I'm moving again. This will probably be the ongoing theme for the next few months. The process consumes me. I wrote a story once, a looonnngg time ago about a couple who moved all the time and how it eventually drove the wife crazy. I hadn't even moved more than a couple of times, at that point, but life has followed art and I'm...a little cray-cray at the moment.
Part of this is because I do tend to collect things. When I was first learning to read, one of my favorite books was Pippi Longstockings--in part because, as an introvert with a large and noisy family, the idea of living by myself in a big, old house, sounded heavenly. But also because Pippi was a self-described "Thing Finder". At the time, I thought this was a real thing you could be, and so that became my very first career aspiration.
I also wanted to become a naturalist after reading The Voyages of Doctor Doolittle, and a goat herder after reading Heidi.
But I digress.
As I was saying, moving is HARD for me. It's painful because my husband is just as bad about collecting stuff, but horrible at holding on to things. So every time we move, there's a certain amount of stuff that gets lost, broken, left behind, or argued over.
There's been A LOT of arguing this time around.
I've learned to let things go, over the years. Sometimes gracefully, other times not so much. The last two moves have been complicated by the fact that we've both inherited a lot of stuff from our parents.
Well. When I say both...I really mean me. Since, when it comes to volume, there's more--MUCH MORE--in my case than in his.
And while I've become okay with parting with things that other people will use, enjoy, or cherish. I hate, hate, HATE throwing away things that still have use or value. And then, eventually, I reach a breaking point where I can no longer determine whether anything has use or meaning or value, and then I'm just tossing things in boxes that I don't know what to do with.
And all the while, I still have two stories to finish writing by the end of the year (and both of those, plus another, to edit) and two new releases to promote.
BUT, you might be asking yourself, what does moving have to do with writing? Well, that's one of the things I realized this week. It has A LOT to do with it. At least the way I do it. I don't do the "messy first draft" thing. I write and re-write as I go--tossing out things that don't seem to be working, then reconsidering and putting them back in. I unpack and re-pack my story as I go. Struggling to determine which words I have an actual need or use for, and those that I've just fallen in love with, but which still NEED. TO. GO. Sometimes, of course, I can save bits to use in other stories that I'm planning on writing later--especially when they involve ongoing characters.
Sometimes I recycle ideas--carving short stories out of novels--like I did with the Oberon prequel Such Fleeting Pleasures, which I built entirely out of flashback scenes from Taste of Honey. OR my newest release--available for a limited time only--Hungry Heart, in which I re-wrote Cara's scenes from Visions Before Midnight. OR the upcoming, I'll Be Home for Christmas, which takes characters from the series and re-imagines an Oberon in which Scout never came home and everyone's life is different as a result.
Anyway, that's it for now. It's back to the salt mines for me...otherwise known as the garage.