Friday, September 28, 2012

This Ole House

I want to tell you a story involving a sunken Civil War ship.  There is another story I'd like to share with you about two sisters--who've never met--which is also set during the Civil War.

Writer's Block is not my problem.  Lack of time is occasionally a problem.  Three kids and a dog have a way of needing something when I could be writing, along with all of the volunteer gigs, meetings and chauffeuring that go along with said family.  Still, those are obstacles that can be overcome.

The real problem with getting those stories to you is The One that is in my way.  I started a story years ago with no clear idea where it would go.  I've picked at it over the years until last year, decided that I would absolutely whittle that sprawling mess into a story.  It has evolved so much over the last year but still needs so much.  I need to set it aside and work on a story I can finish--and maybe even sell.  Right?

I have been comparing my stories to homes.  If you have a finite amount of both time and money, the best bet might be to purchase a new or newer home that is complete and has no obvious issues.  There may be another house that you really love but it is much older.  Parts of that roof need replacing, it might not have air-conditioning--there are likely problems with the foundation itself.  But it has character.  It has history.  It speaks to you.  (Yes, I've done this to my husband every time we have moved.  We always end up with a new(ish) home that won't suck up all of our time and money but it doesn't stop me from pulling him over to a 150-year-old house, "just to look.")

Maybe that is why I can't let this crazy book go, or at least not yet.  It isn't just a little fixer-upper.  It is a messy, crumbling mansion with termites and a leaky roof.  The floors are slanted.  But I can work on it whenever I have the time and don't need to apply for a permit, get paint in my hair or even find goggles and gloves.  When it is all fixed up, there will be more to it: who knows what is hidden in the attic?


Caryn Caldwell said...

I LOVE this analogy! I can definitely see what you're talking about with it. I also think about the older houses some of my friends have bought and fixed up. By the time they've made all the changes they want to make and it's time to move on, they've become so attached to their houses that they don't want to leave, so they just make their old house even nicer. There's something very satisfying about a fixer-upper, isn't there? When you can see what your improvements are doing to it, and you have a whole checklist to work on so you know exactly what you need to do next.

No matter which house/book you end up working on, I wish you the best with it - and I do hope it ends up published one day!

Lorayne Cupero said...

Thanks! A checklist is exactly it, now! This started as such an amorphous idea centered around one character. Now, finally it has evolved enough that even though it still needs a LOT of work, I can see where the work needs to be done and what I have to do. Even if this is a book/"house" that I never sell, I've invested too much not to see it through!