The Writer's Mailbag: Installment 251
April Is a Fickle Month
It really is, you know. It can’t seem to make up its mind what it plans to do on any given day . . . brilliant sunshine, drifting clouds, sprinkles, not the cupcake time, downpours, winds and gusts and promises . . .
It also marks the time when my other life shifts into high gear, the farmers market season, meaning one less day to write meaning always being behind in my writing duties . . . but it’s all good! I love what I do, and I’d rather be doing it than pushing up daisies, for sure.
How about you? What does April signify for you?
While you ponder that question, I can tell you that my new book, the Magician’s Shadow, will be uploaded on Amazon this day, Friday, April 5, so it could very well be available for purchase as you are reading this. It took a year to write it, not because of its length but simply because of nagging commitments. I’m glad to be putting this one to bed. It will be available as a paperback first. There are some issues that have to be worked out before it is available as an ebook. Thank you for your patience, and because of your patience I set the lowest price possible on Amazon for this release, which is $5.
Let’s do this Mailbag thing!
From Shannon: “Oh, and your Shuttle story would be an interesting concept for a movie. Are you turning the series you did here on HP into a novel prequel? Um....you can always submit your book to various contests to see if someone grabs it “
Thank you, Shannon! A prequel? I had to stop and think about what series you were talking about. What a great memory you have, and about my work? Thank you! The answer to your question is I don’t know. I have a new novel I just started, and I already have a “rough draft” of another Shadow book in my head dying to break free. There’s only so much time, you know!
I would like to do that. I would like to pick up with the Shuttle book, and build a novel around the granddaughter Hope. I always meant to do that. But the road to somewhere is lined with good intentions, right?
Thanks for the suggestion!
Is the Shadow Series Ending?
From Melissa: “Not to jump too far ahead, but since this is the last in the Shadow series, what's next for you? Has your muse spoken to you yet?”
Melissa, I’m sorry if I gave the wrong impression about the Shadow series. It is not ending. It is simply taking a one novel break, which leads to your second question, a novel I have begun, which has a working title of “A Time and Place.” It is a novel set in the 1960s, in my old neighborhood, and it loosely parallels the disappearance of a young girl, Ann Marie Burr, who is believed to be the first victim of Ted Bundy.
Once I finish that novel, the Shadow series will return, and I already have a storyline for the 6th in that series in my head.
Thank you for being such a loyal follower of Eli, Liz, and Striker. They all send their love and appreciation.
Enjoying the Creative Process
From MizB: “There is something I've noticed personally about my own writing, and even before I started putting my musings down on paper (or the computer). When a story starts unfolding in my mind, I get as much pleasure from the newness of it as I do from reading other people's work. This just hit me a few days ago. I can't help but wonder if other people do also. Or is this just an ego trip of mine? :)”
I guess, MizB, we both suffer from an abundance of ego! LOL
No, seriously, I think this is natural. We are giving birth to a new creative work. Why wouldn’t we experience pleasure from the process? So very few people in the world can do what we do, and do it well. If a little “feeding of the ego” is involved, then so be it!
I love the newness of it. I love to peel off its wrapper and see what surprises await me. I love having my muse whisper in my ear and tell me she needs my help for completion. I love the collaboration she and I experience, the bond that is formed, and the trust which is strengthened.
I love everything about it, MizB, and I don’t think I’m strange because of it.
I am writer, hear me roar!
The Origin of Ideas
From Bob: “Where does your inspiration come from for a creative piece?
Bob, here’s my one-word answer: EVERYWHERE!
I’ll give you a very recent example. On the local news there is a weekly feature called “Eric’s Heroes.” It is a spotlight on local people who do good for our society, people who work outside the limelight, doing good works quietly and for no reward. Last week there was a feature on a guy who sits by the lake holding a sign which says “I would like to have a conversation with you.” People walk by him, some smiling, some quickening their pace, and occasionally some stopping and engaging in conversation. Complete strangers, talking to each other, no agenda, no debates, no rancor . . . just one man reaching out to others, hoping to make a connection.
It turns out that young man is clinically depressed, and he does what he does because he firmly believes he needs human interaction to stay sane . . . he forces himself out of bed, each day, picks up his sign, and saves his own life by doing something which must be agonizing for him.
I think that’s a beautiful story. It so perfectly summarizes the struggle in all of us, and I promise you that man, or someone like him, will appear in one of my books in the upcoming years.
Inspiration is everywhere, my friend!
It’s Time to Go
Always time to go . . . or, as my dad was fond of saying, “always move forward, Bill. Never give up ground you’ve won.”
I’m trying, Dad! I’m trying!
Have a brilliant week, all of you, and thank you!
I will leave you with some lyrics by Dan Fogelberg and his song “Whispers in the Wind.” They have always reminded me of my muse.
Like a wraith she ambles aimlessly
Through the mists along the shore
She wraps the foggy night around her
Like a warming shawl
And leaves wildflowers at my door
She comes to me when she needs company
And weaves her web around my soul
She comes to me to free those wild,
Burning, passion fires
That she cannot control
And by the morning light I know
That she'll be gone
And then the lonely hours begin
And all she leaves behind
To find her in the dawn
Are whispers in the wind
2019 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”