Thoughts from the Treadmill: Holiday Writing
I’ve been reading a few posts from other authors about the impact of the holidays on their writing activity. Several indicate they tend to slow down this time of year when so many other non-writing activities beckon. Some turn to the organizational aspects of their writing, cleaning up folders, desks, backing up files. At this time last year I was just finishing up the latest revision of the manuscript I’d been working on for months. I set it aside and decided to spend the month of December exploring a few new ideas and preparing for the launch of my first book with The Wild Rose Press, And He Cooks Too.
This year, I’m in the middle of the first draft of my first sequel. During Thanksgiving week, I had a lot of free time to forge ahead with new chapters. Although I’ve been working from a six-page outline, I’ve hit one of those points where I feel the need to bump up the action and throw my characters under the bus. So I’m now in plot germination mode for a bit.
I also had one of those “A-ha” experiences this past week, when I realized not one but two potential story ideas had been flitting around before my very eyes for some time. How many people personally know Santa? Well, one of Santa’s emissaries. I know two, my husband’s brother and my sister’s husband. Both have been representing Santa the last several years. I got to see my husband’s brother, Lyle, the Sioux Falls Santa, in action last Sunday at an afternoon marionette show/pictures with Santa session at the Talent Factory in Nevada, Iowa. The photographer was my daughter, Leslie Sloan, of Ignite the Light Photography. Lyle loves his job and maintains his beard and mustache year-round. It suddenly struck me what a wonderful inspiration he’d be for a character in a future story.
The second realization I had was with the owners of the Talent Factory, my daughter’s father-in-law and mother-in-law, Larry and Cindy Sloan. A little over a year ago they purchased a closed-down movie theater, the Camelot, with the intent of showcasing local and regional talent. Before they could offer their first show, however, they had an incredible refurbishing job to complete. With the help of family and friends, they made their dream a reality, discovering along the way numerous old movie posters and reels of celluloid. Check them out on Facebook. Yet another great story idea for the future.
So while others give their laptops a rest for a few weeks, I will be busy plotting and planning, and hopefully writing.
On a sadder note, I’d like to acknowledge the tragic death the other day of Paul Walker, one of the stars of the “Fast and Furious” franchise. He has served as my inspiration for the character of Graham McKenna in The Sleepover Clause, my first book, and the sequel I am currently working on, The Travel Clause, in which Gray is now the hero. This is the manuscript mentioned above which I’ve spent so much time creating recently. I didn’t know Walker or had even seen all of a “Fast and Furious” movie, but I’ve felt a connection through my character, who I do know. Along with his family, friends and fans, I mourn his loss.
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