Friday, December 12, 2014

An elusive refuge and a love list

After a strong finish to NaNoWriMo, I'm in a writing slump. Feeling discouraged, lack luster... not just with writing but can't even get myself motivated to decorate the Christmas tree - and Christmas time has always been a very special time for me, full of little traditions that this year, for some reason, just seem like more work to me instead of bringing delight.

That story that was so exciting to write in the last week of November... I'm re-reading it now and seeing all its flaws. It's about a hidden refuge, and for many years (on and off, as I've been working on this story on and off for a long, long, time) the story itself has been a refuge me, a place where I escape in my mind. But lately it hasn't been my refuge; it's been more my...nemesis. It's like this place has become too interwoven with years of dreams and imaginings that I can't capture it with words - at least not cohesively. Only bits and pieces. The spirit of the story is elusive... what I write is pale and awkward in comparison.

But I've been through enough ups and downs now with writing (and life!) that I know "this too shall pass" - inspiration will come around again. With patience and lots of word-smithing, the flaws that I can't see past right now can slowly be turned into something that lets the passion shine through.

I've learned a few tricks to help the inspiration along, thanks to other bloggers who have shared their own ups and downs. My favorite discovery this year was the story love list. I compiled a love list for my science fiction story back in September and hope if I put one together for this elusive refuge it might help my words get a little closer to the vision in my head.

It's set in Alaska because Alaska has so much remote wilderness I figured it would be a great setting for a bunch of mythical creatures trying to keep  themselves secret and hidden from the rest of the world.

Here's my list of things I love about this novel:

1. taiga - isn't that a neat word? it's a Russian word for the northern boreal forest

Nabsena road, Wrangell-St Elias National Park

2. old log cabins

3. campfires

4. picking blueberries

5. lofts you can only reach with a ladder

6. glaciers

7. eagles

8. dreamy late afternoon light slanting through a forest

9. northern lights

10. mythical creatures

11. sketchbooks

12. kerosene lanterns

13. pontoon planes

14. rainbows

15. a ghost fox

16, forget-me-not flowers

17. pieces of poems

But true love is a durable fire,
In the mind ever burning
Never sick, never old, never dead
From itself never turning

18. eighteen hours of sunshine a day


  1. Glad you have a good perspective on those down times. It's true that they do pass. I remind myself of that all the time.

  2. Hope the inspiration blazes again!! I'm at about the same place right now.

  3. So glad you found more inspiration. I know how it feels to come off that drafting high and see the mess it is. Once I start revisions, I feel better. I just have to push forward.

  4. I love your love list. Every time you post one of these, I want to read your books. I love Alaska and love the Russian influence there. Hang in there--I know what you mean. I seem to have a love/hate relationship with what I write at times.

  5. I love all of those visuals. Seems that would be a great way to inspire yourself every time you sit down to write!


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