A Truant Disposition

"I must be idle."

Writing in the (Rain) Cloud

Written By: Ainy Rainwater - Aug• 31•16

It’s been a wet summer, with lots of storms. We’ve lost power a couple of times. This tendency for really violent thunderstorms to crash down on us, has made writing a bit iffy. Sure, I’m plugged into a surge protector, but my laptop is so old and erratic that it doesn’t react well to a sudden loss of power, or a sudden loss of connection. It doesn’t react well to anything these days. The modem is on the fritz, which is a problem for someone who now does all her work in the (rain) cloud. The router gets twitchy during storms. The laptop’s modem also gets twitchy for no reason, so sometimes I have to cut writing short or save edits and new paragraphs offline. Oh, and the fan has problems too. It’s a really ancient laptop, with a screen so big you can see it from space. I may have the only extant laptop that’s bigger than my lap. I’m expecting it to die any day now because I have problems with it weekly, even on sunny days. As a result of this and other unexpected things I haven’t gotten as much done on the Seaport series as I’d hoped, though all things considered I haven’t done too badly. The result of frequent interruptions of power or modem, or other things in life (you can always count on life to throw in a few interruptions) is that I’ve been writing whenever I can rather than at my usual time of day. I write around lengthy power outages, write around stuff that happens that discombobulates my day, write around laptop seizures and quirks. I use “do not disturb” mode on my phone when I’m writing, with my husband as the only exception. (I’m not ignoring you: I’m doing work that requires uninterrupted concentration.) It’s set for my regular writing hours, but I also turn it on and off manually, writing when I can. As August winds down I feel like I’ve probably done about as much on the Seaport series as I can for now. I need to put it away and think about some things before I pick it up again. Would I have gotten further along without any interruptions this summer? Maybe, but then I’d have spend part of the summer thinking about the things I need to think about now, and then when I reached here — the end of the summer — I’d have felt like I didn’t get enough done, because thinking can’t be quantified as neatly as word count or chapters.

So, what’s next? I’ve always tended to be very productive in the fall. I don’t know why, but it’s always been a good time for me to work on creative projects. I’m going to take a few days off, catch up on some things that I’ve let hang fire, then next week tackle the comments from beta readers who’ve read the draft of the sequel to If Wishes Were Spaceships. I’ve caught my mind drifting off to that story a bit in the past week or so, thinking about things I need to change or do, so my brain is already starting to slip from one project to another. I’ll have a good three months to work on that draft, fixing what needs to be fixed, rewriting and polishing, before I take my usual December break. I’m giving some thought to doing shorter things on a regular basis in the coming year…but books take so much time and energy I’m not sure how well that would work. One of the things I love about being a writer is that every day is filled with possibilities! Fictional possibilities are real possibilities when you’re writing them down! Writing is a real thing. Novels take time and energy, but writing them is ultimately very satisfying. I’ve got decent drafts of books in progress and I’m just chugging along with rewriting, pushing each one closer to publication. When will the sequel to If Wishes Were Spaceships be out? When it’s done, when it’s ready for publication — when it has a proper title! LOL

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