I was writing a twisted retelling of a fairytale shared by W. B. Yeats when I realized today is Friday, March 19th. The date itself is not significant to me personally, but the fact there is only a week smack between two weekends left before Camp nano is. There are two nano camps, one is in April and the next in July. It is a personal writing adventure where each writer chooses their own project, the length of it, and share the experience with friends. So if you are feeling the need to get some words down on paper, electronically, or on papyrus, by all means, join us! You can find the website here.
I haven’t finished rereading the three manuscripts in the series that come before this outline. And, last year being 2020, I spent most of the year between houses since the house we rented was in one country, our household goods somewhere on the ocean, and my family in a third country. It was a challenging year. My paper drafts were somewhere over the ocean, my electronic copies with me, and my ability to concentrate stuck somewhere between them all. We moved out of the Netherlands in December 2019 and to Texas, in the United States of America. My family, including our two cats, arrived within weeks of leaving the Netherlands, while everything else took a leisurely cruise across the ocean.
I was editing the first manuscript. It is amazing how much I forgot and my notes were not with me. I spelt one name four different ways and I really couldn’t remember which way was my original plan. With no home (we were in a temporary apartment in Houston) and no office, I was relying on my memory. And it was not helpful at all. So writing and editing at the beginning of the year was slow. We went to Canada for spring break when the border closed. Once again, I was separated from my books. I only had a few sets of clothes, but it was my books I missed.
In June, I had been without my library for 6 months. It was painful. I have many ebooks, but all of my nonfiction and personal journals are all handwritten. I’d reach for a book, usually found on the shelf beside me, and there was nothing there. It was like losing my best friends. I couldn’t replace my personal journals but some of my resource books I would buy second hand guilt free. With the pandemic shut down occurring, I only had one trip to a Half Price Books and one trip to Barnes & Noble.
I must write my outlines down on paper. I have tried writing them electronically, and I was less creative. I can’t wait to bring that creativity back this week.
Finding books filled with folklore from different countries was much harder than I expected. Local ghost stories, no problem. Modern fairytales, you bet, original folklore and fairytales, sadly missing. I rebuilt parts of my collection with new editions and local flavour. I editing my first manuscript and had a friend read through the draft and offer feedback. It sat again. Mostly because I flew back to my new host country to finish unpacking the house and my wonderful journals and books. I then scooped them into my husband’s car and drove them up to Canada. Now I, my old journals and books, and new books were reunited. I had no more excuses and continued to edit. All was well until my daughter’s computer died and I gave her mine during the day for school. It was great for reading, terrible for editing.
Life happens. There is never the right time for anything. Expect now. Now I must reread all the manuscripts, as once again I am in a different country than my outlines. So this time, I will read through, try only to take notes to create a new outline, not edit. I will carry my new outlines no matter where I go. I will be like Sheldon on the Big Band Theory carrying around his emergency kit, except mine will be filled with my prized pens and notebooks. Never shall we be separated again. I will see how it goes!
This means I must choose wisely my inspiring author of the week next week as I will spend most of my time reading my own books. It will interest to see who I choose.
Can you read new books when you are working on a project? Or do you reread books you know will get you in the right mood and frame of mind?
I found this quote when I was reading W.B. Yeats last week and it has stuck with me. Happy Reading!
It is only the spirits who are too bad for heaven, and too good for hell, who are thus plagued. They are compelled to obey some one they have wronged.Lady Wilde, Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry