All’s well that ends well…maybe

We got a call last night that our granddaughter was screaming, bloated, and projectile vomiting. Her mother ran her to the emergency room.

We never heard anything until this morning, when they called to tell us they were still there. The guesses were a severe urinary tract infection, and possible appendicitis. She's not even in pre-school yet. My wife got dressed and went straight down to the hospital. There isn't much to do except get in the way, so I stayed here. They did some kind of expensive scan and confirmed the UTI. They're back home now.

I decided to grab my hat, and head for the writing cabin. I have to say, I was in a great mindset to write a tortured little girl.

Lisa, my robotic assistant, put on her Chloe outfit and tried to help. I'm afraid my mood discouraged her. She busied herself cleaning Bunny's litter box.

I finished The Playground at about ten o'clock. Doubt, the raven started demanding attention almost immediately. I've fallen for this one before, and decided to leave.

I believe endings should be short. I don't like to go on and on about things. Now I wonder if I have enough in this ending. Chloe will need a lot of healing. She's lost her doll/friend, (who was the embodiment of evil). What she has is the love of her mother and father… and a good therapist.

I could have done a better job on the doll's death scene. I thought of a heart monitor doing the whole flatline thing, but don't think I pulled it completely off. Probably needs some work.

I could have had Chloe freak out, have a relapse or do something else, but I wasn't feeling it. Her mother freaked out well enough.

The ending is making me think chapter one needs a little something. It probably does.

What I need to do is put it away to ferment. Leave it completely alone for a month. Stop letting Doubt get into my head. My critique group will have some input in a week or so. Then I can change the font and pitch, re-read it and make those assessments.

So what happens next? Last week I took an effort to promote Will O' the Wisp. This is my best one so far, and I'm not willing to let it be, not just yet. I made an additional effort to promote myself today. Something will land in blog land very soon. These are positive things I can do while The Playground settles.

I still have some short stories in mind. I'll fiddle around with those, and may release a book of them in the fall or winter. I'm not going to start another novel right away. I will, but not for some months.

There are fish to catch, and mushrooms to gather up in the forest. Those projects really take me away, and reboot the senses.

I've got four good ideas for my next novel too. This time, I'm going to try something different. I'm going to start outlining all of them. The Playground came in at about 70K words. I don't know if people will expect a bit more, or if modern humans will be grateful for a faster story. Outlining my next cluster of ideas should give me a better idea of what will deliver a novel length work.

All writers have dozens of ideas. I'm not afraid to share them with you, they are:

  • I wrote a character vignette about a year ago involving two people in Africa. Add in some witch doctors, and some man eaters and this could be a story. It probably needs evil redcoats too. Historical paranormal.
  • I wrote a vignette about a guy who wakes up in the desert and gets rescued by a talking yak. This one has an appealing personal challenge of using The Fool's Journey as a story structure. What category would it be? I have no idea, maybe dystopian/fantasy/paranormal.
  • The idea of bio-hackers and grinders appeals to me. It would take some serious research, but I see it as a science fiction piece with some Frankenstein spice.
  • The Wargler would be a fantasy about a guy who starts wars using covert methods and manipulations. He needs to be forced into doing this by some kind of bad guy. Is the world ready for a fantasy with less sword and sorcery, but more theft, manipulation, and deceit?

I'm thinking about making a few posts about my outlining process. I think my way is different than many others, and you may find it interesting. I can even include a few screenshots from past outlines. I don't have them all, but some are still around. Does this sound boring, or interesting? I always like to read about another writer's process, maybe some of you would too.

My reading has suffered, and I need to remedy that. I'm about to go on a book buying spree. I'll post about that when the time comes.

Then there is the research. I got some great alchemy suggestions from you guys a couple months ago, and those might help with one project. I have a ton of African adventure books too. I even have a copy of Frankenstein.

Right now, our granddaughter is on the mend, The Playground is a complete first draft, and I have some ongoing plans for promotion. I'm looking forward to Summer without any arbitrary deadlines. I'm sure to have more company, and won't feel like I lost valuable writing time when they come for a visit.


Filed under Writing

33 responses to “All’s well that ends well…maybe

  1. Good to hear that the little one is on the mend. Sounds like you had a busy and productive day too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, so scary about your granddaughter. I’m glad she’s home and doing better.

    Also, congrats on finishing The Playground. Smart move in letting it set for a while before you look at it again. I think Doubt made a visit to my den this afternoon. I wrote the opening to A COLD TOMORROW, book 2 in my Mothman series and Doubt made a shambles of it. I’m letting it sit now while I catch up on email.

    Please do blog about your outline process. As much as I try otherwise, I’m a hopeless panster, and need to come up with a more disciplined system. For someone who has a set writing day/commitment, you’d think I’d be able to handle an outline of a WIP. Maybe it’s just Doubt again, shrieking in the background.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kids are pretty resilient, and she has medicine now. Outlining is something you can do like adding ideas to a notebook. One hits you, and you add it to the outline. It’s even possible to do it while writing a different story. When you’re ready for that story, spend a day making sure everything is in the right order and needed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You make it sound so easy, LOL. I’ve got the first 2 chapters of COLD outlined, about as far as I ever get. I’m going to make an effort to continue past that. I’m inspired!

        Liked by 1 person

      • There was a line by John Hammond in Jurassic Park. Creation is an act of sheer willpower. There isn’t anything easy about it. My method sounds drastically different than yours.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Poor kiddo. The hospital is terrifying at any age but especially at that age. Glad she is going better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad your granddaughter is OK. That must have been a scary experience for all of you. Good luck with your work, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Poor little girl! Carys had a phase of UTI’s when she was about 3 and in my twenties I suffered from kidney infections. They can make you very ill. Hope she’s picking up now.

    All that stress has had a marvelous effect on you though… you kicked butt today! Wow well done! Such a great feeling to have that first draft under your belt. And I for one would love to read about your outlining process.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorry to hear about your little one. UTI’s really stick when they infect little ones. Mine was 8 months old, we were stuck in the hospital for a week.

    Congratz on the first draft of The Playground.

    Looking forward to your outlining posts. I’m working on outlining. I love your ideas too.

    I’m now off to find the Alchemy suggestions ;D

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah I am so glad to hear your little grandgirl is on the mend! Poor little duck – it’s horrid to have suffered so, and being so young, it must have been truly horrific. 😦 As for your creative juices, it sounds like you’ve got plenty to keep you and your muse occupied! I like the Africa idea… and also the Wargler sounds good. I’m not much for sword and sorcery, but intrigue and manipulation set in a fantasy or futuristic backdrop? I like it! Mother Hen


  8. So glad your granddaughter is on the mend. I’m trying to finish my WIP before summer too so I can just concentrate on submissions and have some free time. I need some time away from the keyboard, to have fun and not think about writing-related topics. Whether that’s possible or not remains a mystery. That’s my plan anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Glad it all turned out ok!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It all turned out well. My draft is finished, and the little knucklehead just left our house. It’s like nothing happened to her at all. She wants grandma to find her a horse she can ride. Do they make car seats for horses? And helmets, and kill switches, and airbags? This girl needs all of that and more.


  10. I hope you go forward with evil redcoats.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your poor granddaughter! 😦 I hope she’s well by now. And congratulations on finishing! You rock! Oh, and yippie skippy! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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