November already, Dearest Reader, and I am left wondering what has happened to all my carefully cultivated plans for 2017.
At least snowshoeing weather has arrived.
This has been one of those years where my gratitude journal has come in handy. It's been a struggle to think of something new every day amidst frustrations, writing delays, and feeling under the weather. I won't give a laundry list of everything that has gone wrong this year, mostly because I'm too private of a person to do so, but also because it would be boring.
On Saturday, the ridiculousness of this year reached a climax and all I could manage was hearty laughter. Of course all is well in the end and I believe life gives us challenges at times we need them most (though a few hints on the why would be nice), but gosh darn it, I get annoyed when those challenges interfere with writing. I also end up binging on Hallmark movies and swooning over the handsome heroes, so . . . always an upside.
I was writing a scene last week, and when I reread it, I laughed, cried, and proceeded to delete the chapter. It was beyond bad. Have you seen the movie "You've Got Mail?" Well, there's a scene where Tom Hanks is typing an excuse email and he rambles on about how this event led to another, which led to another, and so on, until it reached the level of super silly and unrealistic. Well, that was the scene I laughed at myself for last week. It happens, we delete, then we write something better.
There's always something better over each obstacle. It may not always feel that way, but I've learned that it is so, and wishing, hoping, and avoiding won't solve any problems. Working hard toward goals is what gets things done.
Finn agrees. Speaking of Finn, it's sometimes hard to believe this little guy is the same malnourished and frightened pup we picked up from the shelter eight months ago. He came up from Mexico, ended up in a kill shelter in Colorado, and was rescued by an organization here in Montana. This is one resilient pup who could teach us humans a thing or two.
I'm working on four projects at the moment, in part to catch up so I can get back on schedule for 2018 and in part because when I need a break on one story, I can move over to the next. My brain seems to work better this way. One of my favorite works-in-progress is the next British Agent installment. I've mentioned before that it's a Christmas novella, and I'm having so much fun with it! It's a little lighter than the first three books, but still has plenty of intrigue, and crosses two very different time periods, though it's not time travel.
This will be a stand-alone story, and all the main characters from the first three books will make an appearance. That means Tristan and Alaina, Charles and Rhona, Devon and Anne, and Derek and Zachary, Devon's brothers. Anne's younger sister, Claire, will also make an appearance.
I'm working on a few westerns and another contemporary, so lots going on. I'm no longer in the business of rushing through the writing just to meet a deadline or fit in as many books as I can into one year. I find myself more relaxed and willing to explore different story ideas I might have discarded previously. I also enjoy a bit more of life, and that's the greatest gift I've rediscovered this year.
The house is decorated for November and I have big family plans for Thanksgiving. I've already enjoyed a few Christmas movies, and I'll leave you with a recommendation to watch "An Old Fashioned Christmas." It's delightful! It follows the "An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving."
Until next time, stay bookish!