Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dry spell

Yes, another blogging dry spell has hit us.  No real cause this time, just general putting-it-off-ness.  The kids got sick the week before Thanksgiving, then the holiday weekend stretched out into a very busy period at work, culminating in a muzzleloader deer hunt at the park the first weekend in December.  Then my car broke down to the tune of a $1400 repair bill (sorry kids, no Christmas presents this year!).  Gah.  Writing out that check caused me real, physical pain.

Other than the above, I haven't done anything remarkable during the last three weeks.  One thing I have done in my leisure time, however, is read.  Quite a bit actually, and not just my traditional circle of authors (Ellis Peters, Louis L'Amour, Tom Holt, Terry Pratchet).  I decided to go through and reread all the old fantasy novels I used to adore when I was a youngster.

I started out with David Eddings, then jumped into a bit of Barbara Hambly, and am now going through some Anne McAffrey.  I think I'll head into either Raymond E. Feist or Stephen R. Lawhead next.

Reading these old books is like traveling back to my childhood.  Although I do find myself being more critical of the writing itself.  Some of the authors are as good as I remember (Eddings).  Some, not so much (Hambly).

Sometimes I find myself thinking, 'hey--I can write better than that.'

When I was in eighth grade I started writing a novel.  A fantasy novel, with main characters that I fashioned after the alter egos of six of my friends.  I worked on it passionately for several years, writing and rewriting and tweaking words back and forth.  But later in high school, my priorities shifted.  I tried out for plays, made new friends and got a social life.

Somewhere along the line I set the book aside.  It was packed away in a cardboard box, and as I went through college it moved with me, from my parent's house to my first apartment, to my next apartment, to my first house and then finally to this house.  Right now it is resting high on the shelf in my eldest son's bedroom closet. 

Rereading these fantasy books has got me to thinking.  A tiny seed has been planted inside my brain.  I've begun to think about hauling that old box down--maybe just to take a look through the old typewritten pages, say hello to the characters again and refresh my memory of that world.  See if anything sparks to life.

I think about doing this, and then I laugh.  Like I have the time to devote to writing again.  Writing a novel like that is an all-encompassing thing, eating hours from the day and taking over large portions of your mental energy.  I don't have time to write out my Christmas cards, let alone start working again on that novel.

But, like I said, a tiny seed has been planted.  Maybe there's not enough water or sunlight for it to grow right now.  But at least I know it's there if I want it, ready to break dormancy if the opportunity presents itself.


Mr. H. said...

Hope you do continue with your novel. You reminded me about one of my favorite books by Louis L'Amour, "Last of the Breed", I might have to dust it off and read it again this winter.:) Speaking of fantasy, I wonder if I would still enjoy the Edgar Rice Burroughs books that so enthralled me as a child. I'm really sorry to hear about your car...that's a big expense.

Mama Pea said...

As Bloody Mary in "South Pacific" said, "If you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?"

Good to have a post from you again. I know your life is so full of everyday things. Throw in a couple of glitches like dealing with a broken down car and kiddlies being sick, and it's a wonder you even find time to read!

Erin said...

I certainly relate, life has somehow gotten in the way of blogging for me too this season, not because I don't want to, but I seem to have over scheduled myself and then when I do have time, I want to read LOL! Nevertheless it is great to have you check in and know that you are doing well, enjoy that reading and maybe even some writing! Sorry to hear about that car repair bill, that would throw me into fits :)

Ladytats said...

love Ellis Peters and have all the Louis LaMoure books too. great stuff.