Thursday, June 7, 2012

In Middle of Chaos, A Novel

I did it. The urge finally got too strong, and I had to do it. I sat down and wrote two chapters in my third novel!!!! Maybe that doesn't sound like much, but it's a pretty good achievement considering the rest of my schedule lately. Losing your job puts a considerable crimp in a normal writing routine.

I have been feeling like a juggler who gets tossed a new task every day. Sending out queries for my second novel. Job applications. Questions about a new job at The Post. Sending out resumes. Using my reporter skills to get a good handle on what exactly happened at The Post in those maddening days when the company needed to collect severed heads in a basket and call them "voluntary resignations." It's not a pretty story in some instances ... but that's to be saved for another time.

Why wait? Because I'm back to writing the stuff I love to write. I will forge on with another chapter or two today, then I will get back to continuing the outline for my story. This is a totally different way to approach the task of writing, but it has worked well so far. (Of course, I am only two chapters into what will become a pretty lengthy novel.)

I will give a short glimpse at my first chapter. I knew the novel would open on a southern California beach, but I didn't want just any beach. It had to look a certain way. It had to have a sweep of land where the ocean left a nice strip of sand pressed against a cliff. It couldn't have lots of condos towering above the beach. It couldn't be so accessible that the sand was tossed around by large amounts of human activity. I wanted a nice, pristine beach. I searched, and searched, and searched. I rejected idea after idea after idea. Then it all fell into place ... Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. It was perfect, and the scenario I wanted was there.

Here's where I got my surprise. I told my wife about my choice and she immediately said she knew the place. I knew her grandparents owned a home that looked over a beach somewhere in the area north of San Diego, but I wasn't sure which beach it was. It was Moonlight Beach, and my wife and her sister spent time there as children. How strange is that? Of course, what I have happen on Moonlight Beach isn't anything they viewed as children, or at least I hope not.

I am going to be happy when this job thing is resolved. They say that losing a job is near the top of stress-producers, not far behind losing a family member. I agree. The mental toll is exhausting. I have tried to keep up a brave front, but there have been times of anger, and times of tears, and times of feeling far too alone. There have been times of emotional numbness. I am ready for a break. I hope it comes soon.

But, hey, I have a writing session to look forward to today!!!! How great is that? It is therapy for the mind and soul. Lord, I need that.

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