Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Life has been dry out here on the South Plains. Lately, my days have been filled with the constant snapping and popping of static electricity. In fact, some of the jolts have packed enough punch to curl the peach fuzz on the top of my head. Life has also been cold. A Northerner blew through here over the last couple of days, dropping the temperature so low that the remains of yesterday's coffee, left in the cab of my truck, turned into slush. I've said this before, and I'll write down now: there should be some natural law that mandates at least a foot of snow on the ground when it gets this cold!!!

Life has been dry in the writing front lately as well. At least, it feels that way right now. Beyond this posting, I haven't penned one sentence related to my writing life in the last week. Prior to that, I did finish my work for the Holiday Story Exchange, involving a few members of the Writer's Digest Forum; however, the small success there seems trivial compared to the long desert road ahead for Arturo and my novel, The Wind Blows Hard. I can see some images clearly for my novel, but they are still far off in the distance and getting there feels like trying to swim through scorching hot sand in a Speedo. And it's days like this--moments like this, actually--when I wonder just what the heck I was thinking when I launched into this novel. Poor Arturo is kicking dirt in my face and saying, "I don't need no stinking writer telling my story. Not like you anyway!"

Oh well... For his sake, and mine, I'm going to force myself to sit down, stick one word after the other and see where it all goes. Hopefully, I'll stay out of the bar ditch. And hopefully it won't be as painful as some of the Snaps! I've taken lately--all thanks to the dry, winter air which makes my skin itch and my hair (what I have anyway) stand on end.


  1. Stephen, Arturo's in good hands. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started again. Hang in there. You'll get it done.

  2. My friend, if writing was easy, we'd be doing something else ;^)

    Keep plugging. The satisfaction of a polished, finished product is worth the agony.

    Loved the image of swiming in a Speedo through sand. Super!

    Happy holidays... Peace, Linda

  3. As one foliclly challenged writer to another, I can definitely relate. I have a couple of suggestions that may or may not help. Advice is free, and usually worth every penny.

    My last novel bogged down after about five chapters. It was going nowhere fast. Then I decided to insert some additional conflict and presto - it took off. I think conflict drives a story like nothing else.

    Another trick I used to help keep things together (several lines of action had to be kept in sync) was to use a spreadsheet. Seems odd to use a spreadsheet for writing, but it works wonderfully well to keep the time lines for different characters in sync. I had much less hair pulling after that, which is a good thing. I need all the hair I've got.

    Stay warm, and well grounded.

  4. Greta & Linda: Thank you for the support. You guys are good friends.

    J.M.: Thank you for the great advice. I'm going to go back and look for ways to keep the edge up with added conflict. Thank you for stopping by.