New friendships and fun

I had too much fun this past weekend. I got to do things I had been thinking about since I was first introduced to them by my technical advisor for the novel. It’s still being done in the name of research but having a little, or a lot fun, while doing the research is a bonus.

I also got to meet some very interesting people. I wouldn’t be surprised if they popped in and out of my life from now on. Colourful characters and so enthusiastic. It was refreshing I have to admit.

Also got to know my technical advisor’s wife better, too. And she’s pretty fucking awesome. We’ve had short chats before when I had my coffee meetings with my advisor. But this weekend was the first time she and I had a chance to really talk. And she said some wonderful, complimentary things about me and my presence in her husband’s life, and in turn, her life. I didn’t expect to hear those words. And to be honest, I was pretty touched by it. Still am.

It’s going to be great having these two people in my life. They’re good people. I think we’re all on the same wavelength. I mentioned having great chemistry with my advisor in a previous post. That chemistry extends to his wife, as well. I couldn’t have asked for two better people to come into my life than these two.

What I learned, and what was reinforced this weekend, won’t take too much time to absorb and parse out into my writing. It’s about continuing to and constantly laying down the groundwork for future stories. It never stops nor should it ever stop. I know what I want to do for my next project while I develop another idea for a third novel. But these two ideas will have to wait until I’m done with the current project. The summer promises to be busy with the current writing project and with deepening new friendships with folks who feel like I’ve known for a long time.

And now I turn back to my writing, thinking about the stuff I got to do this past weekend. I don’t think of it as a re-energizing of the creative blood that courses through me. I think of it as a reaffirmation that the story I want to tell, is the story I’m meant to tell at this point in my life as an emerging writer. It confirms that the ideas I’ve been thinking about as my next projects, are also the right ones to tackle after the novel becomes a book that you can hold in your hands.

The truth for me

Mostly, research is much more fun than the actual writing — Michelle Paver

Last week, I had another opportunity to do some field research. The second for my writing project.

It was a short outing. Way shorter than the 10 days I spent in another country back in October. But, fuck, it was a blast. I could have spent the whole day doing what I was doing. Learning and figuring things out. Increasing my proficiency at the activity. Yes, I’m being vague again. I’m terrible at word teasers. But I do have a visual teaser on my Instagram account. I’ll just leave it at that.

As a result, I now have a technical advisor for the project and that is seriously cool. He’ll also be one of the first people to read the first draft once I’m happy with it. I need him to make sure I haven’t mixed up my vernacular and terminology. Plus, he’s expressed interest in reading the first draft. It might have something to do with a certain car chase scene I needed his opinion on. It was clear to me that it piqued his interest.

I have no idea when I’ll finish it. I don’t believe in forcing things because forcing it usually ends up not what the story needed and you have no choice but to start cutting and re-writing. I believe great strides will be made again after I’m free of my commitments at the end of April.

But I have to admit the pull of the writing project is pretty strong. I should be paying more attention to my commitments but everything seems to be under control right now. Yes, I know… famous last words. Anyway, it seems my characters are finding ample opportunity to try to aggressively suck me back into their world, or at least remind me that the minute I fall into something monotonous and boringly eye-rolling, they’re going to swoop in and run off with my imagination like professional thieves in the middle of a high-stakes robbery.

I told you these guys are a persistent and possessive lot. That’s okay. I’m pretty persistent and possessive about them, too.

I don’t know if doing research is more fun than the actual writing because writing can be fun. Yeah, I’ll admit to being a masochist. Granted, not all research is fun, but it is engaging and, depending on what the subject is, most definitely necessary.

The research (and that includes the non-field research variety) I’ve done so far for the writing project has been, first and foremost, an education. It has been engaging, thought-provoking and yes, fun. There is always something worth examining. There is always something worth learning. I’ve done far more research for this project than I had for the first novel. That was due to the fact I was already familiar with the elements in the first book.

I’m not done with the research. I don’t think you’re ever really done with the research until the story becomes a tangible entity, like a book. Even then, what you learn from the research will always be with you. It will colour the way you see the world. And it will colour the way I approach and handle the next writing project. This is the truth for me.

It is a beautiful truth and one I fully embrace.