe it into an adventure, instead of something really scary. The one thing I am certain of, though, is the one thing that makes it all worth it. I have found my soulmate, and I get to be with her, build a life. Two writers who are so much alike, and understand each other as if they share some of the same brain cells…it truly is a chance of a lifetime and I don’t intend to let it slip by. That alone is enough to justify what she and I often call being Brave and Crazy. Life is short, and when you find the one you’ve waited for all your life, all the sacrifices seem negligible, and all the other things you felt were so important seem to pale in comparison. My life is about to change in the most drastic way, and I am still happier than I ever thought possible.