We had our first real snow of this season yesterday. It was really only one inch of snow but it fell over a layer of ice already coating the ground so it succeeded in giving the locals a reason to dust off and utilize their winter driving skills. We have to relearn them every year, for some reason we get forgetful during the warm months.
I hear people complain about winter all the time, native Iowans who have lived here all their lives. I am not one of those who complain, I love wintertime, even when I have to change plans because a winter storm has made it dangerous to drive. But then, I’m a homebody. I’m happy because I love puttering around the house, I prefer it to going out…most of the time. I always have piles of projects to work on. Whether it’s painting, writing, cleaning, or reading I am happy to hang out in the privacy of my home. Maybe that’s why I fell into the writing business to easily, writers are known for locking themselves away from the world to write. We like to hibernate and spend the winter clicking away on the keyboard, inventing characters and the lives they lead, creating and resolving drama in lives other than our own.
Not that we don’t have our own drama. We just focus on the dramas we can resolve easily in the fiction that we write. Our real life dramas are not usually so easy. Escapism, that’s what I’d call it. Escaping – even if it’s just for a few hours at a time – helps us deal with the every day stuff thrown at us.
I recently started a part-time job at a local gift shop and forgot that the people I was now working for were unfamiliar with my special brand of…sarcasm and wit. My boss asked about the books I write and somehow the subject got around to what made me write my first book. Not thinking, I told him the truth.
I had just been fired – for no reason other than that my employer was flipping employees and I was on the losing end of the coin toss – and was rather bitter about it. My way of dealing was to write a book. Not a happy-go-lucky book about rainbows and unicorns, either. This book was about revenge. I started out writing the character as me, a painter who was mad at the world. This painter suddenly found herself with the ability to make things happen by painting. My recent employer came to a gruesome end – in the story. When I found how cleansing it was, I started “killing off” all of my former employers. It was liberating! Joyous! Thrilling yet harmless. I enjoyed it so much that it became a series.
I rewrote that book many times and it is now available – minus the list of deadly employer incidents – as Mystic Artistic and the series is The Midwest Mystics.
I recently put the series through a major revamp, complete with brand new – fabulous! – covers designed by Rebecca Sterling, and the stories have been polished and tweaked. I am planning a re-release of the three books soon after the first of the year and am looking forward to it.
So, anyway, back to my new job at the gift shop. When I realized that I had just told my new boss that I symbolically killed off one of my former bosses, I quickly covered by saying, “I’m sure you won’t suffer such a fate. But who knows, right?” Then I laughed.
He laughed, too, but there is a noticeable distance he keeps, now.
Hmm, he didn’t think I was serious, did he?