When Bad Weather Can Be a Good Thing!

by Debra Chappell

Weather today:  Cold, gathering clouds, storm’s a brewin’…

View ‘from the front porch’:









Mood Reading:  ZZZ

(5 Zs is a terrific nights sleep and feeling fabulous – would have been 4 Zs but husband came home from business trip with nasty cold, poor guy, started hacking at about 5:30 this morning – not my finest hour under the best of circumstances-)

It’s cold and blustery again, which usually means a storm blowing in – it’s as if Mother Nature has finally realized she’s procrastinated long enough and has decided that if she wants to get winter done at all this year, she’d better squeeze it in during the next few days. Spring officially arrives Tuesday March 20th, less than a week away – I suspect she’ll be pullin’ some all-nighters!

From the sound of the howling wind outside, could be a doozy.  I’ve got the fire going full tilt this morning and would like to claim I fetched the wood, chopped the kindling and built it from scratch, but have to confess, all I did was flip the switch.  Did have to pry my rear end out of the deep, soft comfy sofa to do it though, and hauled my brimming cup of coffee over to the light switch clear across the room, but I suppose that doesn’t count.  The newly sprouted daffodils outside, like the rest of us, are totally confused in any case – last week the temp’s were in the 60’s and this week it’s snowing.  Like my friend Cathy says, you don’t know whether to haul out the bar-b-que or put on a pot if soup!

Anyway, new week, new mood!!  With a break between editing stints, I felt rather useless last week, but my trip to the mountain cabin revived me.  That, and the fact that my new editorial notes arrived coincidentally the day I returned so I feel back in the saddle again – yippee ki-yo-ki-yay! (or however the heck you spell it.)  My editor loved the changes to the first five chapters (whoo-hoo!) and we’re moving ahead!

We spent over an hour on the phone on Monday discussing all the new stuff and how it will affect the remaining chapters.  With the story so intertwined already, it’s a little bit of a domino effect, (and I hope I have my ‘affects’ and ‘effects’ used properly here – I’m sure I’ll hear about it if I dont!) If I change something here, I have to make the same change there and elsewhere in the book, or at least accommodate the resulting outcome, does that make sense?  So… if I‘ve already written that some dark secret comes out at the seaside, and have a bunch of related scenes like a picnic on the beach, the charming seafront cottage description, and a clam bake etc., and then  decide no, that secret needs to come out at the mountain cabin instead, well, you now have a glimpse of the “rewriting” process…welcome to my world.

In these opening sequences, it’s not so much that I’ve changed what’s been already written, but have added on some new layers that will affect things later…(for a new effect -right?)  And before you start groaning, I don’t mean additional lengthy descriptions or unnecessary added background. (God-forbid we have to haul out those Wellington boots!) It’s more about some interesting sub-plots and later events that start brewing in the opening chapters that I hope will be as fun to read as they were to write!

Even though I know the characters inside and out, what their stories are and how they will all end up, it’s the ride that takes them there that becomes so intriguing and enjoyable. But if you tweak their direction even just a little bit, it can send you off on a whole new goose chase.  It’s sort of like taking an exit off the freeway that you didn’t intend to, and landing in tim-buck-two without knowing exactly how you got there.  But then you realize you kinda like tim-buck-two and want to stay and look around awhile, before getting back on the road…  like that.

I guess that’s a long way of saying I’m off and running again and probably need to get back at it.  Since it looks like  Mama Nature’s got her knickers in a twist, I think it will be a perfect week to stay in, button up, flip on the  insta-fire, and keep tapping away at the kitchen counter.

See you next time, thanks for visiting!