BRINGING A STORY TO LIFE: GETTING THERE FROM HERE

“For words of the profits are written on the studio wall”

                                                                                       – Rush

This is the song going through my head today.

And what a day it’s turning into!

I was in the process of writing about the challenge of getting a book going when two things interrupted

  • A Microsoft Word update notice popped up
  • I got a text that shocked me

Oakland Hills Country Club is ablaze.

Big time!

I have a long history with this place!

I worked there (with my mom) on weekends and nights beginning when I was 13!

In fact, this is where I launched my career in tech!

I worked in the offices on the second floor in the clubhouse.  

One of the managers felt I would be good at computing so he put me on punch cards – known there as “chits” – and introduced me to the world of computers and programming.

And the Leisure Suit Larry game.

I also helped print menus.

On a mimeograph machine.

And do payroll.

And anything else that needed to be done.

Years later, once I was working in tech professionally, I helped the folks in the Grounds Department with their tech.

They’d just upgraded and were in the process of automating other systems.

I met some of the coolest people while working there.

And I learned so much!

I can only say I hope they get the fire out soon and that no one was hurt.

And that they get on the rebuild asap! It will start the healing!

Now I need to refocus.  This will happen in a 2-step way I think.

  1. Finish this blog post
  2. Get back to the book!

Without further ado…

Getting fingers to keyboard for a new book is tough.

Even as much as I love writing.

It isn’t “the first 50 pages” syndrome many authors talk about at conferences.

The idea being they are the toughest and that if you can’t get those first 50 you should probably reexamine whether or not what you’re working on is doable.

For me it’s finding the bridge between what has been on my mental screen for months if not years and the typing.

It isn’t “Where do I start?”  It’s “How do I start?”

For the book I’m working on today, Messenger of the Gods, I can at least say I know how the book will open.

A few days ago I hadn’t figured it out.

Originally, I’d planned to write a different Dragon Core novel, one that was going to set up Messenger of the Gods.  However, I decided to nix that idea and go straight to Messenger.

I will probably return to this other book toward the end of the series. I like the plot and the character I was going to introduce.

After making that decision I spent nights before bed thinking over how I was going to start Jake’s story.

I was alternating between one of two openings. One was to go back in time with a Prologue, the other to start with Chapter One.

Since I’m not a fan of Prologues, I decided to go with a Chapter One.  However, there needed to be context.

Like the other books in the series, there’s a historical event that drives the plot – and the characters.

I figured out a way to address this and typed in the first few sentences the night before last.  Then I set it aside because I didn’t like the lack of passion.

To be fair, I was mentally fried from working on other projects.

I woke up this morning ready to get back to it.

Even as I’m working on other projects.

The Spirit of Radio kept going through my mind as I drank coffee and got ready to address those opening lines.

I’m trying Siren’s blend from Starbucks.  I like it better than the other beans I’d been using.

As I was about to open the Messenger manuscript, I decided starting with a blog post may be the better way to go.

It would be a good warm-up for a day of writing.

I’d written two sentences and was about to go on the web to search the lyrics – wanting to get them right – when I got the notice about the update and the text about Oakland Hills CC.

I’m glad I looked up the lyrics.  I thought “profit” was “prophet” and I thought “studio” was “subway.”

This has turned into one hell of a warm-up!

And while not typical, it’s not necessarily atypical.

Life, as always, is an adventure!

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