Monday, September 25, 2006

It's been an interesting weekend. Aside from another trauma at the ER, everything went according to plan. Sort of.

I guess I've become used to these events. Yesterday, when my daughter screamed into the house shouting, "Mom fell! Help me!" I hardly felt the usual jolt of adrenaline surge into my blood. Calmly, I asked, "Where is she?" and then proceeding to ask my twenty-one year old daughter why she left her outdoors.

"I heard the bone snap!" she sobbed.

I looked into her eyes and realized that this was one of her worst nightmares. Before she'd dragged my wife outside for a walk, prodded and encouraged by me, she'd asked, "What if she falls?"

I'd shrugged it off. "Don't worry about it. She'll be fine. Just go slowly." We'd decided that in spite of the multiple sclerosis that it was time to add a mild exercise routine into her day. With high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, it seemed essential to try. Besides, I want my sweetie around when I retire in fourteen years. I didn't want to think back and regret not urging her to pursue a healthier lifestyle.

Two years ago she fell, dislocated and broke both shoulders, and had surgery on one. That was a tough one. Oh yeah. Some day maybe you'll read about it in One Potato, Blue Potato, the second book in my Sam Moore paranormal mystery series. ;o)

An operation is looming, full of words like "very bad break," and "pins to hold it together," and ... well, you know the routine. We're greatful that this time it's a bit easier. Only one arm to worry about.

I'm stopping the guilt right here, though. There's enough going on. I don't need to blame myself, do I? It was an accident, pure and simple. Right?


I was kind of proud of how I didn't lose it this time. You know, the gut-clenching worry that consumes all else? Instead, I read to her from her James Patterson book while we waited. And waited. And waited. Found about a dozen examples of words that are not in favor in the writing forums these days. Like "suddenly," and tags that stand out like, "he barked," "she choked," etc. Four paragraphs in a row starting with the same name. Just like my friend Val always says when she discovers hot new writers who use all the forbidden words and excel in spite of it, it's all a matter of balance. And James Patterson can do whatever the hell he wants to do. His readers don't give a darn!

When they set her wrist in a cast (temporary measure), I took the laptop into the waiting room and began to feverishly plan the next LeGarde book. I'd just sent off my current project (The Green Marble) to my publisher for consideration (her request) and was at the "inbetween stage." You writers know what I mean. One project is finished, ten others clamor for attention.

"Should I go back and tear into one of the older books? Or should I... dare I... start a new one?" The creative thrill afforded by writing new stuff is too alluring. I find it hard to say no to myself. So, instead of another edit (I just got through doing that for the past two months), I'm on to a new book. Dear Siegfried is finally going to find love - but only after some nerve-wracking and dangerous challenges are thrown his way. (evil chuckle here.)

What do you writers do between projects? Do you need time to recharge, or do you dive right into the next one? Does it last a day? A week? Months? Do you keep notes about books you're dying to write like I do? Tell me about your processes.


Southern Writer said...

Man! I am sorry to hear that about Dale! I'm sending my very best wishes for her speedy recovery and no more falls!

What do I do when I'm finished writing a book? Edit! And edit again. And cut and crit and rewrite and edit some more. And think about just the right twist for the next one.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Thanks, Val. You're a sweetheart. By the way, I can't wait for your next one!

Serena said...

So sorry to hear about your wife's fall and wish her a speedy recuperation. I think it's wonderful that you were able to remain calm. That no doubt helped her stay calm and allowed her to lean on you -- exactly what she needed under trying circumstances.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Hi, Serena!

So nice to hear from you. Thanks for your kind words. I checked out your blog and will take a look at Surreal Magazine, too.

Thanks for the support. ;o)

s.w. vaughn said...

Poor Dale... best wishes for a speedy recovery. It's good that no one is blaming themselves.

I know you guys will get through this because you're just too good not to!

Ah, the writing process (Danielle Steel! Dan Brown! Grrrrrrr!!!) Whoops, pesky aside... where was I? Oh, right.

Well, I figure I'll take a break when I'm dead. :-) Maybe.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Thanks, Sonya!

Yeah, I thought I was the only one who thought Dan Brown's characters were wooden and dialogue stilted. I read the DaVinci Code to see what all the fuss was about. The story premise was fascinating, and I loved some of the action scenes and the Louvre scene, but aside from that, it was too pat and I didn't care about the characters one whit!

Jude Hardin said...

Best wishes for Dale's speedy recovery, Aaron.

I get sidetracked with new ideas sometimes too, but I've decided to be 100% committed to the project I'm working on right now. I'm about 1/3 finished, and have a self-imposed deadline of Jan 1. Only then will I even think about starting something new. My process is pretty simple: Sit butt in chair and write. :)

Emmy Ellis said...

And James Patterson can do whatever the hell he wants to do. His readers don't give a darn!

Oh, but I do! I'm a fan of his but some things in Mary, Mary just about drove me mad!

Best wishes to you and your family, Aaron.


Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Excellent, Jude. Focus and committment are the only way to finish a book. I can't wait to read it, buy the way.;o)

Hi, Michelle! So nice to hear from you. I like Patterson, too, especially his family scenes with Mama Nana and the kids. But I hate that Alex Cross never finds love, that Christine left him, and that Jamilla (sp? can't remember) lives on the west coast. And I hate the scenes where the serial killers hurt children. I love his short chapters, though.

Did anyone read London Bridges and like it? I thought it was awful - like reading an outline. As if he was committed to getting it out but just couldn't finish it properly. Disappointing this time around.