Distractions, Digressions, Diversions...

"13  … one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining
forward to what lies ahead,

14 I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward."

                                         Philippians 3:13-14 


I am sure we could all identify with having a goal, a desire, a commission from the Lord to complete in our life time.  Yet life is fraught with challenges that threaten to take us off course. Despite those, the Lord directs our paths, knows our innermost thoughts, turns everything to good, and brings peace on knowing His timing is perfect.


In lockdown I was writing a daily 500-word blog.  It was an ongoing story and the plot flowed.  My daily structure before, and during lockdown, remains the same, time with the Lord, answering emails and organising our lives before a sometimes a late lunch, and daily writing until 5.00 pm. Sunday and Wednesday involves church activities on Zoom, but soon will revert to meeting together and having travel time.  I ask myself how I managed to write four 400 page books, and why this time can't I settle, but continually distract myself?  Now I am asking the Lord if it's because I’ve taken His plot off course.


Then comes the digressions. The end of the last book ended unexpectedly leaving the reader wanting to know what happened next.  Each book is written from the main character's viewpoint, so I had to find a way to insert that within the first chapter of Janice, not easy with her in a coma!  As she recovers, her memory is only of her first seven years, but her brain restores with the thoughts, opinions and attitudes of the missing twenty. I have to constantly digress from the main story in order to show, not tell.  Janice's hearing returns first, but you can only do so many overheard conversations. These then have to contain useful information of her e.g. being attacked and robbed in London, the police having no clue to her identity and revealing to Janice she can't remember her name.  Dialogue too with my main character remains limited for at least three chapters, while she learns to speak again, although you know her mind responses.  It difficult not to write monologues from hospital visitors, making more digressions from the story to ensure there is at least some action, and the need to add or change an earlier scene. With Helen, a character, from previous books befriending her made another digression from Janice and the plot as needed to fill in her background as she talks to Janice hoping to spark her memories.


Three chapters in two months!  The diversions seem interminable. Simple things mean a visit to Google for 1974, the re-reading of my previous books where Helen appears, and writing her backstory to fit with previous information.  At least at two ACW local meetings I have been able to write two exciting scenes which I long to develop, but at present progress wonder when I will get to them! The new freedoms mean time to catch up with friends, visit and entertain them. Next, a rebooked cruise in August, and last week summer arrived.  Needless to say I have succumbed to enjoying it while it lasts!


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