Saturday, November 02, 2013

Out of Sync

By Keith N Fisher

It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything here. Up until now, I’ve managed to write something every week and I feel terrible about missing. I know I’ve flaked out on you and like Weston in her post, I don’t want to offer excuses, but car wrecks, court dates, and other issues, have put me out of sync.

I’ve been writing national market stuff lately, getting rejections from the LDS market, and trying to find a day to meet with my critique group. My cookbook is finished, waiting for editors, but I just couldn’t think of anything to write here. Also, I need to finish the drawing and announce the winner.

Last week, I’d planned to go hunting with my brothers and extended family. I was going to get off work on Thursday morning, hitch up the trailer, and head up the canyon. According to plan, I’d get a lot of writing done in the wee hours, and come home on Sunday evening.

When the specified day approached, however, I didn’t think I would be able to make it. I didn’t have a way of getting my trailer up the canyon, since, as you might know, my truck got totaled a couple of weeks ago. Finally, my brother offered to help with his truck, but he wanted use my facilities. So much, for my writing into the wee hours, but I accepted.

When I tried to pack, I found busted pipes, dead batteries, and other problems with the trailer. A plumbing glitch in the house put water all over the floor. Then, I had to interrupt getting ready to take my wife to the doctor. I left my cell phone in the waiting room and had to race back to get it. Everything seemed to conspire against me. I almost gave up a second time, but my brother was willing to postpone. I rigged up the trailer, charged the batteries, and worked all night.

Morning dawned, and my brother had the flu. I almost gave up a third time. Then, my other brother came and got the trailer. I could’ve ridden with him, but I was gun shy. Karma or somebody didn’t want me to go. I waited for my wife to take me, feeling uncertain.

Not that long ago, I would never have canceled my annual hunting trip. The family camping, while communing with nature was always a huge deal for me. I planned my year around birthdays, Christmas, and the hunts. I used to chuckle when family members showed up each year with stories about throwing everything together at the last minute. When did I become like them?

I finally gave into the inevitable. It was time to face whatever danger lay in wait for me. I went to camp and found my trailer. My uncle showed up later with a couple of his kids, and I made a great Dutch oven dinner. It was good to hang with my older brother and his wife, but hunting wasn’t the same as in years past. We’re older, less active, and I missed my dad.

The madness continued. My trailer batteries went dead and since they power the furnace, I froze. If I’d had my truck to recharge the batteries, things would’ve been different, but it’s hard to plot a story when you’re shivering. In an effort to get warm during the day, I sat in the sun and got sunburned lips. All in all, not the best trip.

I feel like my life is out of sync lately, and I need to reset. The trouble is, the things I used to do are different. There are too many hunters and not enough deer. Fishing and working in the garden aren’t the same since my father died. You might say I’m growing up, but at fifty-five, it’s too late in life for that.

By now, you’re probably wondering if I’m going to offer cheese & crackers with my whine, but I do have a point to make with my object lesson.

How is your writing? Are you achieving your goals? While thinking about sync, a question came to mind. Do you write in sequence or do you write unattached scenes to drop into the story later? Writing out of sync with the story line can sometimes cure writer’s block. It also gives you a clear idea of where your story is headed.

Normally, I have a vague outline in mind, then I write in sequence. In my book, The Hillside, however, I wrote the entire story out of sequence. With so many character’s and point of views, it was necessary to write each story separate, and compile everything, according to a timeline, later.

Of the two methods, I can’t recommend either as the best way. As I said, you might try writing out of sync to alleviate blocks

I hope your life stays in sync, but if not, may you find peace in your adjustment. Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

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