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Monday, July 21, 2014

A Little Lost

You'll have to excuse me-- I just finished a novella, and I seem to be a little lost.

You see, I didn't realize I'd entered the dragon's cave.  I didn't.  I was just working.  Just doing my job.  Just striving for that 2-3k a day.  And then it was 4-5K, and then I was up until two in the morning, several days in a row.

And the foot hurt and I couldn't pull my head out, and I hadn't seen my kids even though they were right there next to me and…

I was a little lost.

But I finished the novella (my DSP Christmas offering, if they take it) and it was short and sweet and odd--because it also hurt--and I was torn between "Yes!  Yes!  This is exactly how it was supposed to be!"  and "I don't know, it sort of wrote itself, is it any good?  Do I need to go back and gut it?  Make it longer?  (It's 40K) Should it be a novel?  Should I strip it down?  Why can I not see it any way but how it is?"

And even though it's submitted, I'm a little lost.

My foot flared up, and I've spent two days at the pool, but I really can't do housework right now.  So I… what?  I sit?  Next to my husband?  And knit?  I could catch up on my correspondence (and there's a lot of it) but I'm not quite in this world yet, so I can't seem to put my thoughts in order.

Did I mention I'm a little lost?

I've got a picnic planned with the kids and their friends on Thursday-- yes.  An anchor.  I can plan that. Food, drink, dessert.  I can do that.  But I don't really need to make anything until Wednesday night/Thursday morning, so until then…

I mean, I should find myself by Thursday, right?

Tomorrow I should be able to do housework.  Maybe that will work.  Maybe if I excavate my desk and fold some clothes and make the kids go outside and play and take the dog for a walk, maybe I will know where I am.

The kids leave on Friday, going with my parents until Wednesday so Mate and I can go to San Francisco and he can run the half marathon.  I hope I find myself by then, or I will be lost in SF and he will be running for 13 miles and I will be doing my 5K wander to try to find him… will I be found then?

Will I find myself in San Francisco because I left my brain at my kitchen table?

That would be nice, because right now, I'm still with Adam and Finn, wandering in and out of their world and their dialog, wondering, "Did I do it right?  Have I tied up every knot?  What about John?  Is he okay?  Kee and Emm?  Yeah.  Walter and Nate?  Oh I hope so-- they're already on presale.  And… and… oh my God!  What about Mackey!  Should I start marketing for Mackey?  Should I?  Will I do enough?  Will I do too much?  Did I forget about marketing while I was caught in my writing haze?

Oh hell.

Where am I again?

I'm home.  It needs cleaning.  The kids need a lap and a cuddle.  Jurassic Park is on.  My correspondence can wait.  I have nothing to work on right now.  Work is done for the evening.

I'm sorry.  I was rambling.  You see, I'm a little lost.

4 comments:

Christy Duke said...

Be lost. Ramble on. Talk to your characters in your head. But, NEVER, EVER, worry whether it was any good. You have a gift, Amy, and I hope to still be reading your work 20-30 years from now.

Sit with Mate. Hug Squish and Zoomboy. Knit. Watch a movie.

Just Be.

Rhae Camdyn said...

Yanno'....it's summertime, Amy. Time to get a little lost, hug kidlets, do picnics, just be. There wouldn't be golden meadows of thought to wander in if we weren't meant to get a lost now and then.

Besides, they won't be young forever, and this is the time to share like an exquisite cake - enjoy one savory bite after another with those you care for most.

Hugs!

RhoMelie said...

Hi, Amy and friends. I lurk here and marvel at your words and how you are able to write beauty into the most mundane of every day life. Because you have given me so much food for thought and always a perspective I would not have found on my own, richly deep characters into my reading life, I offer this. Hope it is at least partly as inspiring to you in its simple wisdom as it continues to be for me.

I had a friend I used to work with who had lost a child to leukemia a couple of years before I met her. I knew it had almost been the end of her based on what other people had told me. Yet the woman I worked with was a ray of sunshine with a remarkable sense of humor and a joy to be around. She was almost always UP. So, I bit the bullet one day when it was quiet and asked her how she was this wonderful person to be around when she had been through hell.

Her answer was this, and I'm paraphrasing because it was a long conversation with a lot of personal details shared. She said she had lost herself for awhile and frankly didn't want to be found during that time. About a year after her son died, she realized she had forgotten her son's joy. He could find momentous joy in the smallest details, things most of us take for granted he found wondrous and beautiful. She stopped seeking "happiness" because it would always be, for her, elusive. She started seeking joy in the moments. When she started to feel herself becoming lost again, she would look to where her joy was, or could be if she made a conscious effort to reach for it.

I've never gone through anything as remotely tragic as what she did. Heartaches, disappointments, betrayals from trusted friends, among other things, certainly, but I don't equate my losses with hers. However, I have embraced her "reaching for joy" philosophy when I'm down or troubled or just going through the malaise of getting older.

Every time I learn you have new book coming out, for example, I have joy. I have re-read your books countless times and I know joy each time I do. When I read your blog and your wonderful descriptions of your family and your lives, I smile, and I have joy...because of you.

What you put into your books has to come from a place deep in your psyche and emotionally it must be excruciating at times to write what you do. I marvel when I read your work and wonder from where, and how deep, at what cost you are able to write what you do. Give yourself a break and give yourself the gift of joy. Fill yourself back up after writing what sounds to me like some "Classic Amy" which I have already pre-ordered everything available. You words are simply amazing and have enriched my reading life immeasurably. Thank you, Amy.

Devony said...

I imagine separating from your stories has got to be a process in itself, after all you are with them for so long. So after the story is finished being a wee bit lost makes sense. I mean from what you shared you have no immediate story to tell right now....no characters to make the transition from one to the next, so how can you not be lost?
Hmmm doing a bit of rambling myself lol As disconcerting as that lost state must be, I hope you surface soon ;)
...and what's with how fast the summer has gone?!