Of All The Fowl Luck #AmWriting

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?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

20 thoughts on “Of All The Fowl Luck #AmWriting

  1. Sorry you were sick for your event. You got through it though!
    And double bonus your husband helped you through the scene.

  2. Congrats on the panel! Sounds like you did a great jog. Shame about getting sick though 🙁

  3. Boo on being sick. Glad you made it through the panel and enjoyed it. As for getting stuck…I’ve been known to skip chapters entirely. :p

  4. Yay for progress! Boo for getting sick. And don’t worry, you didn’t miss much after you left. I hung out to the end, but most people bailed early. I feel bad I missed all of the panels.

    Heh, getting stuck. The book I’m working on drove me up the wall. The beginning, the ending…the middle came out okay (is this normal?). If I was getting stuck during NaNo last year when I wrote it, I went aside and wrote from a different character’s perspective to try and break it. Sometimes it was the same scene, others it ended up being scenes that my main character wasn’t present for.

  5. If I get stuck, it’s always because of one chapter that’s off. Thank goodness for the power of a good discussion, eh? My husband and son have saved me more times than I want to count. I’ve come to the point where if I’m even slowing down, I talk it out with one of them. The solution is always there.

  6. I love how you hubby talks writing w/you, so sweet. Sorry about falling sick! But awesome that you rocked your individual style! =)

  7. That stinks that you lost your voice! As for the dress, I did a panel with a lady who came dressed in corset and hat with a peacock feather. She was staying true to her inner self, which I think reader’s appreciate.

    When I can’t decide on a scene, I do the same thing- bounce it off someone until something makes sense.

  8. Well done for the panel. As warned missed the event even though in Boise. Hate being ill.

    Congratulations for Murder Most Fowl moving to that tough finishing line.My murder mystery is stalled too…health.

  9. Way to go! I knew you would be great. 🙂 Making eye contact is tough, though. I’d have a hard time of doing that.

    I’m sorry you lost your voice and were sick.

    I really can’t wait to read Cera’s next story!

  10. Yuck on being sick!

    I’m a lot like you. I get into a zone and talk with my hands, and then forget to make eye contact while I’m speaking. I need to work on that!

  11. Ugh on being sick! It sounds like you did really well on the panel, though. Good for you! 🙂

  12. Congrats on the panel!! I know how hard making eye contact is. Sounds like you did an amazing job and I loved the description of your outfit. So sorry you ended up sick though.

    But how wonderful you solved your story problem!! Hooray!!!

  13. Sorry you lost your voice and got sick! Sounds like your panel went well, though. Good job!

    When I get stuck on a chapter, I go do something else. If some ideas pop into my head, I jot them down. If enough good ideas pop into my head, I resume writing.

  14. Glad the event went well, but bummer about getting sick so soon afterward. >_< And that's awesome that your husband helped you through the block. I have found that talking about writing issues sometimes helps, but usually it's just stepping away from it that works for me. I've struggled with things only to stand up and walk to the kitchen and suddenly realize what I'm doing wrong. Eh heh heh.

  15. I’m sorry to hear you got sick. 🙁 I hope you’re feeling better now.

  16. Yay! One more chapter down. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  17. Congrats on your accomplishments, Loni!! Sorry to hear you were ill but you did it!! YAY!! Hope you are feeling better now. Whenever I get stuck, which is often, I talk it through with my mom or my daughter! That generally helps to give me clarity. Have a lovely week.

  18. Don’t know what happened to my comment but here goes again 🙂 Congratulations on your achievements, Loni. Great news!! Sorry to hear you got ill and I hope you are feeling better. Whenever I get stuck, I talk it over with my mom or my daughter and they help to unravel my confused state 🙂 Have a super week.

    • Oh there it is :):) So two (now three) comments from me.

  19. Sarah

    First. I can’t believe you wore that shirt. It’s awesome. 😄 You’ll have to post a photo of your book-event attire.
    Sounds like you did a great job on the panel (even with the voice issue). I’m glad you talked through your writer’s block/not-writer’s-block and are working on MMF again. Yay to you (and your husband).

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