I'm most recently a writer. In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot. As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades. An unwilling transplant from the South, twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US. Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect. When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do. Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Here We Go Again--For Real
I debated the wisdom of blogging about a work in progress. There's the risk the story could flounder or even fizzle out completely. There's the even greater risk of giving away too much and robbing the project of its mystique, or even worse sending potential readers running the other way. I've decided to take the middle of the road on this one. I'll begin here, today, and plan only to post on moments I feel might interest or enlighten you with regard to this journey.
So here we go. Working Title--Shannon's Daughter, which will most likely change. For those of you who've read my books, Peg Shannon is a familiar and apparently slightly controversial character. I've mentioned to several readers that I was considering a book about her back story, and met with mixed reaction. One of my most loyal readers, who calls herself my #1 Fan, has expressed a dislike of Peg from the beginning and declares that she's not sure even I can make her like this woman. Others have been more gracious, asking if, from book to book, there would be more development of Peg's relationship with a certain gentleman. And of course, there have been a few reservedly skeptical Oh's, as if they questioned my sanity on this one.
Now let me go on record here as saying that I don't know Peg all that well. She's one of several characters who just walked onto the page in the beginning without my having anything in mind for them. Nameless at first, she was just the "older woman" in Stani Moss's past. I never expected to see her up close. However, before many more pages, she popped up again, complete with name and some pretty impressive credentials. I let her have her head, and I've had a certain respect for her ever since. While she's lived mostly in context to the other characters, she's gained her own unique persona over time. Still, I've felt she remained somewhat two-dimensional, seen only through the eyes of others most of the time. I have to wonder how much more there might be to her.
Peg, everyone agrees, is foremost a woman who lives by her own rules. She's an enigma in many respects, even to those who know her intimately. She's done things at times which seemed unwise and or even immoral. And yet she's not a bad person. She's extremely generous and supportive, unselfishly devoted to those she loves. Peg seems to me to be a hungry soul on a blindfolded search for the thing she craves most in her life, whatever that may be.
So what shapes a child into a woman like Peg Shannon? We know a little about her past, vague references to her relationship with her father, the name of a past lover. We know much of what she's done, but little about why. There's a lot of gray space around Peg, just waiting to be colored in. Once I started thinking along these sketchy lines, the story began to take shape with surprising speed. I began to see Peg as more than two dimensional, hear her voice more clearly. It seemed worth the effort to see where this would take us both.
So here we go again. Chapter One and much of Chapter Two are written. The basic plot, characters and settings are swirling in my head. I am not an outliner! I write by the seat of my pants. I'll be just as surprised as any reader at some of the things that appear on the page as I go along. Honestly, I love the process, the twists, the turns, even the downturns that lead to that wonderful place, The End. I hope you'll come along. I won't bore you with updates on word count and chapters. But I'll try to keep you posted on my adventures with Peg, whatever they turn out to be.