On Starting A New Novel and Muskrats

I’m here. I’m here. I’m feeling a little blech with the blog. I love doing it, but sometimes I just need a mini-break. Plus, I’m starting to think of the new project I want to work on (while I collect rejection slips on my memoir “Popsicle Toes”), and that’s starting to take over my brain. The idea is churning around in my head. It’s like, a novel starts with an idea, but then it starts to branch out and become a web. It’s very insect-like actually, spinning of ideas, seeing what sticks together, how everything connects, what mates are consumed after fornicating. Wait. Maybe one of those things doesn’t actually belong in my writing-as-insect metaphor. Hmmm.


I know I want the next book to be literary fiction and I know I want there to be a high conflict and a lot of action, and now I’m letting my brain do the work. I just sit back and wait.

Last night my brain woke me up. I dreamt I was with the kids and Kealoha and I were all packing to go camping. (We never camp, so you know this is a dream.) Franz and Moxie kept talking about something in the woods. “Ma, Ma! Are you sure we should do this? We’ve heard there’s Something In The Woods”. I said “We’re fine. We’re fine! There’s Nothing In The Woods!” We walked to the car and started to drive away and then my brain went black and I saw the words “The family was never seen alive again.”

Yes. I actually saw subtitles in my dream. And I woke up with a gasp.

First, that is NOT the story I want to write and second, I’m pretty sure the Something In The Woods was inspired by watching reruns of Lost and seeing a muskrat on my walk the other day. I was walking by the pond with my friend K and all of a sudden the cattails started shivering. Then I heard crunching. When I saw the muskrat, it all made sense, but that moment BEFORE seeing it was a little nerve-wracking. I mean, shivering and crunching, that’s the stuff of Stephen King. (Or a decongestant-inspired hallucination.)

A muskrat is basically a giant RAT that lives in the water. Eeek!

So. My brain is occupied with birthing another novel. Luckily, unlike a real pregnancy, this process doesn’t make me nauseous.

It does make me spacey. I mean, more than usual.

I think I have the opening scene ready and I’m almost, almost ready to start writing again.

I’m so looking forward to it.