Find a New Pencil and Get Moving

I fell off the writing beam hard. Suddenly, in what was undoubtedly an over-reaction to a monstrous building being constructed next door, I broke my pencil in half and retreated to the corner.

My very ambitious plan to write a book of short stories in a month in response to the encouragement and community of NaNoWriMo stalled out on the shoulder of a two-lane road next to a farm with a collapsing barn and a single very thin cow peering at me through the fence. Someone should feed that cow.

Today, I’m climbing back on the beam or finding a new pencil or feeding the cow staring at me and my stalled car. (Sometimes life is a festival of metaphors, and we need to accept that and not expect every metaphor to be in sync with the rest.) In any event, my plan for November was to write ten good stories set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a place where there has been much delight and occasional misery in my personal life, and which provides fertile ground for storytelling.

I had three stories starting out: Snow Door, Grady and Irene, and Darla and Fitz. Newly written this month are Heartache on Sable Lake and Gulliver’s Fish. That leaves eight stories to go.

As I was writing these stories and talking them over with my husband, he noted a couple of running themes. The first theme involved the husbands in the stories not having speaking parts, because they were dead, dying, or getting divorced. The second theme was the danger quotient. “Your stories always have a lot of peril.”

He has a keen eye, that guy.

So, I’m back at my post. Warming up by writing this blog and then diving into the second half of an impossibly ridiculous story about a woman wanting to put a hex on someone. There are already 839 words written so I can’t just cut it loose because it’s stupid. I have to find a path to brilliance.

Wish me luck.


Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

7 Comments on “Find a New Pencil and Get Moving

  1. Good luck! I sort of hope there’s a very thin cow in one of the stories…possibly even driving the stalled car…but that may be a bit much to ask for I suppose.

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