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?

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!


  1. Argh that's what I was going to blog about! Just kidding. But it is relevant to many and the challenge of change in itself requires a choice. You have no choice but to purge because of the move but you can choose your attitude. Is you're writing trully blocked or is someone (and we both know who that little devil is) using the clutter as a weapon against the words that would ultimately come together to point to God? I could ask myself the same question so thanks for bringing it up. Now the series thing--that's tricky. I know less than you but I do know I'm reading book 3 of one now and it stands alone for me. I'm not totally lost because I didn't read the first 2 in the series. I also started Mary DeMuth's latest on Zondervan Breakfast Club and it's the 3rd. I do want to read the first 2 but don't feel I have to go in order. You've got some tough choices but I have faith in you. Have you considered that the novels could be more than one series? I've lost count of how many irons you have in the fire but they don't all have to brand the same cow. 2 or 3 of them may but it's something to consider--how would the character's fit. Would they be out of place in the same town?

  2. Each of these stories will be able to stand alone as you mentioned; however to appeal to a publisher there needs to be a connection between them - not a continuing story - but some sort of interaction. That's what I'm trying to solve. And trying to master the timelines of the characters of each story.