On Blocks and Bumps

Life/books: Hello all! Happy Tuesday. My life update will be partially a book update this week, thanks to some wonderful book events happening in Chicago. On Sunday, I went to the fabulous Erica O’Rourke’s book launch party for Resonance, which recently released. It’s the second in a duology about a girl who can walk between worlds – all the parallel worlds that result from what might have happened if you’d gone right instead of left down that road, if you hadn’t spilled coffee and left a few minutes late that morning, missing the traffic accident you’ll never know you avoided, etc.

Erica's event - and a good crowd! Photo stolen from The Bookstall's twitter.
Erica’s event – and a good crowd! Photo stolen from The Bookstall’s twitter.

So I’m now in the middle of Dissonance, the first book, and am really enjoying it. I love that concept of many worlds to reflect our tiny choices and what they might have led to. It reminds me of this scene from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, about all the tiny coincidences that led to a character’s accident (spoiler alert):

It that was awesome Erica at The Bookstall, which is my wonderful, local independent bookstore in Winnetka. She introduced me to some awesome ladies of the RWA, Chicago North chapter (RWA is a great organization that runs online writing courses and connects writer through events, conferences and local groups) and I may even join them for a meeting soon – YAY more writer friends close by!

And as I write this, I am in Naperville awaiting another fabulous event/signing of an author I love (Susan Dennard) at another awesome independent bookstore (Anderson’s is amazing, and if you’re every in Naperville or Downer’s Grove or now La Grange, go check them out!). So… good week for writing events all around. And on a completely un-writing related note, I also got to go to an awesome beer tasting with my dear friend Kelsey (fellow Chicago suburb inhibitor and writer of this awesome new food blog Kelsey’s Kuisine) which was a lot of fun. Sometimes leaving the cave is necessary… which leads to the next part of this post!

Bells Brewery beer tasting with Kelsey!
Bells Brewery beer tasting with Kelsey!

Writing: UGHHHHH. Ohhh how I wish I’d actually looked at my papers again in high school/college after I threw them together at 6AM the day they were due learned to revise sooner. I mean… But really. Okay, here’s a quick, unabashedly melodramatic look into the brain of a writer who has loved drafting her whole life, never revising, now trying to revise:

Okay. Revising. Cool. I got this.

*Shakes shoulders and does dance to Nicki Minaj/Monster a few pushups to get ready.*

Woo, okay, ready to go! Revisions, you got nothing on me. I will tear you to the ground and swallow you whole and –

Okay, let’s get going with this. Alright. Okay. Okay, got this. Nothing scary, just opening the document… Ok, ok, title page, no worries, I got this. Chapter titles, ok, we’re cool. Na, no big deal, nothing to it.

*Reads first line. Eyebrows draw closer together.*

No, it’s fine. I’ll worry about that later. Sure it’s not ideal, but that’s what next round is for, right?

*Reads first page. Eyebrows now a pencil’s width apart.*

Okay, okay I’ll just tweak a few words then move on. No big deal. See, that wasn’t so bad, right? It’s still not perfect, but I’ll just remember the rest of the changes for later. Not for now. Now I am moving on. I am moving –

*Reaches part to be revised. Eyebrows have now melded into one, overlapping entity. Possibly with its own consciousness and will to dominate.*

Oh nononono that’s not good. Okay, it’s fine, it’s fine, I’ll just play some music, and start writing where I need to and then I’ll move on to the next scene, and the next and –

NOOOOO THERE’S SO MUCH I WILL NEVER FINISH AND HOW CAN THIS ALL BE FIXED WHEN THERE’S SO MUCH WRONG IT’S TOOO MUCH!!! MAKE THE CRINGE WORTHY WORDS AND PLOT TURNS GO AWAY PLEASEEE!!!!!!!

No, it’s okay, mind, stay with me! Just stay in front of the screen, just keep writing…

BUT THE WORDS AREN’T COMING AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I’M GOING WITH THIS.

It’s okay! It’s okay, mind, calm down! Everything’s going to be okay. Just stay calm, and calm calm calm, okay and uhhh, if you’ve had enough time to calm down yet, how about some idea on what to write next?

…Anything? Pretty please…

LALALA I’M TRYING TO BE CALM.

Yes, but the story and the new words and –

DID YOU SAY WORDS???

No! No, I didn’t! Come back, it’s okay, please!!!

We’re sorry, Maddy’s mind is not available right now, but if you leave a message after the 

NOOOO!!!!

*Cue defeated exit from cave, sleep, read, stress about mind’s treacherous desertion, trudge back into cave with game face and battle gear on, repeat.*

So that’s a sum of my life at the moment. I’ll let you know when I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Until then please feel free to share your revisions stories or other thoughts with me! I am so down to commiserate, or even to stare in wondrous awe if you are one of those incredible individuals who excels at revisions (TEACH ME YOUR SECRETS). How do you deal with writer’s block and bumps in creativity/your story?

That’s all for now. Small note: I’ll be blogging at least once more this week with my top ten most influential books, thanks to a tag from my wonderful critique partner and friend Janella, so look out Thursday for that! And I’ve also come up with a new name for my blog… so be on the lookout for the change and a bonus blog explaining the title soon! Be well all,

❤ Maddy

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