Once again I’ve entered into a new phase on my current work-in-progress, West Texas Interlude. Last week I made a firm step out of the research phase and into the draft writing season of the project.
It was almost two years ago that I began this phase on my first book, a middle grade novel based on the experiences of my friend Lydia in Yunnan. I’m finding, though, that this time around the writing phase is different. For one thing, I’ve been working full-time as a writer for two years now, and the day-in-day-out diligence of a writing schedule is perfectly normal to me now. When I first started writing the novel, I was staying with good friends who I would just as soon have sat around drinking coffee with all morning than hole up in their basement to type on my laptop. It was hard making myself work. Somehow, I don’t know how, that book was eventually written.
The other major difference I’ve noticed so far in writing West Texas Interlude is that the words come much easier because they are in my own voice. The novel was written from the perspective of a 13-year-old Bulang girl. I, as you might be aware, am not a 13-year-old Bulang girl. West Texas Interlude is a non-fiction project based on my own experiences and my family’s stories. It’s just me, writing, talking to my readers (whoever they may end up being). Kind of the same way I write these blog posts. I’ve been developing my voice and style long enough now that I don’t have to work to conjure them up. It’s a wonderfully refreshing feeling, fingertips to the keyboard, words popping up on the screen.
Just as I had the hospitality of several friends in Alaska and Fort Worth to give me living and office space while writing the novel, I have friends here in the Tri-Cities who have opened their homes to me to use while they are at their day jobs. I leave my apartment by 8am each day and head over to my friends’ house to set up my mobile writing office. It’s a great set-up. More so than when I’m working on freelance projects and magazine articles, I need that separation of space from my living quarters to help me feel like, ok, I’m at work now, time to get busy.
In addition to writing West Texas Interlude in the mornings, I’m also working on a new project in the afternoons. I won’t divulge all the details about it yet, but I’ll give you a photo hint from a previous post — way previous, like May 2009 previous.
Are you hungry yet? Do you use a Kindle or a Kindle app? Check back here for more info about what I’m working on as it develops.