Another Monday begins another week. This one is going to have some logistical challenges, and that’s okay. Still battling the cold sore here, temperatures are going to be hovering near ninety degrees for at least a week (no, the weather does not care that it is practically September) and today is a full house in Stately Bowling Manor, all humans with some degree of crankiness, so this could get interesting. Already, I’ve wrangled with getting a carefully photographed shot up here, which was not working out for some reason, so we adapt. Go with the all purpose Typing With Wet Nails banner, which I love, and on with the show.
Today, I am ensconced in my office, travel mug filled with ice water at the ready, disposable straw stuck in it to minimize contamination. First things first, and today, that’s getting a blog post up before noonish. Any idea of what to talk about? Not yet. Let me consult the scribbled notes on the page from my paper mousepad.
Lists are always good when stuck for something about which to blog (yes, I do have to be grammatically correct; my blog, my rules.) Top Ten Tuesday, which I only figured out was a thing in the last few days, is tomorrow, though, so that’s probably going to be that, which may do double duty as a unicorn chow post.
There’s the matter of handling a sick day as a writer (hint; it’s like any other day) and the fact that I still haven’t reread any Bertrice Small novels since her passing and the acceptance that I am flat out not ready yet. When I do, it will probably be a single title, though, instead of an installment in one of her series. I did not do a lot of reading this weekend, though I’d planned on it. Instead, I wrote most of the time, which really is relaxing for me, as long as I do it my way, and shut out the shoulds..
What my way is can change from time to time, and it’s by doing a lot of that writing, that I can see the shifts in patterns. Right now, I’m not as concerned with finding one perfect method to get things done, as I am with getting things done and then figuring out how I did them. I am not ready to turn in my plotter hat entirely (the black netting does marvelous things for my complexion) but I have come to accept that I am more of a puzzler. This goes along with something that surprised the heck out of me when I was in college, studying early childhood education (the biggest surprise was that I did not like early childhood education, which is a big part of why I am not doing that right now) While I had always thought I would learn best (and what I was told by pretty much all of the grownups in my life up to that point) was that, because I liked to read and write, that I would learn best by reading. Following written instructions and all that.
Good in theory, but not in practice. What I found out, while supposedly learning how to enlighten very young minds, was that I fit better in what’s known as kinesthetic learning. TLDR version – I learn by doing. Let me get my hands dirty and mess around and in the messing around, I will figure things out. Discovery learning, some call it, and I like that term. Sitting outside of the story and telling the characters what they are going to do doesn’t work all that well for me, although I spent far too many years trying to make it be so. Darned old shoulds. What works better is knowing who my story people are, and then putting them where they need to be and letting them do what they do.
In a way, it’s like playing Sims (which I really really super miss, as my gaming laptop is making ever faster circles around that metaphorical drain, so I don’t play as often as I’d like.) One of my favorite things to do, besides legacy play (following one family through several generations) is to make an asylum. One dwelling, with specified resources, a certain number of Sims, but I can only control one. The others will pick what to do, depending on the traits they were assigned. Sloppy Sims don’t care if they’re giving off green stink fumes and the house is littered with dirty dishes, where neat Sims will become very unhappy in the same circumstance and ignore their own needs to get those dishes done. Shy or antisocial Sims won’t like being in close quarters with that many other Sims, while outgoing Sims will be thrilled by having all the company and want to talk to everybody, even if their energy is in the red (very very very tired.) Get the drift?
Once I’d figured out that Her Last First Kiss had started in the wrong place, and I dumped the major players in one room and let them do what they do, then things got interesting. My heroine like things planned out and in order, and the story now opens in her most sacred and personal space, into which the hero bursts in with all the force of a tropical storm, drenched to the skin and spreading out papers that are vitally important to him on every even remotely flat surface, while all heroine sees is the huge mess he’s making. Pretty indicative of how things are going to go between these two, and it also solves a quandary I’d had about how heroine is going to come into possession of one particular paper hero really would rather not have anybody, especially her, see. I knew the paper had to get from him to her, but smashing my head against a brick wall trying to figure out how that could happen didn’t work, but letting them do their thing did.
That came about, not in precise typing in any program, but messy, free-form scribbling on a legal pad (which still gives me the willies that it doesn’t have margins, so definitely switching) and it didn’t even feel like work. That was pure play, but darned if it didn’t get all those ducks happily in a row and me knowing exactly what has to happen next. Which means a new scene and POV switch, and, y’know what? I’m fine with that. Onward.