When I was a small child my father used to look at me, shake his head, sigh, and say, “You are just like your grandmother.” I took it as a compliment. I still do. He didn’t really mean it that way. My grandmother, his mother, was born in Bavaria sometime before the turn of the twentieth century, left the home farm and worked in Munich as a bricklayer to earn enough money for a second-class passage to America. When she arrived in the United States she worked as a cook and attended school to learn English and accounting. She had plans and nothing stood in her way. Some people call that stubborn. If my grandmother began a task, she completed it. No matter what. Well, almost. She could drive a horse and buggy, or a horse and wagon, or ride a horse anywhere. Drive a car? After wrecking three, she admitted defeat and never tried again. No one was hurt, but she knew she was done.
Yes, I am definitely my grandmother’s descendant. I’ve been trying since the first of the new year to write the third book in the Catherine Swope series. It’s called Sanctuary City. It’s a great story. A thriller, Catherine’s best friend’s brother is found dead in his car in front of the pod houses in Florida City. Drugs are stuffed in the various voids in the car. Drug manufacturing paraphernalia is found in the in the abandoned pod houses. Brandon’s girlfriend’s family are illegals. The family has ties to the drug manufacturing operation. They relied on Miami’s status as a Sanctuary City to keep them safe from deportation. Now that status has been revoked.
I knew where the story was going, had my major plot points, twists, turns, action, betrayal, devastation, disaster, and triumph. The story was not working. Every morning I sat and my desk pulling words out letter by painful letter. I re-read chapters, they flowed and worked, and I did not care. In the back of my mind, a new story was perking. One that caught my interest. I kept telling myself I would pay attention to it after one more chapter of Sanctuary City. In the back of my mind, I heard my father’s voice. “You are just like your grandmother.”
That was it. The third car wrecked. I closed the Scrivener file, pulled out my notebook and started scribbling. Sanctuary City wasn’t holding my interest. It might hold a reader’s interest, but I had nothing to say. I wanted to write light, not heavy. I wanted to have fun.
Since that morning three weeks ago I’ve outlined Fantasy Fest Fatality a novel set in the Florida Keys. It’s set during Fantasy Fest with an entirely new cast of characters. The first of twelve (yep, twelve) books. The series is already lightly outlined and ready to go. I hope you’ll join me for a trip to the Fabulous Florida Keys – remember it’s always better if you see it with a native!
Readers and writers – do you tend to keep pushing things through to the end even if you’ve passed the point where you should have stopped?