Careful consideration of words and ideas slows the pace.
That’s what my horoscope says today. I’ve been working on my novel, “Dolly”, now for one year and two months.
On November 30th, my son and I flew to Germany for our annual European vacation. I was so excited to return to the home where I grew up for Christmas festivities. I longed for the murmur of another language among light laden booths peddling Christmas memorabilia while sipping a spicy mug of Gluhwine. Temperatures average 38 degrees fahrenheit, a break from the below zero temps at home. We had our bags packed. Two carry-on’s only, (I refuse to check bags), and clambered onto the tiny Cessna that would take us away from the ordinary life in our small town.
We landed in Munich ready for adventure and navigated the S-bahn into the heart of Munich where our hotel was only blocks from the station. As we emerged from the Hauptbahnhof and into the bustling city, I realized one thing. I had no clue where to go. Our eyes were heavy with fatigue, as we had trouble sleeping on the plane, and the murmurs of German were…well, foreign. We managed to find a store where I could purchase a pack of cigarettes, sure it would clear my mind, where I was screamed at, in German, because I didn’t understand.
Not the way I wanted to start our adventure.
My sense of direction was turned around and we wandered north through the slushy streets while snow fell on our heads and soaked our clothes. Our bags weighed us down while we tried to find our hotel tucked away in some corner of some street. Then, we headed east for a while. A bit west. Until my internal compass readjusted and we found our way south.
Welcome to my journey writing “Dolly”. More often than not, I’m puttering around, lost in words and plot and characters, unsure of where I’m supposed to go and terrified that I’ll be sleeping on a street corner with my characters because we just can’t find the dang hotel.
It only took us an hour to find the hotel, two blocks from the station. My jeans were soaked to my knees and the skimpy ballet flats sloshed around my feet. Jaz handed me his carry-on and pulled his arms into his coat and tried to keep his hands warm.
Until we found it. We stumbled into the Tryp hotel like two hobo’s at a homeless shelter.
That was when something miraculous happened. As we walked into our room and threw our bags in a heap on the floor, we looked out the window.
Beauty. A cathedral outside the window reminding us that everything was as planned.
It happens like that in writing too. Sometimes, while struggling along with “Dolly”, weighted down by doubt and frustration, something comes along. An answer reminding me that all is as planned.