Two years ago today I started this blog. Some people make a big announcement with bells, whistles and giveaways on their blogiversary. Yeah. Not gonna happen. Last year the day came and went with nary a post. I just can’t seem to whip up much enthusiasm.
Here’s the deal. I have a life. Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true. Remember that outline I was slaving over in July and August? Well a couple of friends (hi, Barb and Paula!) pointed out holes big enough for my new blogging buddy Todd McCann to drive his semi through (hi, Todd!) so I’m ripping it apart and re-writing it.
The biggest problem with re-arranging stuff is the dual narrative. I can’t just take something out or move it to another section without re-thinking the entire book because the point of view goes back and forth between Cody and Jess, and certain scenes have to be told by one character or the other. I have this nasty feeling I might have to get out those 3 x 5 plotting cards again, which I’m not looking forward to. It wouldn’t be so bad if I had a big, spacious table, but I have a card table with two cats on it. Why do cats assume that any addition to a room was put there solely for their amusement?
The thing about starting a project like this is that it becomes all-consuming. I get this tunnel vision that lets emails go unanswered, yard work go unfinished, critiquing go undone, etc. I used to do this when I was working on my race car. Now I do it when I’m writing. Yesterday I spent five solid hours updating the outline to include scenes to plug those big holes. And at that point, rather than being done and satisfied, I realized I had too much going on. There’s loads of tension with very little humor or tender moments to even it out. The rest of the evening I spent obsessing because I didn’t want to stop working until I had it right, but I’d squeezed every ounce of concentration out of my brain, leaving it as limp and worthless as a worm on a wet sidewalk.
It’s after days like this that I get into my car and drive ten miles before I notice the gas light is on. Then I start to panic, because I wonder what else I’ve totally sidelined, like feeding the cats or putting out the trash. Fortunately, the cats have a built-in alarm to remind me when their stomachs are empty. And it’s a little more noticeable than that light on the dash.
Well, I’ve now wasted half an hour of outline time on this blog post, so I’m going to get back to the task. Today some friends were kind enough to listen to me ramble on about the changes I wanted to make, which really helped me sort things out (thanks Paula, Barb, and Alice!). I now return you to your regularly scheduled web surfing. But first, go check out Todd’s trucking blog. I guarantee you’ll fall out of your chair laughing. He’s one dude who knows how to spin a story. And leave him a comment. Those truckers work hard in all sorts of nasty conditions so there’ll be plenty of Ben and Jerry’s in the Safeway freezer case the next time you’re jonesing for some Chunky Monkey.