And here we are, on the far side of the holidays.
Much as I love Christmas, I love the post-New-Year honeymoon with winter, too. You take down the decorations. You find places for the gifts. You switch to a diet of what Nigella Lawson calls “temple food”, as in, “my body is a”. Hot soup. Seafood. As much exercise as you can manage, in these days-lengthen, cold-strengthens weeks.
Winter is a time to dream. It’s when the seed catalogues arrive, and you plot your springtime busyness. It’s when you imagine all the things you could accomplish, if only you got yourself organized. And, for me, it’s when my mind drifts to stories.
I have committed myself to a 2016 novel project. We’ll see how it goes. I now have four novel beginnings put aside because none of them came quite right, but I am committed to finishing this one. It’s my assignment. I have the whole year to get it done. And I will. And I will love it. If I stop loving it, I need to backtrack and re-write so I love it again.
Right now, in the research phase, without a word written, I am head-over-heels in love. It incorporates characters from two of the scrapped beginnings, a brilliant opening scene that previously had nowhere to go, and all the things I love, fortuitously thrown together in one time and place in history: Scots, Native Americans, the American forest, wilderness living, romance, ambition, isolation, and gritty gut-turning determination. And yes, I said in history. This one is a historical novel.
Gosh, I hope I actually write it, now.
I’m arming myself with this little stocking stuffer, to get my started. I love single-origin chocolates. Imagine how many places and trouble went into producing something like this.