At some point in the last six months, I blinked and the calendar flipped to March. But that’s how all these posts start, isn’t it? Seasons change and time continues to evaporate faster than I can grasp it. More than enough reason to log life’s updates here. A few bits about the real world first, then we’ll dig into the writing.
Fitting that the last blog came in October. Since then, I’ve hit a particular stride at work. Q4 is always big, and for it to continue into Q1 is the tricky part, yet we’ve been clipping along nicely. Just like I tell my rowers, consistency is how you control the piece, though in business, it’s more about affording ‘peace’ than ‘piece’. As of January 1st, a long-time colleague and I have teamed up and begun building our platform together. Having a partner has breathed new life into my practice, and I’m excited for how this will grow.
Other quick hits – the fiancee and I have set a wedding date! February 5th, 2021. Let’s. Go. The venue is perfect and I couldn’t be more excited!
Today marks the official start of spring rowing, our most important season. The long road to Nationals has been ongoing since we left Sarasota in June 2019, but in a few weeks, the river will thaw, the docks will be in, and we’ll continue our quest in earnest. Eager to see how all the work the boys put in over the winter translates on the water.
Alright, onto the writing!
Since sending out the first half of Highness to my CPs, I put in another 11k of work in December/January, and then honestly, I hit a wall. I’m not sure where it came from. The feedback from my CPs was encouraging and the story continued to move in the right direction, but inking anything on the page was such a slog. Perhaps the three years of constant work caught up to me. Perhaps I was struggling to see the forest through the trees. More likely I was caught up overthinking every decision I’d made and every plan I had. So, rather than continuing to bash my head in, I decided to temporarily step back, create some distance in order to find perspective upon my eventual return, and play in a different sandbox.
Starting a new project really wasn’t the intention. Figured I’d just read a bunch and fill the well. But I had an idea, and, you know, had to honor said idea with some space and words minimally to get it out of my head. I’m totally not one of those chase-the-shiny new object types (again, three straight years on Highness), but for all the reasons mentioned above, believed this was totally necessary. About a year ago, I wrote a few chapters of this F/F YA story based off one verse in a dubstep song. Always liked the idea, but never did much with it. Still, I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters, so I committed to pantsing (crazy how that shift from plotter to pantser happened over the years) and scratched out a few key tenants for what I wanted to do. A week after starting, I was 14k in, and had written more in seven days than I had in two months.
Huh. Onto something. Even if it’s the ‘newlywed phase’ and the novelty is running high, damn does it feel good to knock out new words.
Here’s my guiding list for this book’s vision and process:
- Write YA Fantasy that has voice for daaaaaays
- Slow-burn, believable, enemies-to-lovers, rich girl/poor girl F/F because ughhh I love it so much
- Constellation-based magic because STARS AND GEOGRAPHY
- Exploration of youth achievement – a topic near and dear to my heart (happens when you spend 20 hours a week with kids keen on being admitted into the Ivies)
- Super gay. Super, super gay.
- The things we do for family. And let’s talk about class.
- Unabashedly pants the hell out of it. Outline? What outline?
- But still I love five-act (structure as a diagnostic tool! not a guideline)
- Write with reckless indulgence. Passion-driven. If it sucks, I’ll cut it later.
- Fast draft, then bring on the rounds and rounds and rounds of revision.
So that’s where I’m at! Don’t have a name or anything for the story. All the project files are titled ‘Thewell’ as an ode to The Well my dear Aussie CP and I write in. Would not have guessed I’d be knee-deep in something other than Highness, but it’s all good. I’m having a frickin blast. Pretty cool to enter a new project armed with everything I’ve learned over the last few years and just go to work. We’ll see if my natural voice is better suited for first-person/present than third/past. Not sure what will come of this, but I’ll be riding the wave as long as it lasts.