Writer’s Block or Creative Hibernation? Part Two: Get Out of the House

Today I’m picking up where I left off on Writer’s Block or Creative Hibernation Part One, which I can now subtitle, “When Life Intrudes.” The vast majority of authors I know have day jobs–and families (which may include older parents and usually includes pets). That means we’re on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And that means we have to carve out writing time when we should be doing something else. Like sleeping and eating.

We make the transition between the three jobs look easy, by sticking to a routine. But when the inevitable emergency or necessary distractions like vacations, holidays, birthdays or other family events intrude, our discipline relaxes and may wane as we fight to keep our heads above water.

I had forgotten that as I struggled to finish Storm Watch and get it launched last December. I considered the 20,000 words of my new…

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Writer’s Block Or Creative Hibernation?

I haven’t written anything substantial since NaNoWriMo ended-fiction wise or otherwise. Part of the problem was planning for deployment to Puerto Rico on a medical mission, which required a lot of energy and planning for what was a real life disaster as opposed to plotting a fictional one. It was a little spooky that Hurricane Maria was a “high end” Category 4 storm, like Hurricane Edward in Storm Watch. But while I do believe in synchrony, the novel was written over a year ago, inspired by real life experiences. Politics aside, the frightening escalations in the severity of storms over the past few years came home to roost when Hurricanes Irene and Sandy ( both Category 3 storms) hit New York City and had us on our backs for about a month each. That, and my childhood experiences with hurricanes,  were the fiction fodder for Storm Watch.

Natural disasters…

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FACT AND FICTION INTERSECT: AGAIN

Fact and fiction intersect. I am participating in National Novel Writing Month. Boulevard of Bad Spells and Broken Dreams is set in The Bronx–and in Puerto Rico. The genre is urban fantasy, which adds magic and supernatural elements to modern urban settings. Odd coincidence that I am now awaiting word of deployment on a medical relief mission to the devastated Isla Encantada.  Ethnographic research is the fancy term for boots on the ground. And mine are about to get down and dirty.

Here’s what I came up with for a pivotal scene in the novel. It might be cut, or edited, but once again, I’m immersing myself in fact to write fiction.

Humans are very stupid, and we have some very stupid and immoral specimens in power now. You are only one of the leaders with the power to incite others to join with you–each has his or own area to control. This island will rebound, become lush and green and joyful again. Listen, hear the music already? You are una boriqueña, you know what it means to love the ground you walk on, the air you breathe, the calls of el coquí, the kiss of the blue waters and white sands on your skin. It takes more courage to leave than to stay–but you did will fight from afar for La Isla. Las caracoles have spoken, and it will come to pass.  

©Carole Ann Moleti, 2017

El Yunque when I visited in 2013

El Yunque after Hurricane Maria  

NaNoWriMo 2017-Fantasy and Real Life Collide

Once again, I find myself in the middle of NaNoWriMo, and was keeping up with writing every day when real life intruded. I got my start writing creative nonfiction trying to make sense of and add perspective to my real life experiences. But it got so hard to keep running into walls, and writing speculative fiction lets me walk through them, which is a lot less painful.

I begin weekdays with a five thirty am alarm, a hellish commute, and days full of heartbreaking tales of neglect, poverty, trauma and the aftermath. I love my work,  but after eight to twelve hours, five days a week, doing anything but collapsing when I get home is usually impossible. NaNoWriMo has always been helpful to make progress on stalled projects. And this one, a gritty urban fantasy set in the South Bronx with Puerto Rican characters, fell way behind schedule while I…

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Marketing a Series: When to Move On

When I finished Breakwater Beach,  I never intended to write a sequel, never mind two. But Mike and Liz weren’t letting go of their lease on life, and the story premise for The Widow’s Walk popped into my head. It took about another year for me to get the second one done, about fifteen months later Storm Watch was complete.

I’ve been on the marketing bandwagon for the Unfinished Business series for three years, and since these books were in the same world, branding was consistent and I could spend time marketing and writing without too much effort. But though there are stirring of a possible fourth book, it is time for me to move on to other projects–my urban fantasy series in particular.

The current wisdom is for writers to keep going on a series, because one book helps sell the others. It has taken several months to pull…

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My Thoughts Are With Puerto Rico by Stacy Hoff

Thanks for sharing. I have very fond memories of my visit to PR two years ago. I have signed up to go down with a team my employer is sending on a medical mission and hope I’m selected.

Nights of Passion

Photo above: Hurricane Maria over Puerto Rico, from the National Hurricane Center.

My personal relationship with Puerto Rico started when I was five years old. My mother took me on a trip to visit Condado Beach. I was a New York City kid and this was my first trip out of the country. I was so entranced by Puerto Rico I still have some memories of it. Mental images of our playing in the sand, laughing, swimming, and eating at the hotel where we stayed. That trip was so wonderful, we repeated it—several times.

When I got married, my husband joined my mother and I. When he turned forty, my gift to him was one more trip there. (As an amazing coincidence, where I stayed with him on that trip, The Marriott Hotel Stellaris, is actually depicted right in the book cover of my latest novel. It’s the large brown…

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Do Writers Ever Take a Vacation?

I just wrapped up the in person events on my annual Novel Fun in the Summer Sun book tour, and am looking forward to enjoying time on Cape Cod with my family. But I haven’t had a real vacation for over ten years. Can a writer ever really take time off?

Writing every day siphons off a tremendous amount of focus and energy from other activities–and losing the momentum slows down the creative process and makes it harder to re start. Besides the ideas and story opportunities that  pop into my head, everyday intrusions open up in my inbox. Then there are family events and obligations and everyday tasks. I have a mega re-credentialing to complete for work–meaning hundreds of pages of reading and on-line testing to document continuing clinical competency.

I love my flexible and attenuated summer work schedule, but that will come to an end in about three…

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