In the wee wee hours of the morning

Perhaps it’s the lack of outside stimuli that lends itself to clearer thinking. Or maybe it’s just good old fashioned insomnia. Either way, I do get some of my better plot ideas as I lay in bed in the middle of the night.

As summer draws to a close, retailers are chomping at the bit to remind us of fall with halloween decorations crowding out the back to school sales and we’re all cringing at the impending onslaught of pumpkin flavored foods.

For me, it’s a time to consider revisions of previous editions to my books, and of course, try my damnedest to finish my current book, Book 6 Woman in the Wind. My life has really gotten in the way of this book, in an incredibly good way, I grant you. But I know it needs to get done.

Maybe my brain is starting to feel the pressure now too. Usually it’s not so motivated. But as I begin to return to a normalcy in much of my life, I feel my characters calling to me again.

I went to Door County, Wisconsin this summer on a family vacation of sorts. Since I have chosen to place the 6th book in that location, it was crucial that I make a return trip to my favorite haunts, and add some new ones. It was a fruitful journey. I wrote a major climax to the book while I was there, full of my usual twists and surprises.

As I feel out the backstories of this book’s characters, my recurring characters are becoming more rounded, which is always good. There are, however, decisions that still have to be made. I still haven’t decided where Bernice and Evan will end up.

Part of me really wants to shift gears with the main characters and perhaps let other people get kidnapped, shot at, blown up, and generally navigate life threatening situations for a while. Darlene and Cameron are awfully stable at the moment. Maybe they could use some excitement. Maybe in Book 7, it’ll be time to bring the mayhem back to the backwoods of northwest Wisconsin.

This is what I think about when sleep eludes me for whatever reason. If I’m lucky, dawn will be approaching, and I can just get up and start the day. Or maybe it’s only 3:30 a.m and I have to get up to pee. Either way, progress is progress.

A comment on the state of mankind

I feel that, in our need to maintain our sense of self in a world of globalization and population explosion, we human beings are losing our sense of empathy and replacing it with self-righteous narcissism. If a person can’t or won’t try to see the world from another’s perspective, they will fail to understand anything but what they believe to be true. Belief is not reality.

Empathy is not the same as pity. All of us want to be understood, no matter who we are and how bright or bleak our lives may be. To understand why a person says or does something that goes against our beliefs, we must learn their motivation, their background, their environment, their goals. To gloss over another’s opinion as simply wrong sells both parties short.

Sometimes, it’s very frightening to delve into the mind of someone whom we fear or possibly hate. But the sad truth is all of us are equipped with the same giant brains, so very capable of being very conscientious and very malicious. The brain is a vast dense jungle of neurons, chemicals, hormones, all waiting for some event to trigger a reaction, prompt a response to the outside stimuli that feeds it, dictates its processes, molds its reality.

There are those scientists out there that still hold to the theory that evil is genetic. I’ve born witness like to rest of you to the media soup that proves time and time again that awful acts know no genealogy.

To me, it will always come down to this. If you fail to perceive the notion of others, you fail to understand them. In doing so, your perception of the world will be narrow minded and deluded by the beliefs that bring you comfort at the expense of others. Unfortunately, we are all compelled to this state. It takes a courageous act of will to be otherwise.

Self Forgiveness

Lately, I’ve had a spare moment in the morning between when my husband leaves for work and my new full time job starts. I finally found the motivation and energy to write a little something. I noticed the last blog post was from February. That’s pretty awful for a writer who hopes to maintain an audience, I know.

If you are angry with me for my lack of blog writing (never mind book writing. Sheesh), I’m sorry, but your disappointment in my lack of progress is nothing compared to mine.

I learned a long time ago that I will never live up to my own expectations. I will never be as good as I believe I’m suppose to be, never be as successful, never be as organized, never be as insightful or ready.

But my worst failing is never forgiving myself for being a human being with flaws and ineptitude that preclude me from being the perfect specimen of writer, wife, friend, daughter, and now mother that I believe is necessary for acceptance from the rest of the world.

That, unfortunately, is a flaw that my main character inherited from me, though I doubt it was done with any intention on my part. Bernice runs and hides from those who care about her because she can’t seem to come to terms with her apparent failings in life. She leaves those who need her most because she believes they’d be better off without her.

But the problem with being alone for too long is the voices in ones head start to sound more convincing and logical than they should. And rarely do they ever utter the words, “you’re good enough.”

So, in my tardiness of offering anything that resembles new writing with which to entertain you, I apologize, but I have to give myself a break right now and accept that the writing will come when I let it. Meanwhile, I’m busy enjoying my chubby, drool covered, babbling new job who sucks up most of my attention, adoration, and energy.

Enjoy your summer. I may write again. Book 6 is about 1/3 done. So we’ll see. In the sage pseudo words of my new demanding boss: “gnagnagna ah ba ha aieeeee!” or something to that effect. It’s hard to articulate with big bird’s squishy beak shoved in ones mouth.