I made it through my panel!
Before going, I’d debated what I wanted to wear. I could wear a skirt and blouse, but would that really be true to my style? Yes, that’s what I wear 5 days out of the week to work, but the air of a programmer is a bit different from the air of a fantasy novelist whose bio confesses to be a squirrel. (It’s true, btw.)
So, I donned my Shark Unstealthiest Ninja shirt, pulled on my skinny jeans, and grabbed a zip-up hoodie–my typical book-event attire.
Needless to say, I didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the panel. They were cool, practiced professionals, as to be expected from organizations like the Idaho Writers Guild, The Cabin, Rediscovered Books, and the Boise Public Library. But the rep from the IWG said I was merely representing my genre. 🙂
My buddy Jim said I did well. I got a decent amount of laughs. Just, maybe next time, I should make eye-contact with people. Doh. Still, what I had to say was effective enough to generate interest in critique groups, and I enjoyed answering questions after the panel was done.
I would’ve enjoyed it more, if I hadn’t lost my voice. About three hours before the event ended, my voice cut out. I did my best to speak up with information about critique books or telling people about my books and book formatting or my experience with Ingram Spark vs CreateSpace. But I finally gave up and left the event early.
I spent the rest of the weekend in bed, shivering.
Being sick sucked, but it gave me down time to sit and think about Murder Most Fowl. I wanted to finish it by August, and as you can tell, it’s October. I’m not done yet. I’d been stuck on one particular chapter for months. I knew what I wanted to happen, but I couldn’t get the flow of events to work out satisfactorily. It was too slow. Cera wasn’t doing enough. I couldn’t come up with a believable situation in which the bad guy would escape her.
So, I turned to my husband and explained my dilemma. I really needed to get past this scene. He raised his eyebrows and said, “Wow, so, that’s really writer’s block.” I refused to give in to that term, even though I had just spent my sick-day cleaning house and the place looked great. He frowned thoughtfully and talked through the scene with me.
It takes place on a train. Was it a steam engine? Yes. Then there’d probably be a coal car, which wouldn’t be easy to climb over if the bad guy was trying to pull along an unwilling captive, right?
The gears in my brain started turning. I’d kept the conflict in just the passenger cars up to this point. But using the coal car gave me all the opportunities I needed.
I finished the chapter yesterday, then I congratulated myself and drank an extra Red Bull to celebrate. I only have 9000 words to go to meet my goal on Murder Most Fowl. That, in my mind, is doable. I will finish this before November. I WILL!
Have you ever been stuck on a chapter before? How did you get past it? Do you find other people help get you unstuck?