When we lived in Arizona, experiencing weather change required driving up to the beautiful White Mountains, but here in Maryland, the four distinct seasons are often interspersed with mild days that soften the blow of winter or the torridness of summer, as the case may be. The past week, however, gave us the most extreme weather swings, going overnight from an icy, sub-zero Arctic Blast to a sunny, springtime bliss. This rare Thermal Whiplash had me shuffling through powdery snow to the mailbox one day, and on the next, grinning inside my helmet as I leaned the motorcycle into a perfect curve on the way to meeting a similarly giddy friend – followed by an afternoon 5-mile jog in the woods.
The joy of riding and running on a winter day made me think of how closely these activities relate to writing. First, there is forward motion through unfolding scenery, propelled by dogged perseverance. Second, all three activities require my undivided presence – physically and mentally – with total focus, concentration, and dedication to the journey and to the safe arrival at a destination (in a novel, it’s “The End.”) Third, riding and jogging bombard me with intense sensory inputs – sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the thrills of motorized acceleration and the tenacity of uphill footwork. The unique combination of stimulation and solitude (in the helmet or among the woods) produces rich creative energy that fuels new ideas for my writing – plots twists and turns, characters’ traits and motives, and snippets of razor-sharp dialogue.
Speaking of writing, I’ve started the fifth book in the “Deborah Rising” series. Meanwhile, the third book is done and ready to go to press (or the e-book Cloud), and the fourth is well into the editing process. I envision a total of seven books in the series, culminating in Deborah leading her army against the Canaanite superpower of the era in a final battle for freedom that tests her mantle as the Israelite nation’s top religious, political, and military leader—a role not reached by another woman in any nation until many centuries later.
Have a great week,