Interesting title, you might think, but what is the meaning? Actually, I was combining two thoughts in one title to convey a couple of writing tools I utilized this past weekend. Before I go there, it is helpful for you to know that I have created in my writing world (as I suspect most of us have), some very set patterns. Once a month RWA meetings. Weekend blog writing. Wednesday evenings, critique group. Before bedtime reading of MS pages with a bit of red lining. And spaced in between all that and the other regular life stuff, I snatch blocks of time where I can do a bit of novel writing.
A full and dynamic world I’ve established for myself, but once in a while it’s nice and extremely valuable to step Outside the Box of normalcy. Shake things up a bit, as it were. For me, this came in the guise of a weekend trip to Austin to visit a writing friend. Several years ago she moved from Houston to Austin, so while we keep up with each other, it’s rather peripheral. Facebook lurking mostly. But she asked if I was available for some brainstorming, and I eagerly accepted. So Friday I headed for Austin.
This is the second time I’ve enjoyed such a weekend, and I’m here to tell you they are magical. Why exactly (besides the obvious)? I don’t think you can escape the notion that we writers tend “a smidge” towards narcissism. I mean really, imagine thinking what we have to say warrants not only writing it down, but then thinking that someone will actually pay to read it. That being said, this narcissist revels in the opportunity to talk about my WIP (Work In Progress) not in terms of fifteen or twenty minutes snatches or a few pages at a time, but for hours and hours and hours. There ain’t NOTHING like One on One time.
So, I got to spend an hour or so telling her all about my story, filling in plot points when questions arose. We talked about holes, twists, possible ideas. It was freaking awesome. Then we stopped, grabbed a snack, took a potty break, whatever, came back and did the same thing for her WIP. And since we had nothing to do but talk, we also caught up with personal stuff not to mention getting up to speed with other writing activities. I mean what writer is only working on one thing?
Even if you only work on one MS (Manuscript) at a time, there’s research, perhaps you’ve purchased and are trying out Scrivener, maybe even you serve on the board of your local RWA chapter and have some To-Do’s for the upcoming Conference. (Yes, there is a real conference – Starfish Writers Conference, featuring NYT bestselling author Sarah MacLean. Click on the link and check it out!)
And after that? We talked about our stories even more. In my busy world, the slow pace of this weekend and the chance to so fully discuss my stories with someone who listened, cared and helped was like . . . not to put too fine a point on it, like a cleanse. Afterwards I felt lighter, energized, and churning with fresh new thoughts. So, thanks a mill K. P. Gresham (click on the covers to check out her books). I hope you got as much from our time together as I did. Never, ever stop calling me, and I promise to never, ever stop coming to Austin. You rock.
Lorinda Peake wrote her first ditty when she was ten on an English seashore while visiting her British grandmother. From then on, her family either acted in or were treated to plays, skits, or commercial spoofs. In school, she wrote poetry, fables and short stories.
Years later, she tossed down a particularly bad novel and thought, “I could do at least that well.” She’s been pursuing the elusive published novel ever since. Recently, she joined a group of fellow writers who decided to cajole, bully, encourage, and sometimes baby each other along towards the publishing goal by setting real and measurable writing objectives with “motivational” consequences for non-attainment.
Lorinda loves a good romance – all the more if it is wrapped in a great fantasy setting. She lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with her husband of 34 years.