When You Have to Live Life to Write About It!

by Debra Chappell

View From The Kitchen Counter:

Mood Reading: ZZZ’s  (Had to fight the dog for pillow space last night!)

I’ve been hearing the same question from a lot of quarters lately (and no, it doesn’t involve politics):  “So…what’s going on with your book?”

I was asked it by several girls at my book club recently, by friends we were hiking with yesterday, and by seemingly everyone I’ve gone to coffee with, wine tasted with,  dined with, shopped with, watched political debates with, lunched with or otherwise kibitzed with who have all known I’ve been in re-writes since last February. (And if you’re wondering how in the heck I have time for all this socializing when I’m trying to finish a novel, you can appreciate the self-induced conundrum I now find myself in!)

Considering all of that, plus the fact that summer has somehow suddenly lapsed into fall while I wasn’t paying attention, and that “next” February will soon be upon us before you can say “Pumpkin Pie”, “Season’s Greetings” and “Happy New Year”, I guess you could say that the pressure to finish it is mounting, and none more than that I’ve put on myself.

I’ve been genuinely both flattered and thankful that friends, family, and folks in general still seem interested and caring enough to ask – so I thought the least I could do is offer a little progress report and also explain why I haven’t posted a new blog these past couple of weeks (she says as if aforementioned diversions aren’t self evident!)

Social commitments and creative avoidance not withstanding, I have found that sometimes… it’s my writing that gets in the way of my writing. To be more specific, it’s my blog writing that keeps me from focusing on the novel.

I am getting to the last chapters of the book — trying to thread through the newly added sub-plot and wind up all the converging storylines of the three main women in the story – longtime friends, their private challenges, insecurities, tribulations and a few tantalizing secrets they’ve kept from even each other over all the years they’ve been friends.  I am to the point I can finally see the finish line (granted, it’s still a bit off in the distance — but if I cock my head to one side, squint slightly and stay extremely still, I can in fact see it).

I’ve been busy at the lap top working diligently of late, sending off chapters to my editor as I complete them and forging ahead without waiting for them to come back ship-shaped, de-comma’d, and free from hanging participles or my favorite: long, run on  sentences. (I’ve been known to write an entire paragraph three vertical inches long using only one period.) In short, I’ve been working like a mad woman on the book, so much so that I just haven’t had time to blog.

I’m hoping my supporters will understand and still check in regularly and have faith that there will be new posts regularly.  But when there’s a gap, I ask for patience and understanding that my energies are most likely with the novel.  And yes, I promise to keep the other extra curricular activities in my life to a minimum until the novel is finally completed – unless and until that is, I find myself going completely nuts from days on end at the laptop with only the mutt for company.  Then, with your permission, I will allow myself the luxury of a quick gad about or two in the interest of keeping my sanity and being able to speak in the same complete sentences (run on or otherwise) that I write in. I thank you in advance for your understanding, continued support and encouragement and most of all, those wonderful diversions you so generously offer and that I’ve happily indulged in from time to time! I hope you will find comfort in the fact that one blonde author-to-be has been brought back from the brink on more than one occasion by your collective effort!