Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Not All who Wander are Lost.... but I probably am.

Haven't added anything new lately, not because nothing is going on but because so much is! Everything from the dust up where a Christian author went on attack against Love Inspired and, many felt, their writers, editors and readers, to the wonderful time I had presenting a session at an eastern Kentucky writer's conference, to the project I am working on for Christmas (a funny book of recipes and captioned family photos) to, um... oh yeah, my book due in December!

When I think of it all, my mind begins to wander... which brings me here with this confession - I get lost. A lot. I mean it. I always plan extra time into my travel plans for going miles and miles in the wrong direction. My husband and son want to get me a GPS for Christmas.

I like getting lost. Okay, not usually while I'm doing it, but afterward, I have the best stories! Like the time my friend Deanna and I got to a meeting late (because I missed Cincinnati and was making my way to Dayton!)and found ourselves in the middle of a conference of cross dressers. Or last Saturday when I went miles in the wrong direction heading home from my speaking gig and, because I gotten away early, I followed a sign to Old Schoolhouse Antique Mall just to see what they had.

It took me through a teeny town to a small old stone schoolhouse with 6 rooms, I think and one of those auditoriums with the big wooden stages - seeing the building was wonderful. Seeing the Amish ladies selling baked goods was cool. Looking at all the great stuff (I got a vintage Christmas apron - score!)and chatting with people was so fun too. Seeing a part of the world that I would normally have passed by (or never gotten to since I was supposed to be headed west, not east) refilled my soul in so many ways.

Also, when I got back to the highway I realized my mistake and after a bit of a panicky problem solving was able to get turned around and headed toward home. I try NOT to do this in my writing. I try to get it right the first time, just because it saves time, because I am afraid I am wasting effort by writing down a wandering path.

But you know, it always brings me something. It refills my creative well. I don't know it at the time but later, when I see the notes I didn't use, or think of a plot twist or scene that didn't work, I know I have something to learn. My own kind of great story... I realized what I had done wrong and knew not to do that again or I found it wasn't so bad and could be a springboard for another story, character, scene.

So I guess I'll keep doing that. Writing my way through life and sometimes going in the wrong direction or by passing the point, and coming away with a better story for it!
As for that GPS - yes, I'll take it gladly but it may not get used as much as the men in my family think it will be!