Saturday, September 1, 2012

Writing, Research, Planning...

So... It's Saturday now. I am, I'm sad to report, behind schedule in writing. I am not, however, behind in research and planning, dusting my house and taking care of some minor household projects that I had intended to tackle but had procrastinated on because so many other things seemed to take precedence and I was too tired at the end of very long days.

Due to Hurricane Isaac, which was more an inconvenience than a serious disaster for me and my family, my youngest two children have been out of school since this past Tuesday. Classes will resume again for them on this coming Tuesday. I forgot Monday is Labor Day and the schools will be closed in honor of that holiday. Also due to the storm, we were without power for approximately 72 hours.

Many, many other people and families have had to endure much more and much worse than we have had to and my thoughts and prayers are with them. There are still thousands of residences and businesses that are without power and could be for a while yet. I feel very blessed that our lives were touched so minimally and that so little damage was done.

A tree from the woods behind our house did fall on the house and on some power lines leading to our home. It didn't do any permanent damage, but it was a little scary when it happened. I was in the kitchen making sandwiches for our lunch (the power had already been out for a little over an hour at this point in our whole neighborhood) and the tree hit the outside wall right where I happened to be standing inside. (I'm very thankful for that wall!) It made a very loud crashing boom and shook the house, but we were all safe.

And, as I mentioned, the power was out for three days. This honestly, really wouldn't have bothered me at all except that it meant no air conditioning and, storm or not, it was still hot and humid. It meant no Internet access (no computer at all!) and no television, no way to charge my cell phone, and the frozen foods in our chest freezer are now going to have to be replaced.

None of that really has to do with my writing, except to be a big excuse for having gotten none done. I could have written in long hand (I've done it before and it doesn't bother me at all) so I can't say lacking access to my word processing program really hindered me. The kids being around did, though. Anyone who knows my kids would totally understand why I cannot write with them in the house. Just trying to compose this post, so far, I've had to get up six times to help them with something or find something, or cook something. I've had to intervene in three arguments. It's very difficult to have a coherent thought, let alone set a thought down as written words with my children around. I can't send them out to play because the ground is still soggy and there may still be downed power lines around.

The kids aside, having no power also meant not being able to update my blogs (or read anyone else's) for a few days. I've found that I enjoy blogging and working on my blogs seems to gear me up to work on my fiction. So, for me, not working on them is a little bit of an inconvenience and disappointment.

Happily, the power was restored late yesterday afternoon! It was so late in the day that I did not work on any blogging, though I probably should have. Instead, I did some research into blogging, writing and publishing. I did some reading of blogs by other writers (of fiction and non-fiction) who have had similar ideas or who made similar forays into writing projects and blogging projects that I've been considering.

I'm glad and thankful that I had the opportunity to spend time doing that research. It may very well be that I am going to change my plans because of what I have learned through the experiences of others. My stories won't change, but the way I was thinking about presenting them or offering them very well might.

My writing comes from imagination kindled by my heart and soul then interpreted and expressed by my mind. The research is fully my brain making me as well informed as possible so that I can make sound judgements and plans. I'm so glad that I can combine all of that into a workable system for myself.

Anyway, I'll be shooting for Tuesday, again, to begin my new novel. I'll be a week behind the schedule I set for myself, but what's a week in the grand scheme of things?