Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Writing Muse Has Me by the Throat

The Muse has me by the throat. She is on top of my head with octopus-like arms wrapping around me head trying to keep my focus on the writing. Her voice is a constant whisper in my ear about what to write about, how I can make the next move with the books and how to write better descriptions and developing the story-telling.

Coming up into Indianapolis on a storm-filled day
I continue making headway with the Wichita book (my third travel writing memoir book). Talking about it helps me focus and gives me the drive to work through the obstacles and self-doubts.

Yesterday, I figured out where I am with that first draft. I thought I was ready to do the last chapter, chapter 16, but I didn't have any photos printed of chapters 14-16, and I discovered chapter 15 was never finished. Photos help me remember situations and find words to describe the landscape and such. It still bothers me that there are things I have no words for -- descriptions of architecture, even things in landscape like land formations, types of rocks, etc. I’m always amazed and fascinated that things in the next state or states can be so different.

This morning I was wondering if I should spend time on a Writers Helping Writers FB page. They talk about everything and anything to do with writing. I've not paid that much attention because how and what I write is not usually discussed. But maybe if I ask, there are people on there who write travel memoirs.

Self-doubt soars when I'm floundering. I need some feedback as to what and how I'm writing. I need that push of encouragement and when others don't write the way I do ... It's not about being told what to do, it's more of a sharing of what we are working on. See, I can't even describe it. Hmmm, so how can I turn this "obstacle" into a learning experience to help me move forward?

I finished re-reading my last book “Too Cold for Alligators” (TCfA) last night. (I hope I can come up with such good titles for these next two books.) Anyway, I realized TCfA does have what it takes for a travel memoir, and the end IS very emotional, and I DID talk about what I learned and all. From what I can tell, it falls in all the parameters of travel writing memoirs. Yes, there are mistakes and repetitions, and I would love to rewrite it ... but as that's already been published, I should move on.

Another question I have is: Is it wrong to talk about the previous book in the next book? A friend who read the first part of the second book (I still haven’t come up with a title yet), because I went to some of the same places I did in the first. But I don't see why I can't talk about those places again. After all, I'm not saying exactly the same thing. The circumstances are different, my mind frame is different. Why can't I be saying, "The last time I was here, the beautiful camellias were in bloom and this year, although I'm traveling the same time of year, they've already turned brown and dropped to the ground. Still, this place is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. I love the ..." Plus, I also went to other places so it's not all exactly the same.

I’m in a different place mentally and physically now. The reason/excuse for travel has its differences. Yes, there are some similarities and I’m still dealing with traveling alone, learning to recognize what I want and to speak up. Similar, yet still different. I meet different people, circumstances are different. And it’s sharing – the amazing aspects of life and what’s around me and overcoming the obstacles and challenges that get in the way.

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