Things are a brewing ...
How Now Folks,
So, I like to make stuff.
Besides writing books, I paint, I build stuff, I cook and I brew.
Yeah, that's right, I brew beer. The alliteration in that sentence conjures up a chorus of "hell yeah!" I also make my own cider, Limoncello, and mead. Currently, I'm preparing to make a batch of peach wine. The peaches on the tree out back just came into season, and the harvest was huge. We gave a bunch away, we're canning some, and then I'm turning the rest into booze. Woo hoo! In the near future I'd like to try my hand at classic wine making. Ya know, from grapes. A big, bold red. Something that will hold up next to a steak. Yeah, that would be nice.
Sorry. Lost in some daydreaming there. Occupational hazard. So, what's the point of all this (besides me rambling on about my obsessions)?
It's all connected.
All of it comes from the same source. The processes for brewing beer or fermenting wine are all very similar, and the skills translate from one to the other with very little adjustment. Which is great, because I make more than one type of drink. If I didn't, I would get really bored repeating the same steps again and again. Eventually I'd just stop doing it altogether.
I realize that this is also true for writing.
I'm working on a short piece titled, "Initiating Angels." It is set during Book 2, Angels of Perdition, just between chapters 49 (Declarations), and 50 (Yearling Hunt); as the title suggests, it deals with how the Pride were initiated (hazed) by the Elc'atar. I had the idea in my head, and started working on it. About a thousand words in, however, the words dried up.
Now, let's just get this out in the open; there is no such thing as Writer's Block. It's all a bunch of hooey. Understand what the concept implies; there is some mysterious world, somewhere out there in the ether (no one yet has been able to give more precise directions to this place) where all the words dwell, probably riding on unicorns. What is even more fantastic is that there exists a magical conduit into the writer's head where all the words come tumbling and sliding down. Writer's Block, then, is where the conduit is blocked by nefarious gnomes and the words disappear. That, in and of itself, is the basis of a pretty good story. Boom! Writer's Block cured.
No. Sadly, there is a less magical reason for being stumped. Part of it may be focus and concentration. Every other day for me feels like I'm scatter brained and just a little out of synch. There are others where the five-year-old who controls the switches in my brain only wants to play, and doesn't want to do any work.
A bigger part, however, seems to be akin to crafting the same drink.
I walked away from the manuscript and tinkered with various other chores about the house. When I sat back down and opened my Scrivener file, I recognized the problem. The story I was brewing was from a recipe I already used. I told it before, and it felt like I was just laying down the same ingredients. So, I had to change it up. I needed to employ a new set of (similar) skills. So long as I didn't kill anyone off, all options were open to me.
And what do you know?
The unicorns defeated the gnomes, and the words were flowing again.
The story is almost done, so you can check back here shortly and sample the brew to see how it came out. I'll tell you this much; it packs a punch and has notes of toasted Newbs.
Talk to you all soon.