Sunday, November 27, 2005

The season of good intentions

When I turned in my last book in October, I congratulated myself on having scheduled my calendar so cleverly that, for the first time in a couple of years, I wouldn't be working to a deadline over the holidays.

I was going to Take a Break. Rest. Do nifty things recommended by creativity books to refill the well. Honorable intentions, right?

Well, we know what happens to good intentions, don't we?

So far I have been laid off by my Big Four employer in Silicon Valley and taken on two new part-time jobs to make up the income. I have cleaned my office--twice. I have cleaned the house and the chicken coop, entertained at Halloween and Thanksgiving, and given to the needy.

Somehow this doesn't sound like refilling the well. In fact, a glance into its murky depths produces nothing--not the glimmer of an idea for a book or hope there will ever be another one.

So ... hubby and I took what Bridget Jones calls a "mini-break." We drove down the coast of California to San Simeon and camped by the ocean in glorious sunny weather. We walked on the beach at sunset. We saw Harry Potter and went to dinner afterward. Now, dinner and a movie is probably normal for most of you, but this is only the second time it's happened in 17 years of marriage. This is a Major Date for us. Woohoo!

I saw Pride & Prejudice (rev 4). My mom came for a week-long visit and we behaved like giddy girls. Hubby brought home peppermint bark (on my top ten list of favorite things to indulge in) and I ate it.

And suddenly the ideas began to bubble to the surface of the well. I had a dream last night that with a little tweaking could become a story. While doing the dishes, I got a flash of an opening scene that packed a lot of punch. My editor sent me an article that sparked a synopsis that sparked a first chapter.

Hoo boy. We're rockin' now. Maybe there's something in this filling-the-well stuff after all. Here's to good intentions!

1 comment:

Julie Anne Long said...

Here's to refilling that well, SHelley! Sometimes I think my well is filled with radioactive sludge. :) I was struck by the fact that when you cleaned out your office and took an actual break, the ideas suddenly returned to you...I swear, sometimes it's as simple as clearing a space in your life for them to get through. Cleaning your office is also a MARVELOUS way to indulge in deadline denial. LOL. My office recently got cleaner, too. :) but actually, the writing magically seemed easier afterwards.