I have a small problem with losing focus now and again. I get excited about new projects, and forget everything that I was already working on. I need something new and shiny to pique my interest, or I need to find a way to refresh my enthusiasm for projects already in progress.
Dragon*Con is great for that. Every August, I fret and plan and save every last dime for Geek Xmas. And every labor day weekend, I completely wear myself out. This year was no exception, and I had my Dragon*Crash Sunday night, meaning I missed 4 panels I really wanted to hit on Monday. My body just said no. However, over the course of the weekend, I saw my husbear perform twice, got to hang out with some lovely friends that I don’t see nearly enough, and managed to fit in ELEVEN writing panels. (That’s a lot, for those who haven’t experienced DC.)
After Dragon*Con, the beginning of September is always an incredibly creative time for me. I leave these panels with a notebook filled with notes, and too many ideas to contain. My brain is on fire with all the tweaks I need to make to my story, and ideas for new stories as well. I suppose you could say that THIS is my creative New Year. This is the weekend on which everything hinges.
As the weather gets cooler, I will be working on a new world-building project, hopefully with some friends. (I’m trying to sell them on it now.) I’ve never collaborated before, so this is kind of a big deal for me. I’m a control freak, and love having control over my creative projects, but I’m really looking forward to letting that go in this one. I’m hoping it will help me grow as a writer.
I’m also editing the first novel in my Altars series, and it’s been really rough. I see all the things that need to be fixed, and it’s kind of wrecking my self esteem. But I want to be brutal. I want to tear it apart and rebuild it stronger. It’s a tough process, but one worth doing.
Previously, I’ve been very protective of other people seeing it. It’s my baby, you see. But I think I’m ready to start sharing it a little. I’m going to start sharing bits about the town and the characters here. I’m going to write a prologue, and share that and the first chapter as well. I’ve rededicated myself to Willowisp and to the stories that happen there. I’m regrouping for the final push that will put it out into the world.
I’ve mentioned before the concept of having ‘an altar in your mind’. It’s the idea that you shouldn’t need all the props of ritual, you should be able to meditate and have everything you need right there. It doesn’t matter if you have a red candle for your love spell, if you can meditate and focus, and project your intentions, then the objects of ritual are just that, objects.
I spent time trying to visit the altar in my mind after some years of getting out of my meditation practice, but was having trouble remembering and making it real for myself. Then it occurred to me, Willowisp has become the altar in my mind. It’s where my magick happens. It’s where all these characters, which are just parts of me after all, live and interact. It’s where my spirit animals live and where I create and learn harsh lessons. It’s where a community comes together to celebrate holidays and defend each other from the scary stuff. It’s my spiritual home.
My greatest hope is not that writing Willowisp will make me rich or famous, it’s that it will become a spiritual home for someone else as well. I look back at the books I read as a fledgling Pagan, like ‘The Mists of Avalon’ or ‘The Fifth Sacred Thing’, and I think of how submersed I was in the magick of those worlds. I want to create that for someone else as well. And I want to keep revisiting this place as a part of my own meditation and my own spiritual growth.
Fair warning: bad things happen in Willowisp. Bad things happen everywhere. But the characters are strong, and they get through, and they love each other fiercely. Isn’t that the best we can hope for?