Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mid-Hiatus Musings

I've been on a break from blogging for a while.  It was the right choice for me.  I had the blues after losing my brother-in-law and needed to take the time to do the work for my class.

I still feel sad about my sister's husband.  It's strange, but this is the only place I feel safe opening up about how I feel about it.  Last night, my preschooler bounced onto my bed and told me he had been thinking about his uncle.  He said he was really sad at first, but now he feels angry.  I asked if he's angry at his uncle for leaving.  He said he was angry that he had to go to the graveyard.  He said it wasn't fair.  I'm angry too for the same reason.

One of my sister's kids is graduating in a month.  I can't help but cry to think how terrible it is that her graduation - a day that should be so happy - is going to be so sad. 

My cousin who is only about two years older than me lost his mother in pretty much exactly the same way two days before his high school graduation.  That was a really long time ago, and that still hurts so much. 

I know any of us can die tomorrow - we're not guaranteed to live to be old.  But it sucks that it happened this way.


On the up side, I have done a whole lot of writing during my blogging break.  I finished the research that I needed to do for my historical novel, and I got started on the second draft.  I ended up taking that trip to the county in Appalachia where my story is set.  It was amazing until I was in bed at the hotel and saw a bedbug dancing on my hand.  That's right.  I feel suddenly itchy.

This Saturday, I have to read fifteen minutes of this novel at my class and endure an on-the-spot critique. So I revised the first two chapters to incorporate the research I did.  I felt like the writing was solid, but the tone wasn't what I wanted. 

So I did something I've never done before.  I rewrote it from a first person point of view, something I never intended to do because it often feels contrived to me when I read stories like that.  I felt like it wasn't my style.  Until now, I've never written a single sentence in first person - except for here where I am that person.

The super crazy thing is I hear this story in my mind from the voice of an old man - and it's a story about a woman.  I am a bit of a feminist.  Writing it this way feels wrong in a way, but apparently it's the only way to tell the story.

Meanwhile, the voices of other characters in the prequels to this story are screaming at me for attention - always in the shower or when I'm driving. 

I may take some more time off from blogging to work on this. I just wanted to pop in and tell you all I miss you.  I can't believe it's 'U' day already.



  1. Hey Tonja! It's good to hear from you. I hope your family can pull together this next month. I know graduation day will be difficult.
    Good luck Saturday. I've never written anything in first person either. It would just feel weird.

  2. Good Luck. Private time is necessary. The hard part is recognizing when you need it.

  3. When my brother-in-law passed unexpectedly, I journaled those really raw feelings and thoughts. Someday I'll use them... it's been 2.5 years and it still feels too soon. His birthday is coming up. On another note, I really look forward to reading your novel, so I'm glad you're making progress.

  4. I am so sorry for you and your family. The rest of the world sends its condolences and moves on, but your family will be feeling his absence at every holiday and significant event for years and years. It's okay. He was greatly loved, and he will be remembered whenever your family is together.

    I am glad you have made so much progress on your historical novel. And it is awesome that you got to visit the location. There is nothing like actually setting foot there!

    Best wishes to you during your hiatus. I hope you make progress in your writing and give your family lots of hugs.

    1. Dianne, you've said everything I was going to say so very eloquently. Thanks.

  5. We miss you, too. I look almost everyday to see if you've posted. Glad you're doing well and getting some writing done.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  6. Great to hear from you. Enjoy the rest of your hiatus!

    Writer In Transit

  7. Sending continued well wishes to your family. It's so tough when the happy moments become bittersweet and sad, but I hope your niece is able to find at least a sliver of hope and joy in her graduation.

  8. Tonja, it's so lovely to "hear" from you! Again, I'm so sorry for your family's loss.

    Congrats on completing your research and beginning your second draft! And good luck with the reading/critique - I'm hoping you'll get some great feedback.

    Looking forward to "hanging out" with you more regularly soon!
    Some Dark Romantic

  9. It is good to hear from you again. I wish you and your family all the best during this tough time. Good luck with the classes, as I am sure you must really be enjoying it.

  10. I'm sorry that you and your family have been going through such a difficult time. I hope it helps to know you've been well missed.


  11. Tonja, I'm really sad for your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this very difficult time.

    Visiting from Alex's IWSG.