Now that I’m updated on the Ebola Crisis, chk’d family updates and noted a slightly-worrisome post of my youngest son extolling the wonders of drink, with a side glimpse of someone vacuuming a cat…here I am.
This is a warm-up. A mere prelude to ‘real’ writing, for there is this amazing Fantasy novel-in-progress awaiting my magical touch to finish it. STILL. It wakes me at night. It keeps me from Moving On in my life until it is DONE. I’m meeting with a writer-friend this afternoon and must talk about something! I must write today to feel valid: thus, a blog post.
Me? Yes, I also feel special. But I’m still slogging through Stuck Land of Words, I am (where articles, not of clothing, are missing) And there are sooo many distractions to settling down, calming my mind, opening said frontal language lobes. I NEED FOCUS. No, not THIS kind of focus…
It is MIND focus.
Yes, that’s better. I need to write dialogue, setting, blahblah, and do it soon. But distractions abound. For example: my new(ish)home still requires some decorating – again. In the guest rooms. Again.
Some people don’t stress over a guest room: a lumpy fifteen year-old mattress with a bare light bulb on a thrift store table, if you’re lucky, will do. Clean bedding is enough. Grandma’s orange pull-out sofa? Adequate. Freezing cold down there? Eh, we’ll give ’em another blanket. They’ll only be here for a few nights, right?
For me, no can do. I want a guest room to channel a nice hotel, and the guest bath a spa – per my best efforts. It has to coordinate but not in a matchy-matchy way. I want the linens to be pretty–and now, NEW. This startling new concept hit home while changing a guest room’s sheets. We’d compiled a pile of sheets over the years of all sizes. They looked pretty good, so keep using them, right? [Warning: the next part may gross a few of you out, grammarians included]
Well…I noticed a slight, familiar odor. Reminiscent of, um, teenage boys. In a room not inhabited by such. And not in a good way, if there is a good way for teenage boys to smell (which, as a parent of three grown ones, I can assert that there is).
I washed ’em again…no improvement. Were they stained? (oh gawd) Nope. The sheet sets looked fine but, ohhhh, the odour, which seems classier when you use the Old-English spelling. I checked the other sets that young men either inhabiting or visiting our home have used. Yipes. Smell of boy’s feet. boy’s sweat. And peering closer, a faint smudge on the pillowcase of adolescent boy oily-hair. Ok, and possibly faint slobber stains…
ALL those “extra” sheet sets went into a rag-basket. I went shopping. (Those who love shopping may now say ‘woot!’)
With a limited budget, I approached Walmart – a store I despise but for the prices, and the lack of customer service, and…oh, never mind. I went there out of need. So often we do, don’t we?
Guest bedroom #1 was easy. Walmart black and white matchy-matchy comforter set, a few black/cream painted pieces, the current cream color on the walls, plus pops of red and old lace. Faux-Parisian apartment: three, four and done.
On the Guest bedroom #2 (are you wondering how I’ll tie this into writing/creativity/art? so am I) I wanted “Global Style” I found a bright Indian paisley duvet cover, painted stuff bright aqua, added a bright red chair and rainbow rug, a punched-tin lantern.The room seemed fun and kinda “global.” I liked it.
Then, my older son, who didn’t even live with us at the time, took one look and named it: “The Indian Foreplay Room.” Younger son took up the joke. Hawhaw, guys. (I did think it funny; I’m not that pure)
“Hey! It’s ‘Boho Chic,'” I said. “Globally-inspired.”
They agreed to disagree.
Months later, another guest was due to arrive – someone who mentioned to me that their OCD (the real kind) couldn’t deal with a lot of patterns. And due to the size of the bed in aforementioned “Indian Foreplay” room, they needed to use that room.
SIGH. Back to the Guestroom Freakin’-Drawing Board. I made it soft, solid colors. Soft blues, gently patterned art from Nature. Soft browns. It did the trick…for the guest. (but I thought it a tetch boring)
AND NOW FOR THE WRITING CONNECTION – at last. If “it” (a scene, dialogue, the plot or character-arc) is not working – if several of your reader-critter partners gives you negative feedback, or – this is important – if you are stuck – then pause to evaluate. What needs to change? Mull it over. Wait for inspiration, or even force it (good luck with that last one though).
IDEA #1: Combine characters. I was researching ancient civs for the Fantasy and noticed the term “priestess-healers.” Lo, and behold a virgin shall conceive…(Sorry. FOCUS, Bree, wrong story!) Inspiration gave birth to…wait for it…yes. I could combine a principle Healer in my story and have her also be a shaman. Several problems solved…I hope. (this was very recent and I haven’t written it yet but really do believe it will work)
Tired of reading yet? For more examples, come back soon – I’ll continue. For now, rest your eyes. And please, change the sheets. Thanks for warming me up, too – I am quite focused.