WIPs: Too Much of a Good Thing.

& A Sneak Preview

Writing doldrums can show up for any number of reasons. Sometimes because I have no idea what to write next. Sometimes because I have too many ideas and it’s hard to decide which one to work on next. Sometimes because I can’t imagine anyone wanting to read anything I write, not even the people who follow my blog.

Sometimes the ideas pop up like popcorn. Too many at once. Tasty tidbits along with some old maids.

My current issue that’s stymying me is having too many works in progress (WIPs) I have a magpie mind. I like the next shiny new thing. The next story or essay idea that I want to work on at the cost of other projects that are waiting to be completed. Too often I love my stories too much to want to let them go. I get persnickety and no matter how many times I’ve been over a manuscript, I keep finding new errors. I could go on editing forever.

I have a lot in common with this bird.

My three weightiest WIPs are my novel, A Home for an Exile’s Heart; a collection of essays from Come, Follow My Blog, titled, Latvian Lore, and a second collection of blog essays titled, Latvia, Despite the Soviets.

Even though none of these books is finished, a friend, who is also my writing mentor, has been helping me design covers for them. Colleen loves designing covers and has experience creating designs for many of her own traditionally published books. She loves helping people. She hasn’t said so but perhaps she also eagerly helps design covers for my self-published books in hopes of inspiring me to finish the darn things.

A Home for an Exile’s Heart. An earlier version that needs a bit of editing.

I thought A Home for an Exile’s Heart, my novel about Līvija Galiņa, a Latvian refugee who, with her family, flees her homeland when the Soviet army invades in 1944 and finds a new home and a new love-interest, former fighter pilot, Cameron Quinn in Seattle in 1952 was finished. I re-read the last chapter and decided that I don’t like it. Re-writing it has proven to be more of a hassle than I expected. Too sweet. It needed a touch of tartness. Just because it’s Christmas Eve doesn’t mean characters can put aside such strong emotions as jealousy and resentment. Yet, I don’t want to be heavy-handed. It’s a sticky wicket.

Latvian Lore is a collection of Latvian myths and traditions. The problem with that one is not having enough essays published in my blog to make a decent-sized book. I need to write and research more. There’s so much information to include that it’s hard to know what to include and what to leave out. I might even include family recipes. All that is to be decided later.

This is the photo I picked for the cover of Latvia, Despite the Soviets.

After A Home for an Exile’s Heart, the project that’s closest to completion is Latvia, Despite the Soviets, a memoir about a trip I took to Latvia for a Song and Dance Festival when it was still part of the Soviet Union. Some of the chapters are essays from Come, Follow My Blog, the rest is new material. I’ve also included chapters

to give my memoir historical context that some people may not be familiar with. I need to read my manuscript from start to finish to decide what needs rewriting, revising, and if I need to add new material. It is emotionally difficult material to write about. I need a break from it before continuing. 

So what did I do? I started a new story. Flash fiction that I want to submit to a literary magazine. Caw! Caw! Shiny new object! Let me add it to my collection of WIPs.

10 thoughts on “WIPs: Too Much of a Good Thing.”

  1. Good post, Dace. I always like to read about writers’ processes and hangups. I’ve never experienced a plethora of viable ideas for writing, but I can well relate to general distraction about it. And especially the everlasting rewrites! I’m so glad you’re finding your audiences.

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    1. Thanks, Judy! Nice to know you think so. As I said in the post, not all my ideas are viable, many are unpopped old maids. For my blog, I’m gradually building an audience, the books I’m not so sure about. When I publized “A Home for an Exile’s Heaert in Latvian social mediage groups, TWO people expressed an interest reading it. A few more peopl are reading it on Amazon’s Kindle Vella where the first few chapters are free and all but one are published.

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  2. Interesting you chose the folk costume of Abrene for your illustration ( border region annexed into Russia proper during WW2 from Latvia ) .

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    1. I did look at other costumes that were very colorful but I wanted one that wasn’t too busy. Also, my cousin wore and Abrene costume when she belonged to a dance ensemble. I have othe background possibilities including dark gray and dark red.

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  3. This “designing woman” loves spending time finding just the right photos, backgrounds, colors,and fonts to make book covers as near perfect as possible, and to match the contents. (A few of my earlier covers–NOT designed by me–didn’t.) Anyway, the time spent brainstorming, drafting, rejecting, and finally tweaking pays off. Each of the three books Dace mentioned here is unique. Now all she needs to do is to finish them. 😉

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