I’m posting my Saturday words early, because I’m off soon for a weekend retreat where I’ll be doing level one reiki. The Queenswood Centre is run by nuns and does all kinds of spiritual and healing energy work. Isn’t that wonderful?Visit their site. I’ve been wanting to do this for over a year, but the four times they offered the weekend last year I 1) had family here, and 2) 3) 4) was out of town. Their program looked like a conspiracy to keep me out!
(My mind turns to a weirdness I just encountered on the web. I use Skype telephone to keep in touch with far-flung family. Skype It’s internet phone and Skype to Skype is completely free. Skype to land lines costs a bit, but it was free in North America last year. Now they’re charging – the huge amount of $17 a year.*G* So I was signing up when I got a message from them that seemed a bit alarming. “We are about to introduce innovative and disruptive new elements…”
I though, that’s honest, at least. But then, the system comes from Scandinavia, so I reckoned it had lost something in translation.” I mentioned it to my husband, who laughed and said that in tech-speak, disruptive means that it’ll make challenges for the competition. I ask you. Lost in translation, indeed! But I’ve wandered off my point.)
My real point is that I sent off my latest book on Wednesday, and I truly need a tranquil break for body and mind. Lady Beware (lovely cover!) was challenging in places – aren’t they all? – but finishing it over Christmastide was really hard, but it doesn’t matter how all that goes, I have to end with an exhausting deep immersion. It’s my process.
I think I’ve mentioned that I don’t pre-plot my books, but this doesn’t mean the plots are simple. Alas. I keep saying the next one, the next one. Raucous laughter from all quarters.
I keep notes, I go over and over as I write, trying to keep all the details straight from continuity (houses, dress, horses, dates etc) but also the flow of emotions, not just of the principals but of any characters of any significance. Then there are the things that happen that they’d remember and the ones they’d forget. Jokes to be referred back to. Word plays to return, if they’re that sort of character, etc etc.
I do my best, but in the end I have to read it through, concentrating ferociously, submerging myself in these people’s lives as if I was there with all senses on high alert. It can’t help but be exhausting. Because it’s intense, I try to do very little else, and I’ll stick at it for 18 hours or so a day.
Then I slowly come back to the world, in a daze. And going to a reiki retreat just now is absolutely perfect. The only sad thing is that the labyrith will be covered with snow. This picture is from the Queenswood site.
This seems in the right spirit. All this means, however, that I won’t be able to respond to comments tomorrow. I will when I get home on Sunday evening. In the meanwhile, some of the other Wenches will help out. See you later, hopefully invigorated in all aspects.