I have three weeks of Christmas break on a tropical island. You might think it’s a paradise for writers. Well, not to rub it in, but it is.
My breaks away from teaching have fueled my writing habits for years, and this one is no exception. As I type, I’m sitting shirtless on a lounge chair, by the pool of a resort in the Straits of Malacca. My chair is overlooking the sea and the various water sports being enjoyed by the many vacationers. A delightful breeze has kept me so cool that I haven’t even dipped into the water yet, though that surely will come soon. And I’ve been typing away on my laptop, knocking out another 1500 words in my latest novel.
Let me clarify latest, however, because my novels always overlap each other. I finished my fifth novel a couple weeks ago, and now over the next two months will try to revise and edit it into publication shape. But that’s not what I’m working on now. Over break, I like to take advantage of the long empty spaces in my life and try to get some serious writing down. I don’t consider revision serious writing. It’s just seriously painful, and I like to do it in small doses. But for my creative moments, I like large chunks of time. And so I’ve started novel #6 before novel #5 is revised.
I must say, I’m thrilled with how novel 6 is quickly forming in my mind. It’s one of the more interesting ideas that I’ve ever had, and it’s certainly different from anything I’ve ever written. I seem to do that a lot. If I had to categorize my novels, I would say that #1 (Beauty Rising), #3 (The Reach of the Banyan Tree), and #5 (Which Half David) have a lot of similarities. Of course, not in story or characters, but in backdrop and style. However, novel #2 is very different and unique from any of them, and novel #4, my latest, also is unique. Novel two is a combination of 5 stories told in a unique manner. Novel 4 is, as someone recently told me, a “historical tall-tale” – kind of an oxymoron – quite different from anything else I’ve written. The one I just started, #6 falls into that unique and different category. It has strange supernatural elements that none of my other novels have ever had. I am very excited about it, though, as I find it gripping and fascinating even though I’m the writer. I’m currently 12,000+ words into it. I can’t wait to see where it will be heading.
So that’s my break. Sun, sand, water, and writing. I think it’s time to hit the pool.