I thought I'd share a few things that have been swirling through my mind lately.
The title for my current wip, The Other Side, comes from a term Mexicans use when talking about the United States. The call it el otro lado, which literally means the other side. Simple, right? I decided on this title over a year ago and since then have been surprised at how often that phrase comes up in normal conversation. Erica Orloff even used it as her sign-off several times during her Synopsis Boot Camp.
Last week Ibis and I visited his family, and while there his dad asked if I'd been to el otro lado recently. It caught me off guard at first, then I had to laugh. I've gotten so used to thinking of it solely as the title of my wip that I'd forgotten I chose it because it's so common.
I have an unspoken -- well, it was unspoken -- agreement with myself that I will not italicize The Other Side until it's published. Kind of along the lines of not calling myself a writer until I publish something or an author until I publish a book, I don't feel justified referring to my wip as something deserving of proper title treatment.
I suppose I'll have to bend on this when it comes time to query, but I thought I'd let you know why I don't italicize it here.
Back in November I wrote 60K+ words of a yet-to-be-titled wip about a tragedy that strikes a small-town family and how they deal with the aftermath. (Sheesh, generalize much?) I knew when NaNoWriMo ended that I would set aside that wip -- wherever I happened to be -- and continue working on The Other Side. As many writing friends pointed out, you can't query something that isn't finished, and since I believe in TOS, I really wanted to continue with it.
Well, my brain didn't get the memo that we'd switched stories. At least once a week I find myself daydreaming about my characters, wondering how they are and if we'll be able to pick up where we left off last December. My plan is to jump back into it as soon as I start querying, so I guess it's a good thing that this story hasn't strayed too far.
For those of you that have been with me since the beginning (of my blog, not my life. Hi mom and gramma!) you know that my writing journey began with a memoir, currently titled What Do You Mean I Can't Wear a Bathing Suit to the Beach? (Notice, again, the non-italicizing.) It tells Ibis and my story of how we ended up in Mexico and the wacky things that have happened since we moved here.
I shared early drafts with a couple people and cringe every time I remember what I subjected them to. (Sorry mom and Jes!) I set it aside a little over a year ago, when we reached the one year mark of living here. By then I'd gotten the idea for The Other Side and I knew it made more sense to wait until we left to finish the memoir. Into the bowels of the computer it went.
But it won't stay there. Little things keep popping into my head: better ways to start it, ideas of what I can cut (chapters and chapters...), and -- dare I say it -- a funnier voice. I don't really understand how the voice, which is MY voice, can suddenly be more amusing, but it's coming out that way.
What's that? How do I know the voice is funnier? Because, um... well. I've written a new opening.
I know!! What the heck am I doing, right? I'm supposed to be editing The Other Side, then working on Mr. NaNo No Name, then dusting off the memoir. I'm a very linear person, and while I also happen to be a very good multi-tasker, I generally follow the rules I set for myself and happily plod along.
So what's with this new inspiration?
All I can come up with is I've diverted a lot of my creative juices to design lately and maybe that rattled a few things lose that I'd wedged in a corner. Either that or I've truly got a screw loose.
Thoughts? Are you juggling more than one writing project?