Stephen King

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.

Random Notes THREE "Crazy Books"


I’ve been reading great stuff as ‘research’ for my Madness and Women in Literature course. So, okay. It started out as research but now it’s just fun. I read “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” by Shirley Jackson…which is a vibrantly colorful messed-up read. Plus the cover is fantastic.


I’m currently reading Stephen King’s nonfiction “Danse Macabre” where he talks about the horror genre and Peter Straub’s “Ghost Story”.


What with Cthulhu living in my walls, all of this has inspired me to write an actual, real live ghost story. Oh, it’s so very fun. Fingers crossed, you’ll see what I’m talking about later.