Wednesday, January 04, 2017

IWSG: Writing is like quilting is like . . .

After working on goals for the coming year, I've come to the conclusion that writing is a bit like quilting.  You gather the foundation materials, reflect on an appropriate pattern, and then begin to build the quilt/story, changing/revising as the pieces come together. Heaven help us all, if we have to start ripping.

My goals for 2017 are simple: Finish Rivers of Stone.

I'm about 50% through revisions before sending out to beta readers. This story stretches over five years, so I hope I've learned how to manage some gaps between years without filling in every single detail. 

Here's a snippet from Rivers of Stone as Catriona, still disguised as a boy and some 3,000 miles from her husband, Dougal, winters over at Red River in 1840's Upper Manitoba during the fur trade era:

Cat glanced at the three men huddled by the fireplace and nodded. "I'll work in the kitchen." She slid the letter from Dougal into her belt and pushed the front door open, stepping out into the swirling snow. The cold bit her nose, but the air smelled so good after the closeness of the trading post. She hurried along the side of the log cabin to the back and froze to a stop.

A skinny wolf swayed in front of her. He lifted his head and stared at her. He sniffed at his right front paw caught in a small steel trap and looked at her again.

Cat backed up until she could feel the logs of the store behind her.

The wolf flopped on the ground, put his head down, and inched toward her, dragging the trap with him.

He can’t hunt with that thing on his foot, thought Cat. She took a tentative step towards him, putting her hand out slowly. "Hush, now."

The wolf nosed the ground and tilted his head away from her.

Cat crouched down and pried the trap apart. The wolf's foot slithered out. For a moment they looked at each other. The wolf leaped up and bolted into the woods.

Finished quillow top (January 2017)
Meanwhile, real life intercedes. We leave this Sunday for a three-month road trip south. Yes, I have my laptop, backup, and some research files. I'm taking one of those mini-desks that fit on my lap (in case there's no workable desk). 

No, we don't have an itinerary. We will drive south out of the Inland Northwest, until the snow vanishes. 

Yes, I'm taking my sewing machine. And, yes, I did finish the quillow top (a quilt that folds up into a pillow) for Allen before we leave (You can click the image to see a larger size).

For writers participating in IWSG (Insecure Writers' Support Group), how are you doing? Are your 2017 goals and resolutions mapped out? 

Are you ready like me to believe that any large goal can be achieved if we just identify the needed steps and work on them steadily?