Sunday, October 31, 2010

Staying On Track

Staying on track when life threatens to derail you with unexpected challenges can be a feat. In the last four months, I’ve relocated for a temporary military assignment, traveled to Kansas for a two week military exercise, supported the UN General Assembly in NYC, and suffered a personal tragedy.

Overwhelmed and fatigued, I had to find a way to steer my life in the direction I had chosen rather than allow the forces in my life to assume control and knock me off track. I decided to focus on my top priorities and let everything else fall to wayside. With my family, writing and work locked in my sights, I stopped blogging, limited emails, and ignored everything that caused stress.

When something new popped up, if it conflicted with one of my top three priorities, how to handle it became simple. Although I stayed under the radar in my writing groups and my friends feared that I had let life’s difficulties get the best of me, I’m happy to say that was far from the case. I’ve finaled in four more writing contests and completed a major revision of my first ms Kindred of the Fallen. I trimmed as I revised, but the ms bloomed from 95k to 107k words. After adding more conflict, action, and the hero’s POV, I have polished my pages, checking for character consistency, flow, and to ensure I didn’t leave out or accidentally repeat critical bits of information.

As the season has changed and autumn is now in full swing, I’m reminded that life is fluid and dynamic. There is a time for all things and nothing ever stays the same, good or bad. I have chosen to embrace the good as it comes and to manage the bad with a positive frame of mind.

Happy Halloween!