Choose Life. . .

Bill McKenna has said: "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well- preserved piece,
but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, shouting GERONIMO!"

Moses said: "...therefore, choose life..." (Deuteronomy 30:19).

I choose life - with all its choices, challenges and changes!

How about you?

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Challenges: Stuck yesterday (and for several weeks) on Chapter 12 of WIP without knowing why, and without a solution in sight. I've been wrestling with reconciling four different story lines into one in order to create a series. I printed the notes already at hand for all four stories and played "paper dolls" with the slips of plot and time lines.. The only way to resolve the challenge was to place all the stories in one town - not the original plan. Yet a picture, or more realistically, an overall story began to take shape.

Choices: But that brought about its own set of challenges! I had to determine when and where to work characters from one storyline into another without their taking over the current WIP. Still, the thought processes triggered the heat that melted the block. I realized that I needed to create an entirely new chapter, three chapters back. In progress now. But then the domino effect will need to be traced through the ensuing chapters to make sure the desired conclusion is reached. Hey, that sounds like work!

Changes: Being willing to make significant changes in what I considered a finished product, was the catalyst to
a better story line and the resultant thrill of accomplishment. Isn't being flexible to consider alternate routes to the same destination part of the fun?

My dad was a great back-roads adventurer. Sometimes it resulted in getting "a bit" lost. As a pre-teen with a better sense of direction than his, I was often impatient, as I'm sure my long sighs revealed. But to this day, I'd rather take a back road than the highway any time. Poet Robert Frost said it well: :...Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."

How about you? What alternate route might you choose today to add a bit of adventure to your journey?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Breaking through the funk...

Everyday life is full of choices, changes and challenges for each of us, but so, also, is the writing life.

Challenges: As I purge and pack the accumulation of many, many years in my present residence in preparation for a move later this year, I feel a bit overwhelmed by the writing projects looming before me. Well into the current novel, WEDDING AT NEW CANA, I seem to have developed -- shhh -- writer's block. With the mess of packing around me, I just don't seem to be able to break through.

Choices: Timing! This morning's e-mail brought an invitation from Randy Ingermanson via his own writers' blog: Holler for help and see what kind of lifeline Randy throws me.

I sent my question: Lois Hudson Says: May 25th, 2010 at 7:22 am "I have been developing plot lines for several novels that I envisioned as stand-alones; however, current advice recommends series proposals. The only thing that might connect my stories besides the era (pre- and post-WWII) is the possibility of placing them all in one town. That was not my original intention–even had mapped out the towns in which they take place. Now I’m almost overwhelmed in planning out the way the stories might overlap if I move the characters into the one town. Then I must insert mention of the characters in the current WIP which is already 12 chapters going. Any recommendations on laying it out? I think I need a huge grid of dates, plot lines, where the characters can intersect, etc. It has me frozen. Thanks for the Q&A options."

At least it was action taken. It got me out of the frustrated funk I was in yesterday.

Changes: In the meantime I have pulled everything out of two large - very large - closets to purge and pack. I'm a saver. Everything anybody has ever given me immediately becomes sacred, never to be thrown or given away. Books, especially! But I'm learning. All the household organizational gurus insist we must cut half of what we've accumulated. I've learned that if I do my purging one day, then look at the saved pile the next day, I can usually get rid of another third. That's real change for me.

It's a bit different with the stories. Publishers are looking for series possibilities now instead of stand-alone novels. How can I merge and manage the populations of several towns, and intertwine their stories in such a way that one story emerges from the one before, seamlessly and naturally? Has anyone else dealt with this, or a similar challenge? Tell me about it.

P.S. I highly recommend Randy Ingermanson's blog as well as all the other writing help he offers at his website: Check him out!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Easier Said Than Done...

Okay, I admit I'm technologically deprived. This has been the most difficult work I've done this day.
I named the blog, then changed my mind and renamed it TBD - that makes sense to me. Then I wanted to change it to TO BE DETERMINED, because I can feel a posting coming on about that. But can't find the way to change the title.

To be determined seems to describe life doesn't it? We have choices to go one way or another, and either way determines an outcome, sometimes expected, many times not. But there is always a choice. Hope I'm making the right one when I push THIS tab...