I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
—Attributed to Marilyn Monroe
Last week, I broke our upcoming book.
We had a particular story problem that we were trying to sort out, and, as I’m apt to do, I went for a walk to sort it out.
I figured out the solution rather quickly—by the first few city blocks—but I stuck to my routine and continued walking. However, the more I walked, the more I asked questions of what we had, and again, rather quickly, everything fell apart.
By the time I got home, I had some answers to the problem, but it also meant a lot of rearranging what we had and finding new scenes to tie the pieces back together. There were still many questions, and I impatiently watched the clock until Angie and I could meet.
First, I had to tell her what I had done, and her face looked about as stressed as I felt. But once we started working on the problems, things fell into place rather quickly. Some parts felt like they’d been waiting to be discovered all along. The connections were there, we just had to put them together.
It also reinforced the idea of why I enjoy collaborating with Angie. I’m never on my own when facing story problems. I have someone who’s in it with me, knows the territory, and brings a unique voice and perspective to the table. If it were anyone else, the stories wouldn’t be the same.
So, now we are mending the broken parts, and by the end of March, we’ll be sending Shepherd’s Call off to our editor (thank goodness!).
As a Canadian, we’ll often hear, “Cold enough fer ya?” Well, this February certainly was in Saskatchewan.
I’ve walked to work almost every day this school year, and out of the nine I didn’t, seven were in February during the cold snap. (It wasn’t much of a snap, but more like an arctic thrashing.)Although the winter has been relatively kind, this was a bit grueling.
But there’s always the promise of spring. Eventually, it would all blow away and leave behind warmer air. The snow would melt. The puddles would form.
And hope would return.
For the past while, David and I have been working on Shepherd’s Call and we got to a point—just like the weather—where the work seemed gruelling. Details and back stories didn’t quite work and some characters had to change. It was drudgery.
But like the weather, eventually it turns into something really lovely. The words begin to flow and answers to questions appeared, and we found clarity in the story.
So, the day when Dave called me to let me know he broke our story, I didn’t fret a lot (Well, maybe a little. Apparently, I don’t have a good poker face.)
Because in the end, it lead to a better, stronger story.