Monday, September 12, 2011

And then I Started Crying...

So, I did this little thing last night where I FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT OF CIRCLE OF LIGHT!


Please stick with me here, because this is so cool. I am in utter shock about the whole thing. Let me tell you my little story.

About six months ago, I moved out of my old home and old life and into a new kind of interim life that left me groping around for some steady ground, so, even though I'd written roughly half of Circle of Light before all this happened, the muse and passion for the story all but poofed out of sight once everything came to a crashing, life-altering halt.

I'm really serious. My muse literally flipped me the bird, laughed at me and ducked under a bush somewhere. And as much as I gave her dirty looks and sighed with disappointment, her unreasonable (or so it seemed) behavior would not let up.

This sucked, because my publisher, as gracious and empathetic as they were was kind enough to bump the release date later in hopes that Ms. Muse would whip her ass into shape and do her thang.

In the mean time, her musician sister paid me a little visit and explained that book three had a reason to lag behind, and that suddenly I needed to write music. Like now. Immediately. So I did. I followed the flow and need to create music and, once that was over, I regrouped in full knowledge that it was damned well time to jump back into the world of Seers and bring the whole of their story full circle (thus the title.)

The return of my absentee muse all started with a song. A trailer song, to be precise, which I composed in one night and then proceeded to create a craptastic recording so that I wouldn't forget the whole thing before it came time to professionally record the song. (As a side note, for those of you who aren't aware, I've always written a song specifically for the release of each book and to be used for the book trailer.)

Moving on. I was so excited by this song, that it reignited a desire to continue the story asap. Although desire, alone, is not necessarily enough without Musey McMuseypants. It was my firm opinion that a moving, compelling story can only be created if the author is moved and compelled while writing it. And at that moment, I was a little questionable about the passion of my Muse. She hadn't jumped upon my back and she wasn't whispering sultry plot-nothings in my ear, after all, and I'd gotten used to her spoiling me so for the previous two books. I was not about to accept a half-hearted plot woo-ing.

Then came the fateful day about two weeks ago when I was having a discussion with my publisher about the book, and something, in the middle of that little chat, just burst open the floodgates and everything started coming in a crazy, obsessive compulsive, emotional rush of story.

I had to get it all down. I had to keep going. And when the tumbling story threatened a snag around some future corner, I simply took a shower or went for a drive or out to dinner with my bestie and gave it a little thought and the flow would be free again. I'd rush home and continue where I left off. Then there were a few times when the plot surprised me, which happens a lot, actually, and it's my favorite part of the whole thing. When it came to who would live, who would die, how so-and-so got to such-and-such a place, conclusion, etc. Why it turned out that things had to be the way they were, all of the loose ends and fates and destinies, if not shoved at me in an obvious way, popped into place as I wrote. And the key seemed to be ecstatic faithful feeling of being in the flow-zone of whatever the hell was happening to me with this book.

Guys, I was half-way through with Circle of Light two weeks ago. It had taken me a few months to get to that place, but, for some absolutely mind-blowing reason, I managed to write the second half of the book (which is just slightly longer than the first half, mind you), in a period of two weeks.

Two weeks!

It hardly seems like I was writing that much, though, anybody around me would snort and complain otherwise, since I guess I all but disappeared from the face of the earth.

It was, pardon my language, fucking incredible. I finished the first draft last night, and then, I started crying...either because I am a pathetic, pathetic sap, or because this has been a journey of three books and my heart and soul and blood and tears and lessons learned all my life and along the way are encompassed in its pages. I'm betting on the latter. ;)

That Muse knew what she was doing, even though I wanted to strangle her for leaving me in a lurch during a time when I felt abandoned enough as it is. But it turns out that the last half of the book could never have been completed as it was, could not have contained all it needed, if I hadn't waited. I needed everything that's happened in the last year, and especially the last six months, to even understand how to come full circle--and to realize that I'm just at the beginning of my own journey. Gosh, I sure hope it's half as cool as the last two weeks have been.

Book release date is February, tentatively, btw. ;) Thanks for reading. You know I get a little verklempt sometimes.



Stephanie/PurdueLiz said...

Oh Jen, I am so, so excited for you! And can't wait to see how it all turns out. Especially having read all your excitement the last couple weeks. :D

booklover08-Valerie said...

Jen, this was a wonderful bit to read and to understand how inspiration and perspiration work the former is required to get to the latter! I am so happy to have met you and to follow this work from the beginning. I am so happy for you to have come to this place as well, so enjoy (whether that requires tears or not) your achievement of completion....or the nearest steps to it! Hope that made some sense!!

Jen said...


Me too! LOL. I'm really excited to get it all polished and edited and re-worded to as near perfection as I can manage. Sharing it is the whole point, and I love you for always being such an awesome cheerleader! <3

Jen said...

Valerie, you'd better believe the inspiration has to come before the perspiration! lol. But when the inspiration comes... you hardly notice the perspiration part. ;) It's far too rewarding for that. Thanks for sticking with me!


Nicki Elson said...

This is fantastic! And amazing---two weeks?!?! Your muse was paying you back big time. This is a really touching post. Thanks for letting us into your world. And here I just stopped by to steal your logo to post at my place tomorrow. ;)

Jen said...

Nicki! I am so excited for tomorrow! Post is all ready to share in my drafts. ;) And thanks for the support and inspiration. I love you and you know it!