Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yoga and writing

Yesterday I woke up in a funk. The prospect of lunch with one good friend and supper with two others didn't jolt me out of my blues. It took me a while--and a yoga session--to figure out what was bothering me. The novel I'm working on wasn't going well; in fact it wasn't going. I'd been reading a wonderful mystery mentioned in a previous blog--Mr. Churchill's Secretary. I got so thoroughly engrossed in it that it's been hard for me to start another novel, though my iPad is loaded with two new ones by authors whose work I usually enjoy. What set Mr. Churchill's Secretary apart was partly the significance of the backdrop--Hitler's march across Europe, the Luftwaffe bombings of London. But more than that, it was the unexpected. No one was who you thought they were, and good guys turned out to be villains, and those you had pegged as villains were good guys--or at least had a soft streak. My novel, on the other hand, was predictable--at least in my mind.
I figured all this out while stretching and pushing and doing all those yoga things--and counting to ten seconds for many poses. But I truly went back to work with renewed enthusiasm and have since written about 3500 words--okay, I know some authors write ten hours and 10,000 words a day--not me. But I finally feel that I'm headed in a better direction, and that's exciting.
I have enjoyed my social life--lunch with Melinda who, apart from having been my favorite employee at TCU Press, remains a good friend now that I'm not at the press; supper with Carol and Kathie, two book cronies I've known for years. We share each others triumphs, tragedies, and small concerns. Today I had lunch with several members of a book group I've spoken to three times--discovered one of them is a "field editor" for a cooking magazine--right up my alley, and I may have more to say about her later. But she gave me sample copies of Taste of Home and I had fun learing through them this afternoon. My favorite find: strawberries stuffied with a mix of cream cheese and blue cheese, and topped with a bit of balsamic vinaigrette (I'd leave out the chopped pecans). Would that be salad or dessert? It was a real boost to my ego to hear these ladies say again how much they liked my books, and one had read one of my historical novels and ordered another.
An aside; we deliberatel went to the Frank Kent Honda dealership for lunch. Good friend David Rotman who used to own Cafe Aspen now works there, and they asked him to spiff up their food service for customers and employees. He's brought some of the old Aspen recipes, and you can have a great lunch in the attractive chrome setting of a new car dealership. David wasn't there today, but we had a good lunch and good time. One salesman told us lunch was free if we bought a car; he told one of the other ladies if she paid his price for lunch, she'd get a free car.
Tonight was neighbors' night at the Old Neighborhood Grill and I had my meatloaf fix--the cashier looks at me and asks, "The usual?" When I nod, she pours a generous glass of Kendall Jackson chardonnay and orders up a piece of meat loaf and a side of green beans. I don't know--is it good to be that predictable? As we were leaving, one neighbor asked, "Are you going home to write?" I said I was, and she said, "Good. I need another mystery to read."
So all in all, writing is looking pretty good to me--and when I reread what I had done on that novel, it really wasn't all that bad. I think I'll run it by my mentor/beta reader/whatever next week and maybe get a critique partner through Sisters in Crime's Guppy program. Funk gone at least for now. Oh, and I've done my yoga faithfully. I think it helps both mind and body--and that funky right hip that's been bothering me.

1 comment:

Suzanne Lilly said...

This story has such a good ending. Your neighbor is glad to see you go home and write, because she needs another mystery to read. How encouraging is that? I'm glad you made it out of your funk.