Brittany: Bringing Plans to Fruition
I’ve made a couple attempts to write a blog on here recently, and they just didn’t pan out. The last few months have been an odd combination of being at a complete creative standstill while still running 90-miles an hour with my hair on fire. I haven’t had time to breathe, much less blog. Luckily, the creative standstill has passed, and like Bethany, I too have been gifted with the idea for my next novel.
I say “gifted,” because I’m not exactly sure where the idea came from. One minute I was sitting in the car, and the next, it was uncoiling itself in my head, much like a spider spinning a web. This circles around to this, this connects to that. It was amazing and exhilarating, and felt a little bit like being touched by the divine.
I’ve been frustrated with my current novel, How Home Improvement Saved My Marriage, because it’s a little absurdist, and doesn’t really fit into any of the various categories of women’s lit. The agents and publishers who’ve seen it couldn’t relate to it. But then again, I didn’t write it for them. I wrote it for women like me, who live in the suburbs, shop at Walmart, have never seen a pair of Jimmy Choos in person, and would rather wear a scuffed pair of Keds anyway. The book is like my zaniest mom friend. The one you hope and pray gets a sitter on Bunco night because she’ll fill you in on all the neighborhood gossip and then say something incredibly funny that will make you laugh harder than you have for days. It needs to be out there, dancing on a table with a lampshade on its head, and not collecting dust in my file cabinet. So I decided I’d send it out to one last publisher, and if they didn’t accept it, I was just going to publish the book myself.
Since I’d come to a final decision about my book, my creative brain was a blank slate, so to speak. I was thinking about writing a romance novel (again, just to see if I could do it), and was asking myself what situation might make a good story. I was thinking about the kinds of characters that would interest me, and the image of a girl with hair “the color of a wheat penny” popped into my head. She was a healer/midwife in turn-of-the-20th-century Appalachia, who has her whole way of life turned on its head when a brand new graduate of Harvard Medical School decides to open up his practice on her side of Bear Wallow Mountain. I was trying to think about what big event might bring two antagonists together (because I didn’t have a BIG event in my previous novel), and I suddenly remembered family stories about a terrible flood in the region. And so popped up my new idea.
In 1916, Ivy Lyda (name subject to change) lives on Bear Wallow Mountain and tends to the sick there. Her grandmother was Cherokee and taught her all manner of folk remedies. She’s well respected in her neck of the woods until the arrogant (but intoxicatingly handsome) doctor John Emerson arrives During the summer, a horrible (hundred-year) flood wrecks havoc in the mountains and forces them to work together even as their lives are put in danger.
By a very odd coincidence, shortly before I was struck with inspiration, I took a time-killing Facebook quiz to learn the name of my Guardian Angel. My result: Uriel.
Uriel is considered one of the wisest Archangels because of his intellectual information, practical solutions and creative insight, but he is very subtle. You may not even realize he has answered your prayer until you’ve suddenly come up with a brilliant new idea. Uriel is the tallest and his eyes can see trough the eternity. All this considered, Uriel’s area of expertise is divine magic, problem solving, spiritual understanding, studies, alchemy, weather, earth changes and writing. Considered to be the Archangel who helps with earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, natural disaster and earth changes, call on Uriel to avert such events or to heal and recover in their aftermath.
I hope to get started on the writing soon. I’ve arranged for childcare for the boys Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9-1 until the second week of July. I’m going to take my time outlining and really make the plot as tight as I can first. It will make it that much easier in the fall when I must concentrate my writing into two mornings per week (with invariable interruptions).
It’s exciting to have a plan again.