Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stuff Happens, And That's Okay With Me

Beware - I'm going to get all philosophical on you this morning, but I promise it has a point. You see, I was going to blog about how things happen for a reason and use my latest book as an example.

I'm on a fairly tight deadline for this new book, The Monster MASH, about a group of otherworldy surgeons in the middle of a supernatural war. It's a fun book to write and I'm enjoying every minute of it. But I also know that I have to stick to my writing schedule in order to have this puppy finished in time. So I'm typing away a few days ago, really excited that Chapter 12 is working out. It's a pivotal chapter and one that I need to get right. I'm almost to the end when - zap! My computer shuts off. When I re-start and go back to my file, it's gone. At least most of it is gone.

Yes, something like that can knock a writer like me off schedule, but it also has the tendency to convince me that whatever I wrote that I don't have anymore must have been great. It turns into Shakespeare in my mind. It becomes The Words that Never Were. Never again will I write words like that. Readers will know. They'll read the new Chapter 12 and think. "Wow - if Angie had only written it better. Somehow, I knew she could have."

Illogical? Maybe. But there you have it.

Anyhow, to get back into writing, I had to basically let go of what I'd created and start something new. Because of my particular writing style, there's no way to re-capture how the chapter came together. Sure the events are the same, but the interactions will not be. They can't be. I don't know what I did last time. Fortunately for this chapter, the new one turned out better. It seems that knowing more about the chapter going in helped me to write more fun, more focused conversations and interactions. I'd even venture to say it was good my first draft pulled a kamikaze.

And life can work that way too. I just found that out this morning. Again.

About an hour ago, I was driving back home from dropping my son off at preschool when the truck in front of me on the highway dropped a hay bale. There was no way to avoid it. In fact, I don't even remember thinking anything except "There's a big hay bale coming" before I hit it going 65 mph. Now I'm fine. My Jeep is less fine (RIP to the front wheel well), but it was generally okay. The truck stopped. The police came. They cleaned the parts of my car out off the highway.

But things wouldn't have been fine if I hadn't rolled a red light two weeks ago (boy, I'm making myself sound bad here). But yes, I rolled it. A police officer pulled me over and asked to see my insurance. I had this great file in my car with all my insurance cards. Every stinking one of them. From 2006 on. The poor police man stood there in the cold and chatted with me while I went through years of insurance cards. I simply couldn't find my most current card. The police officer thought it was kind of funny and let me off with a warning to stop rolling reds and to clean out my file. I think one of his comments was even. "You looked so organized." Ha. Well, after that, I got organized. I found my card and put it where it was easy to find. And today, on the side of Highway 44, I really needed it.

So yes, bad stuff happens. It happens more often than we'd like. But sometimes that's good. Because it helps you out when you really need it.


Brandy said...

Glad you're okay and it seems as though things did work out for you quite well. (Though not your jeep.)

Suzan Harden said...

The important thing is that you're okay. Things can be replaced. People can't.

(Though I'm really looking forward to this next book!)

Misha said...

So true. Sometimes things happen that seem to suck - until you see the big picture.


Christie Craig said...

Wow. I'm glad you're okay. That reminds me when I was hit by a flying turtle. Apparently, a truck ran over the turtle and sent it airborn.

Try explaining that to you insurance company.


Angie Fox said...

Oh I'm fine. And I used it to justify White Castle for lunch. You know the rules - if you're hit by hay, you get belly bombers and onion rings.

Too funny re: the flying turtle, Christie! If anybody could explain that to insurance, you could.

Diane Kelly said...

So glad the truck driver realized what had happened and stopped so that your insurance won't get stuck with the bill!!!! Yep, I've had similar experiences with fate. Sometimes things that seem like a real bummer at the time lead to good things. I've come to think that everything happens for a reason. Even rogue hay bales!!!!

hatfieldtiffany75 said...

Really glad to read you are ok.
One thing is definitely right, Bad things do happen, But my phrase is "It could always be worse".