Want vs Need

I had wanted, no, needed, this past weekend to be one of relaxing and well-filling. That was not what happened. Right now, my mind is scrambled, I have one eye on the clock, because, maybe, if I can get all my morning stuff done by noon (it is almost eleven-thirty now) then maybe I have a shot of getting this day back on track, even though what I want to do most at the moment is unplug from everything, go eat an entire pizza and dig into my towering historical romance TBR pile. Also maybe go to the park and look for baby waterfowl, because we are getting to that time of year. Baby waterfowl make pretty much anything more manageable. Do not ask me how; they probably don’t know, either.

Today, I am in the chair out of sheer stubbornness, and the fact that routine is a big help when things get domestic tornado-y. Butt in chair, check daily task list, put in earphones, select “Go To Work” playlist, and forward we go. Real Life Romance Hero is now chasing down Option C for our lunch date, as Options A and B fell through. There will be food and there will be RLRH, but that, at this point, is all I know.

After that, and after any more work needed on this blog post, if I’m not done by then, it is Her Last First Kiss time, which means rereading the chapter I brought to last critique session, which turned out to be me stuffing a ten pound cat into a two pound bag (that never ends well for anybody) and really needs to be two different scenes, one taking place before the last couple of scenes…arrgh. I’d planned to use the weekend to immerse myself in historical romance, but this weekend turned out to be one of those areas where theory and practice turned out to be two different things. I don’t like when things like that happen, but I dislike not-writing even more, and I dislike postponing critique session, so  my only option is to get the danged pages written. Which means I have to get in the mood. I’m not sure I’m going to get the chance to tuck in with a seasonally appropriate beverage and a few chapters of historical romance, because it’s Monday now, and Monday is back to work.

Last night, I gave Melva the thumbs up on our partial manuscript for Chasing Prints Charming, so today or tomorrow, she will send that on out. That will mean we have our first co-written story under consideration with two distinct entities. That’s a little scary.  It’s been a while. If I were listening to another writer tell me this same thing, I would make a game show buzzer sort of noise and tell them the fact that it’s been a while means it’s high time, and yay, them. That’s not the way I always talk to myself, though that may be a useful skill to acquire.

Only two hundred-ish words to get through this entry, and then I can talk to RLRH about lunch. After that, ready or not, it’s back to 1784, and splashing about in the shallows of a scene that is not in the first draft, but clearly needs to be (this is what second drafts are for, after all.) It’s not going to be perfect. This bothers me, but imperfect pages are a necessary evil. Comparing draft pages to pages in a published book, that has been through multiple editors, packaged, promoted, etc, is an exercise in futility. They can’t be the same, and they shouldn’t be. Where’s the fun in that?

Today, I am tackling this scene because I need to tackle this scene. Heroine needs me. She’s going to be ticked if I don’t spend the time with her today, and she’s not going to move forward if we don’t have this scene, which would mean a lot of her getting all grumbly and glaring at me and nobody is going to have any fun with any of that. I could put things off, but I think that would only make both of us grumblier. Time to put on our big girl panties and wade on into this sucker.

Lately, I’ve been making a concentrated effort to connect with what it is I love most about historical romance, and the historical romance authors who helped me fall in love with the genre. Those are the books and the authors who got my pulse pumping, and had me, on more occasions than I could count, sitting on the floor of a bookstore, either new or used, with a pile of books that I absolutely had to have, but could only take home a limited number. That meant I had to make some decisions. More often than not, those decisions weren’t based on which book was next in whatever series (as most of them were standalones, still my favorite format, and that is a whole other subject) but a gut reaction. Which ones did I need?

Sure, I wanted all of them, but which ones did I need? Which ones would hurt if I put them back on the shelves? Which stories could I not live without until the next time I could come back and comb through the treasure trove on the shelves? In a used bookstore, which books did I not want to take a chance on not being there the next time? Those were (and are) the ones that came home.

On days like this, that’s where I want to get back to; that need. What does Heroine’s scene need to be? What is she going to come out of the book and punch me if I leave out? For those who have not seen the gorgeous image by Sandra Schwab, this is Heroine:


image by Sandra Schwab

She’d do it, too. I love Heroine (Ruby; her name is Ruby, but I still want to call her Heroine when I write about her here) more than I thought I could ever love another heroine again, so I owe it to her to make sure she gets everything she needs. Which means, today, this scene. If I blow off this scene because I’m tired or cranky, I’m going to regret it, and it’s going to follow me into the supposed relaxing I’d be doing instead, which would only make me crankier and less restful. Time to bust open Scapple, throw down the essentials, and start making connections.


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