My Deserted Island

Across the lake from where I live there’s an island. Plenty of trees but nothing else, it’s basically deserted, if you want to use that term, although we have seen the remains  of human activity left behind on the shores from time to time while out in our boat; the remnants of small camp fires and some empty bottles.

I was thinking today how writing is sometimes like being on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere, where your only thought is of survival—survival of the story, that is—with little contact with the outside world. You’re in hermit-mode—thinking, eating and breathing the story you’re working on. You can’t keep your thoughts on anything other than that dang story which can become kind of a convenient excuse for your own forgetfulness with those in the outside world. Things like not remembering what you were going for in the refrigerator or even the next room, the phone calls and emails you forgot to return. I like to call it author-brain, kind of like mommy-brain when all you think about is that little bundle of joy( or story) you’re suddenly responsible for. Don’t bother the author, her mind’s on her writing.

These past few weeks have been kind of like that; kind of, but not quite.( I’ve still had family time that I wouldn’t trade for all the stories that are circulating in my author-brain.)

I’ve started edits on my adult fiction novel recently and have just sent round one back to my editor. I’ve got to be honest, it’ always difficult to hit that *send* key and resist the urge to keep making changes, some so tiny that no one would ever know, except the author. But eventually you have to let go, the same way you let go of your child when you send her/him out into the big scary world. And it’s been pretty scary out there as of late.

All authors want their books to be perfect, and if not perfect, then as near to perfect as is humanly possible. Still, the typos pop up, the missing commas or periods, the misplaced words—all these things, regardless of how many proofreaders go through it with a fine tooth comb. Still, it’s something to aim for.

As many of you know, this is my debut adult fiction novel which doesn’t mean I won’t be writing for kids anymore. It just means, I’ll be doing both. I’ve several other adult novels that need to be resurrected after years of neglect. It was more like I got side-tracked. I’m really hoping to get back to them soon. But…I’ve also a few more ideas for children’s books as well. Why can’t there be more time in the day?

As of yet, this next novel of mine is titleless which isn’t really a word but I felt like using it. Titles are important but can sometimes be SO difficult to come up with. I was lucky with my first three book but this one has been a bit more challenging.

Another snippet I can share with you is that much of it is set in the Forties Settlement which, as many of you know, is right next door to good old E. Dalhousie. I like to give my stories local settings or use local name places. It’s important to me to share my part of the world with readers from far and wide.

I’m hoping I’ll find time to blog a bit more often, although it seems I’m forever promising that. It’s not as if I purposely ignore that promise but I’ve been putting more time into my actual writing these days which is probably more important. Perhaps when I’m fully retired I’ll make more time.

So that’s it for now. The edits are back in my editor’s hands and I’m getting ready to work on a project I started about nine years ago. I’ll be off on my deserted island at least for a little. They say that publishing is a slow business. It takes plenty of patience, but then so is writing sometimes.

I hope you’re all having a wonder summer and are enjoying this beautiful Nova Scotia sunshine. I’d love to hear what you’ve been doing this summer.

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9 Comments

  1. Hate to break it to you, but writers never get to retire:) That author fog is hard to describe, but we all know exactly what you mean; kind of like living while distracted (as opposed to driving). Happy Sunday!

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    • When I spoke of retirement, I actually meant from m day job–not writing—never writing. 🙂 I’m glad the heat has let up some even if it meant a thunderstorm. I hope you enjoyed your day!

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  2. You live in such a lovely spot. Perfect for writing your books. I look forward to reading your adult book. It’s good to diversify!

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  3. I love deserted islands. I also like dessert islands. Mmm. I prefer to retreat to the desert island for at least half of my life; it’s where the magic is. I know some can write in the middle of a crowded coffee shop, but I’m not that type.

    What have I been doing this summer? After promising myself more ‘outdoors’ time for a few years, I’m finally keeping that promise. I try to go on a hike (long ones to places I’ve never been) with a group at least once a week. So far, I’ve gone on four amazing hikes and now that I’ve broken the ice, I have several more planned. The only thing I don’t like about writing is the sitting still for long periods. Long-distance hiking fills that need.

    Good luck with your edits and your upcoming book.

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    • A dessert island sounds pretty special and quite remarkable, actually. I’m sure there are plenty of people who would gladly go there!

      Glad to hear you’re keeping your promise to yourself. So many times we end up putting ourselves last and seem to think it’s okay to break these promises.Best of luck with your other planned hikes. Sounds like fun!

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  4. Judi

     /  July 23, 2019

    It sounds like you are juggling a lot this summer (what there has been of this summer). We are busy on the piece and taking breaks week-ends to go to the Bay. It’s so nice and peacefully there and the sound of the waves are amazing.

    I’m sure you will come up with the perfect name for this adult book that will be on the book selves shortly. Think about Gillian’s Island and name if Laura’s Island. Just joking but I am TRYING to be helpful. Come and see the piece when you take a break sometime. xoxo

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    • So much fun visiting with you and Lee yesterday. The new piece is terrific! No wonder you are SO excited!

      I’m sure between my editor and me we’ll come up with something. I sent a list of possibilities to her but to tell the truth, I really wasn’t struck on any of them and I don’t think she was either. I have the summer to keep thinking.

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  5. Hi Laura, It was nice to read two of your blogs today. Thank you for posting them and talking about what it’s like to be a writer of adult fiction and kids books. It’s a rich life and I’m so happy, like you, to be a writer. I love creating a throughline so that life doesn’t seem so random.

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  • Publication date April 30, 2020. Available for pre-order NOW.

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