September 8th, 2012 by Ken Scholes
Out-of-Character-Ken Day

Happy Saturday and Howdy Folks!

First off, I’m sorry for the delay in posting today.  Usually I meticulously insure that my post is ready the Friday before and all day yesterday, I kept reminding myself “Ken, make sure you get your Genreality post written and ready.”  And then…I completely spaced it out by the end of the day.

This, for me, is quite out of character.

And this morning, of course, I’m on the road.  I’m heading to the coast to Seaside, OR, my favorite writing haunt.  My primary mission is a short story I’m writing for an anthology I’ve been invited into.  I’ve been pondering it ever since finishing Requiem and I have some of the basics – I know who my protagonist is.  I know roughly where the story will be taking place.  I have some small idea of the problem presented to the protagonist.  My plan is to leave Seaside with a clear sense of the rest of the story and at least the first 1-2k words wrapped.

But I’ve also got some other things I’ll working on.  I’ve been invited to write an introduction so I’ll trying to wrap that up.  And I’m doing a lot (A LOT) of pondering exactly what my production calendar for the next 15 months is going to look like (something I’ve not had the time or brain-space to even consider having while wrestling down Requiem — and everything else in my crazy life — over the last three years.)

Of course, this means walking the beach and pondering in between bursts of research and writing.  And jotting notes or working over my meals.  And maybe serenading some seagulls out on the beach with my guitar.

So to that end, I’m in my favorite hotel in Seaside — the Oceanfront Shilo Inn — sitting in the bar working on this post while I wait for my room to be ready.

And this particular trip, too, is pretty out of character.  Along with the rest of the trip.  Because normally, I’m quite a planner.  If I’m taking a trip, I pack the day before.  I even sometimes have a list to work off so I don’t forget things (like my swimsuit…grrr.)  And I always, always reserve a room ahead of time.  But for this trip, I wasn’t really sure I was going to take it until the other day and once I decided to do it, I found myself really wanting to just “wing it” and fly by the seat of my pants a little.  Let go of some control and relax into the Winds of Now.  See where they carried me.

I’ve often said (and may elaborate more in a later post) that our writing process is whatever our brain does at the time to trick us into actually writing.  Sometimes that’s a blueprint, a carefully concocted plan, and other times it’s flying by the seat of my pants with no frakking clue where I’m going land.  Sometimes it’s a quiet corner in a bar.  Sometimes it’s deep in the womb-like confines of the Den of Ken.

I’m thinking that here, from my mid-forties, that I’m discovering that this applies beyond writing.  Maybe our process for life is whatever our brains do to trick us into actually living.

Dunno.  But I do know I’m having a great day.  And the Winds of Now are carrying me along just fine and dandy.

When was the last time you took a retreat and spent some time working on your writing, centering yourself, and enjoying a bit of your own company?  Are you overdue?  And where would you go if you were going to pack a duffle bag and set out on an unscheduled adventure?


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2 comments to “Out-of-Character-Ken Day”

  1. D.Gembala
     · September 8th, 2012 at 2:28 pm · Link

    Going off without a plan, that does not sound like you, Ken!

    Since I mostly write standing up with a baby slung to my chest while my laptop is precariously perched on top of two animal crates piled to the optimal height and proximity to a power cord and yet leave me room to bounce the keep-the-damn-baby-asleep bounce, ANYWHERE would be lovely. If I were to choose, I think a nice house in Ilwaco or Astoria would be lovely, as long as I stayed out of the lumberjacks-on-sailors brawls.

    I hope you enjoy your unscheduled, unplanned writing vacay.

  2. A. McKay
     · September 9th, 2012 at 8:39 am · Link

    I’ve tried, but I scared myself

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