Ooh-ooh-ooh! It’s stopped raining! The sun came out!
I’d better get out there and start writing. It won’t be long now before the cold weather sets in and the ink won’t run from my pen (yes, I’ve actually tried to writing on days that cold–and that’s what happened), and I have a book I’ve got to finish.
Phoebe mentioned being as busy as a hamster spinning in a wheel, so here are some busy hamsters for you to contemplate. How come they don’t get dizzy when they do this? Sixty seconds of this stuff and I don’t think a human being would ever recover from it. This deserves serious study.
Ah, Behold! What a time I’ve had with you! It wasn’t till near the end of May that the weather allowed me to start work on you–a whole month lost, right out of the batter’s box. And I still don’t know what anybody in the story is going to behold.
Nevertheless, I am being pulled along willy-nilly, the current’s strong and I can’t swim against it–and, as Jackie Gleason used to say, awaaaay we go!
It’s dark and dreary, raining cats and dogs, damp and cold (man, that makes my leg hurt!)–no novel-writing today. Yeah, I know the rain is part of nature, too. But you can’t write on paper that’s getting rained on. Nor do I wish to acquire a touch of pneumonia.
Yesterday I wrote six pages of Behold! and Wednesday, five. I am being strongly pulled along–to what kind of climax, I don’t know yet. I reckon I’ve got at least one more chapter set to write, a little more than 10,000 words; and it’s got to get done before the cold weather sets in and the ink won’t run out of the pen.
But not today, ol’ hoss–not today. I can always write Joe Collidge, and there’s a book I have to review for Chalcedon. There’s also the temptation to go back to bed. My cats advise it. H.P. Lovecraft always listened to his cats. But then he was eccentric and I’m not.
To all of you who wrote in yesterday to tell me that you liked His Mercy Endureth Forever, a great big thank you!
I’m actually back to being eager to work on Bell Mountain No. 14, Behold! I can’t do it today because it’s cold and rainy. Somehow I can no longer write fiction indoors. Maybe it’s from being ceaselessly pelted by nuisance phone calls all day. Bear in mind I’m trying to write about a world that exists only in my mind and trying to make it exist in the reader’s mind, too. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
I’m still waiting to find out what it is that my characters are going to behold. I could always change the title, I suppose; but I like to go with the first thing that comes into my head, in case it came from God. And having a title up there from the get-go gives me something to shoot for.
So when the rain stops I’ll be back out there, trying to finish telling the story before it’s so cold that the ink won’t flow from my pen. Yes, that actually happens. Try it sometime. Besides, when it gets under 50 degrees, that’s a distraction.
We just got Patty’s car back from the mechanic. The problem was spiders. They blocked a line that lets air escape from the gas tank. I would like to think of spiders as being better behaved than that. These spiders have disappointed me.
I’ve typed up the fourth chapter set of Behold!, although I still don’t know what it is that the characters in the story are going to behold and I’m a bit anxious about it. I can only trust in the Lord to give me the story that He wants me to tell.
As for that third day in a row of 300 views or better, Uncle Shinbone’s efforts notwithstanding (gee, I like that word: I ought to use it more often), it’s looking like that goal is just about out of reach. Serves me right for not writing a Newswithviews column this week.
Anyone who wants to pitch in with some views, it’ll be appreciated. Remember, you can always view cool stuff in the Archives.
Even as Ellayne and Jack broke through into the cellar beneath the cellar of the Old Temple, to find what had long been lost, yesterday I broke through the fog surrounding my new book, Behold! In fact, I received this breakthrough very shortly after writing a post about still needing one.
Ask and it shall be given. Seek and ye shall find.
I now know something that Ysbott the Snake, the villain in this story, doesn’t know. And it’s a big something, too. Something that will lead me toward the climax of the story (unless it is the climax: we’ll see). Man, it would drive him plumb crazy, if he knew what I now know!
I have always relied on the Lord to give me the story that He wants me to tell; and in 13 books so far He hasn’t let me down.
But the sun is shining–I’ve got to get out there and write!
I’ve just finished writing another chapter set of Behold!, Book No. 14 of my Bell Mountain series. Meanwhile, No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, is kind of clunking along and No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, is being edited and needs cover art.
I’ll have to get this chapter set typed up and sent to Susan for editing, and then write fast to get it done before the weather gets too cold. This is hard because I don’t yet know how the story is going to turn out. The Lord hasn’t yet given me that.
There are readers who say “Enough already, put Bell Mountain to bed.” Others say, “Oh, no–keep going!” But it’s not entirely up to me. I can only write what the Lord gives me. And at this point I’ve been writing these books long enough not to know what I’d do without them. I admit it: I would miss them. A lot.
Well, how about a book update, then? And meanwhile the latest addition to my Bell Mountain series, His Mercy Endureth Forever, doesn’t seem to have quite hit the mark on amazon.com.
Every day it doesn’t rain, I’m outside, writing Behold!, longhand on a legal pad. I got a nice piece of it done this morning.
But if you’re going to ask me, “Behold what?”, I’m afraid I don’t yet know. The title just popped into my head, so I used it. I suppose I could change the title, but I like to write these books according to the guidance I receive from the Lord, day by day. So I still don’t know what anybody in the story is going to behold. I’ve been in this situation many times before, though, and the Lord has never left me hanging.
Sometimes writing a novel is like playing chess. You have all these pieces to move, and if you can steer them into the right configuration, you’ll be in position to deliver checkmate. In the novel you’re moving characters, not chessmen; and for the story to turn out right, each character has to be moved into the right place to deliver the story’s climax.
With this book I feel like something’s got to come together soon because the warm weather won’t last but a month or two longer and I just can’t write fiction indoors. Too many distractions. But if it’s really cold outside, the ink won’t come out of my pen.
I went outside early today because I thought it might rain, torched a cigar (as Mike Shayne used to do so well), and settled down to work on Behold!, Book No. 14 in my Bell Mountain series.
I wasn’t expecting much from this scene, it was just Prester Jod having breakfast with a guest whose identity I can’t divulge without committing a spoiler. I had to get on to something more exciting, and, as is my custom, asked the Lord to give me the story that He wants me to tell.
Well, He certainly did that. The plot suddenly shot off in a new direction. It was something I’d been thinking of, on and off, but as yet had no idea how to pull it off. Next thing I knew, it practically wrote itself. And I had the excitement I’d been looking for, finding it in an unexpected place.
I really love it when a book does that.
Now I have to stop and work on a book review for Chalcedon; but it was a lovely place to stop.
Oy vay, it’s hot today! But if I want to keep on writing Behold!, I’ve got to take the heat. What I wouldn’t give, though, to be out on that boat with Gurun, with cold water splashing my face.
Unexpectedly, it seems the wine of Durmurot will have a role in moving my plot forward. My wife has developed a taste for the golden wine of Durmurot, but you can’t get it around here. Heck, we can’t even get American-grown parsley, these days.
We had a couple of cooler days last week, and that left us unprepared to face the return of the perishingly hot weather. I’ve just been out there finishing up a chapter, and I’m knackered. Time for an enormous glass of iced tea.
Elijah Holsten’s sister, Faith, 12 years old, has asked me for some writing tips. In the spirit of today’s weather, Tip No. 1 is simple: Just keep at it. If your work that day isn’t all it could be, you can always smarten it up later. That’s why my first draft is always written longhand, on a legal pad. Keep the story moving. Stylistic niceties I add when I move on to the typed draft I’ll submit to my editor.
We are under another heat advisory today, and I doubt I’ll have the opportunity to lie down in a nest of ice cubes. I could try, I suppose.
But the business at hand is to proceed with writing Behold! The Lord hasn’t yet shown me where this story’s headed–just a few tantalizing hints. What’s going to happen with those strange ships off the coast of Durmurot? Ebed the spy, who’s maybe eleven years old, is the only one who can find out…
Am I writing this so I don’t have to go outside?
Grab the pen, legal pad, and cigar–and go to work!