It's Christmas Eve and my last "personal" blog post of the year. (The #MFRWAuthor 52-week blog challenge post will appear as scheduled on Friday.) I'm headed on vacation for much-needed down time. The computer will be turned off. I won't answer email messages. You'll be lucky if I answer the telephone.
Quite simply, I'm burned-out.
I took the weekend off (mostly) and read a few books, although didn't finish a couple of them. I detest when authors construct such poor stories that they utterly fail to suspend disbelief. One of those books was a Regency romance. The author threw everything but the proverbial kitchen sink into the plot and then wrapped it up with a disgustingly TSTL heroine. I am convinced that TSTL has two meanings: 1) too stupid to live and 2) too stubborn to live. Both apply to that heroine.
That book sparked my competitive spirit: I can do better than that. Surely, I have a better command of Regency conventions and British titles than that author. Surely, I can think of a better solution for a young woman to pull her family from destitution than that author. Surely, I can keep a plot on track, unlike that author. Surely, I can do better. So, I started a new manuscript. It may never go anywhere, but for now I've got yet one more project to occupy my tired brain.
In the wee hours this morning, another idea struck my fevered imagination. It's ... odd. I'm not sure how it will play out, but it will eventually make its way from my brain onto virtual paper.
Then there's the current work-in-progress. My imagination turns over scenario after scenario, conversation after conversation, trying to fit the pieces together like some sort of mental jigsaw puzzle. This one's tough.
And I've got a few other story ideas swimming in my subconscious, which may or may not be included in the western anthology I'm working on with fellow author Russ Towne. Who knows? I'm already three stories in. A couple more and my contribution to the collection will be ready to send to the editor. Russ, by the way, deserves kudos and a bottle of top shelf whiskey for his insightful comments in his review of those rough drafts.
Regardless, my mind feels overwhelmed with ideas and story options hitting it from all sides. That's where the reference to Fezzik comes in. If you've been fortunate enough to have read William Goldman's The Princess Bride, then you'll remember the description of the wrestler Fezzik, who fought competitively against groups of opponents. My brain is Fezzik, coping with hits from a barrage of ideas and story options.
(By the way, I read The Princess Bride long before Hollywood turned it into a movie. It remains a favorite.)
In the meantime, I'm signing off for the week. I'm unplugging, taking myself away from the computers as I head south to visit family, read books printed on paper (glorious!), and take leisurely walks in the sunshine.
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
"To life! and thou, peace; and thy house, peace; and all that thou hast -- peace!" (1 Samuel 25:6, Young's Literal Translation)