In August I had an email from a fellow writer who told me about a young adult anthology where they needed 13 ghost stories from various authors. She asked if I might be interested in donating story. Mind you, this was in the middle of my TV Critics Press tour, and I was a little busy working 18 hour days. And they needed the story in less than a month.
I’m Candy Havens, so of course I said yes. First of all, except for a short bit in one of the Charmed & Dangerous books, I’ve never written a ghost. That was a challenge I was excited about. But I had to write a 6000 word story in less than a month and I had no idea what I wanted to write about. They had requested that perhaps I write about something in a different culture. That was something else that was exciting.
But what culture? I investigated Egypt, various Asian cultures and could have spent the next month doing research. But my oldest son told me he had been talking with one of his friends who lives in Finland. Boom! I started researching various mythologies in Finland and Norway. Well, Norse mythology has lots ‘o fun stuff to play with and that’s how I ended up writing a story set in Finland about a young girl from Miami who sees ghosts.
Of course, I twisted the mythology to fit my story but it involves the girl, a Viking, a scary dead grandma and a hot guy named Riku. It’s a story I enjoyed so much, that some day I hope to turn it into a full-length novel. While it almost killed me to get it done by the deadline (don’t forget I’m working on a thesis, taking my last graduate class and working full time as an author, TV columnist and film critic), I’m glad I did it.
The thing is, pushing myself to do that story helped me creatively on some of the other projects I was working on. I felt stifled with one project in particular. Writing that story and coming up with something completely new, helped me to get a second wind with that other project. It also, in a weird way, gave me a different viewpoint with my heroine in that other project.
I’m the first one to admit that I take on too much at times. But here’s what a lot of you don’t know. I’m easily bored with life, so it is important that I always have many irons in the fire. I like switching hats fifty times a day. I’m never bored. Exhausted. Overwhelmed and sometimes sick, but never bored.
I’ve done that with something new I’m working on that I can’t talk about. Something that is due on Dec. 15. But it is an opportunity that is so exciting, I will make it happen. And as soon as the contracts are signed, I will tell you all about it.
This is my long-winded way of telling you to step out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges. Those scary roads you are afraid to traverse could result in amazing opportunities.
To help a great cause, please check out Spirited at http://www.candacehavens.com/