Popsicles in the shade

Posted On June 27, 2021

Photo by MIchele Venne

It’s summertime, and with the heat cranked up in the Southwest desert, we’re all trying to live easy! It’s the end of June and halfway through 2021. I’ve been spending more time than usual inside, and when I look back at my production schedule that I planned out at the end of 2020, I’m very far off the mark. However, scanning my calendar so far this year, I realize I’ve done a lot:

*2 short stories (“The Best Gift”, “Operation: Sand Dune”)
*1 novella (Crimson Heels)
*3 free ebooks (Yogis All: A Journey of Transformation, Volume III, A Brief History of Yoga; From Writer to Author: A Process for Writing and Publishing Your First Book; Building Fluency: Fun and Creative Ways to Support Students)
*1 Yoga Sequence book (Yogis All: A Journey of Transformation, Volume II, Tools of the Practice)
*1 workbook (The Companion Workbook for Creative Play: A Guide for the Artistic Path)
*1 journal (The Companion Journal for Cracked Heart: Poetic Thoughts on a Life)
(The workbook and journal will be shared next month.)

And then there’s this current story…I took it from one of my files of story starters from a prompt in a writer’s group years ago. It started out with a woman in mental health facility looking out the window at a park. In building out the story, I decided she needed to meet someone, so I made Ross a Private Investigator who meets with potential clients in the park. I switched the heroine from a patient to one of the psychiatrists. I thought I could scribble out the story in about 7,000 words, making it a true “short story” according to industry standards. Well, then I had the bright idea to make it a suspense, which is probably more interesting than why she changes jobs and dates a cool guy. And now it’s bloomed like I poured super fertilizer on a tenacious dandelion!

I’ve learned to give my stories the space they need to be what they want. The more I tried to keep this one contained, the more I found myself crossing out words and phrases and not wanting to return to my spiral. Once I accepted that this won’t be a short story, and likely not even a novella, I can sit with my spiral and record what shows up on the movie screen in my head. This is, of course, practice for other situations in my life where I can let go of what I’m trying to make happen and accept what is. Oh, how art imitates life!

I’ll be reviewing my 2021 production schedule this next week and reevaluating what I want to accomplish the next six months. I miss my fiction. Specifically, returning to my series and writing the next books. Which means I may, or may not, finish the two novels, each the first in two new series, by the end of this year. Since I wrapped up all my nonfiction projects (for now), I’m devoting much of my energy to finishing this story, and of course, enjoying popsicles in the shade.

Written by Michele Venne

Writer of immersive and intriguing stories.

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