Well, I’ve been working like a maniac, seven days a week, to wrap up “Big Sky Secrets”–the final book in the Parable/Three Trees saga. Is it because I want to get shut of the characters and the story? Heavens, NO. I love these people, they’re very real to me, and ending a book means letting go of them–it’s like sending all of your children away to college at once, and that’s hard. Still, there’s a whole new crew waiting in the wings to tell their stories so I’ll be over this particular variety of the empty-nest syndrome pretty fast.
Scanning the comments, I see that someone asked if I always work weekends, and the answer is an adamant, “Absolutely not!” I need my time off to putter in my art room, read or listen to books, and generally recharge my batteries–especially the spiritual ones.
For various reasons, I was behind schedule with this book, and I needed to catch up, so, as my dad would have put it, I buckled down and stuck with it till I got ‘er done–or, almost done. I’ll be drafting the last chapter today, and polishing it tomorrow. And while I hate saying good-bye to these communities and characters, I’m as proud of them as any mama could be. The story runs deep for me, and I hope it will for you, too. “Big Sky Secrets” will be out the last week in December, but you don’t have to wait that long for a new story–“Big Sky Summer” is in stores now, and “Big Sky Wedding” will be released at the end of August.
Each time I write a new book, I learn something from the experience. In this case, it was a lesson on priorities. With all the renovations, etc., things get pretty crazy around here, once the day gets rolling. So I get up at four and spend two hours waking up, preparing for the day ahead, and recharging those spiritual batteries I mentioned before. I pray, listen to the Daily Audio Bible podcast, which is wonderful, and meditate for 15 minutes or so. (I’m working up to 20 minutes, twice a day.) My friends, I cannot recommend meditation highly enough–you needn’t go to expensive classes, change your religion or contemplate your navel–or anything like that. Simply sit or lie still, close your eyes, and concentrate on your breath. My mantra is a very easy one–“in”, when I inhale, “out”, when I exhale. While meditation is primarily a spiritual practice, like prayer, it has a very positive physical effect, too. Research shows that the brain builds new pathways as we pray or meditate–see the book “How God Changes Your Brain” for more information. In terms of brain-change, meditation seems to be more effective than prayer–but ONLY because it is usually sustained for longer periods of time. Looping back to priorities, I find that I get more writing done if follow this plan.
I intend to continue following this routine for as long as it works, though I’ll be writing 5 days a week rather than 7, and I’ll be getting back to riding my exercise bike, too–probably while I’m listening to the Daily Audio Bible. I might even show up at the computer at 7 instead of 6. Call me a renegade.
Now, on to other things: the winners of this week’s contest will be notified today, and announced tomorrow.
Next week’s topic of discussion: What inspires you? Two winners will receive a signed copy of one of my books and a surprise.
Accupuncture: my first session is tomorrow. Somebody asked why I’m doing this. It’s a way to release tension, ease the old aches and pains, and take better care of myself. I’ll be blogging about it when I have something more to say.
Gotta get back to work now–big things are happening in Parable County.
God bless each and every one of you.