Be Like the Ocean

Happy July! I know we’ve had summer weather here in Atlanta, and all across the country, but it doesn’t feel like summer to me until July.
I’m missing the beach, the feel of the water on my toes, the slip slide of sand. I love going barefoot and wearing shorts and feeling casual and carefree. If I could be anywhere I’d pick someplace tropical, like Maui or the Bahamas. Although the thought of Greece or Spain sounds good too. If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you choose to be?

In the meantime, I’m working on my Irish story. The first draft of any story always seems to be filled with clues that go nowhere, characters that misbehave, scenes that ramble. According to the experts, that’s okay. Terrific, even. You’re supposed to let the ideas rip and flow however they want to. But . . . I don’t like that approach. I have the misfortunate tendency to edit, edit, edit, so I like to think that my scenes and chapters have moved past those misunderstandings.   

I can be wrong. Take the male lead, for example. I’m trying to create mystery with him, but my critique partners keep telling me he’s too mysterious. The clues I’m sprinkling in are too vague, too hard to follow. Sometimes it takes many, many chapters before the story and characters become clear. So when I respond, “But I don’t know where it’s going yet,” they crack up. (I do too.)   

Letting go of control is not one of my strengths. I resist mightily. But here it is July. Summer weather. The perfect time for the beach. So like the ocean, I will do my best to ebb and flow. Ebbing and flowing, in and out, a continuous stream of ideas and words on the paper. Easy, effortless, without resistance. You hear that, male lead?  He’s not paying any attention at all. In fact, I think he’s laughing at me. Sigh.