This month has been a rough one for me. I’ve been out of work, and mysteriously this has made me even more busy. I think I’ve actually had more meetings as an unemployed person than I did when I was working. Since I’m the sole source of income for my family, it’s been a particularly stressful time. Throw a cross-country trip in there with a one-year-old and I’ve been pretty frazzled. That means not much writing. It doesn’t help that I’m still having problems using the word processor on my ancient computer.
Even though I haven’t been writing, I have been thinking. I had a breakthrough with the second novel in the series. I’d been dithering on how to have one of my protagonists take out the main antagonist of the book, but I think I finally hit upon how I want it all to go. This is very exciting to me, as it makes me feel like the plot is gaining momentum even before I’ve really written much of the first draft.
The other thing I’ve been doing is reading. I’ve needed a way to relax and escape a bit from my daily stress, and reading has fit the bill perfectly. I’ve read a couple of great books and a couple of fun books, both literary fiction and fantasy. (I tend to prefer young adult fantasy, since I believe it tends to be less formulaic and has less sex and violence – crutches that “adult” fantasy seems to rely on.) Among the fantasy I’ve been reading is Diana Wynne Jones – one of my favorite authors – and Megan Whalen Turner. Turner’s latest book, “A Conspiracy of Kings,” is the most recent novel in a series that I first encountered last summer. I loved “Conspiracy” just as much as the previous books. I hope that someday my readers feel the same excitement at the prospect of reading the latest installment in one of my series.
Anyway, it looks like the end to my unemployment might be at hand. That means less time stressing about resumes and interviews and applications and more time thinking about, and hopefully even writing, my own stories. If all goes well I’ll have enough saved for a laptop this fall and can get writing in earnest!