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5 little stones

I’ve been thinking of stones lately. Yes, stones! You know the ones thrown along a river’s surface? Kids love to play skipping stones, don’t they? At least, they did back in the day. But when I started thinking about stones, smooth or rough-edged, heavy or light-weight, I quickly realized they sink. Yes, they skip along for a time, hopping an exciting beat, but eventually they plunge underwater like children collapsing after a sugar high.  Stones sink.

Lately, my writing has been floundering. You could say it sank as fast as The Black Pearl’s anchor. I’ve got two books out. One in the pike waiting on editing, with no real release date set yet. So what now? There are the two novels I could go back to and rewrite. But that’s like purposefully diving into a whirlpool of no return. (Shades of Davy Jones!)

There’s the third and final book in the Nelson’s Tea series to write. And I have my 7 book series plotted and started. Or should I write a novella or start something new, giving myself a bit of a break? Lots to ponder. Lots of beats skipping along in my head, creating static noise from one side of my cranium to another, until all I want to do is pick up a stone and jump off the plank.

“Sink or swim,” Nora Roberts has said. (I’m paraphrasing her here but this is the gist of what she’s said at RWA Conference.) I don’t want to sink, me hearties. As a result, I’ve found myself deliberating projects and sales. (Just got my first royalty check! Woot!) I’ve been debating social media tasks that sometimes feel formidable even though I enjoy them WAY too much. All of which can make me sink if I’m not careful. But the sad truth is I did let my guard down. I sank. I sank deeper than a discarded Alaskan King Crab thrown back into the drink. Yes! I stopped writing for 3 weeks (except for blog posts). Horrors!!!

Well, that isn’t the pirate way, me hearties. No. Not at all. Everyone needs a break now and then, true. But I refuse to sink. I want to skip. I want to hit my beats as I venture across the literary world. When I must go underwater, I want to dive into adventure on the high seas, exploring characters and relationships, defining love in wonderfully fulfilling ways by creating enough romance to delight ye all.

To everything there is a purpose under the sun. Right? Including skipping stones or creating beats that radiate waves of delight increasing in circumfrence across space and time. Bilge rats! I’m waxing poetic but I don’t care. Rocks are solid! Rocks wield power! In a mason’s hands, rocks can become sanctuary.

You see? Pondering about stones switched my perspective. That’s all it took. A tap to the nose. Quiet reflection. Motivation and flailing pirate hands (shades of Cap’n Jack). I’m glad I don’t have to sink. I can be a skipping stone, if I choose to be. And with the right twist of the wrist, I can hit those timely beats all the way to success.

I’m choosing to hit my beats today. Will you? Can you?