War of Loyalties Editing
Lately, I'm curled up in the chair, or on my bed, or in a lawn chair in our backyard, editing. After a few initial tears of terror and despair, the Lord has been good, and I have been happily, steadily working on productive changes to make War of Loyalties tighter and better. I like to think that if nothing else, I've at least kept Spotify in business. This editing process has been different to the others, because I haven't been able to listen to music with lyrics while I work. Celtic Thunder withdrawals have been nonexistent, however, and I'm really excited about some beautiful soundtracks I'm discovering and rediscovering.
Whenever something is going well, my melancholic side always wonders why, and what I am doing wrong. Somehow, the idea of struggle, tears, and hard labor feels more comfortable than the idea of being at peace and filled with joy. I have no idea if those emotions will return during this whitewater rafting process of publishing, but the Lord was reminding me that joy and peace are a gift from him, and I don't have to lash myself into distress. Peace does not equal pride if I am leaning on the Lord and seeking him for guidance. Pride still wants to rear its ugly head, but I want to pray against it, to pray for wisdom, and to pray that this project would be edited so it can bless those who read it.
New Story Ideas
During this editing season, I also have been learning about a bunch of random things that are slowly, cohesively turning themselves into a story idea. (Code named C Story, currently.) I've always been split between writing historical fiction and modern fiction (I really love both). So C Story, whenever it is written, will be modern day fiction. It was inspired by some of the latest American political happenings (full of dramatic fodder, those) as well as--I'm not sure what? There is a moment of tinder and spark that creatives never tire of, when a story is born and the inspiration for it just takes off running in your mind. So a potent combination of American politics, a study on modern-day servants, and lots of Dude Perfect and Peter Hollens on YouTube ended up sparking a novel idea. (You can laugh.)
However, the most tragic moment was when I got a piece of further inspiration for it that I lost. I still don't know what it was. But I was praying that the Lord would help me remember that piece of inspiration, and just the other night, I felt like he gave me something just as good or better to replace that lost puzzle piece. Something more visionary, that I honestly am super excited about. I'm still figuring out the specs of it, but I want this story to be an antidote to a couple of books/movies that have come out in recent years about mental illness+suicide. I hope it will have modern day Dickensian vibes, lots of drama+intrigue, and an in-depth look at a character warring with mental illness. (Plus be about 80-100K in length, much shorter than War of Loyalties and its sequel. Also, I hope this book doesn't have a sequel. I want it to stand alone.)
I am so, so excited about this story's potential. It's the honeymoon phase of an idea where everything is starry and bright and a vista of possibilities stretches out before me. There will be time enough later for the reality of the writing trenches. Right now, I'm just enjoying having something precious to imagine every once in a while, and dream about for the future. Because it's the dreams that keep everything fresh, you know?
This book excites me. It's one I want to start right away, but I'm giving it time to grow first (plus, working on publishing a book, so now is not the time to get distracted.) I bought a pack of lined paper at the dollar store yesterday just to treat myself, and when I'm ready, I'm going to pull out the pink zip binder that saw me through War of Loyalties and probably hand write the first draft of this one. I might even dabble in it on vacations, just for fun. Realistically it'd be closer to 2019 before I could finish the first draft, and the Lord might direct or re-direct by then.
But for now, while I edit War of Loyalties in the lawn chair in our backyard, I let the idea of future things light up around me like the little fireflies that keep me company. Because the writing life is not only about present faithfulness, but also about future vision.
Do you love the moment when a story is born? What story ideas are you working on right now? Is this summer easy or hard in your writing life? Tell me all!