Spring works for me

I took this photo a few minutes ago. Not trying to rub it in for all you poor folks suffering in colder, snowier climes, I swear. I simply thought you might like a reminder of what’s coming.

Yesterday, I was working on my synopsis for my WIP (work in progress) and came to a stumbling spot. I had two characters, both of whom I found interesting and engaging and important to the hero and heroine, but a nagging thought in my brain–placed there by my father-in-law, Milt–made me question whether or not both characters were necessary.

Milt, who is 86, read my last book, THE GOOD PROVIDER, and he told me he liked the story but thought there were “…too many characters.” He couldn’t keep them all straight.

I’ll admit up front that I don’t take criticism well, but, this was valid feedback. That book came out BEFORE Supers went back to the longer word-count, which might have affected how quickly certain information needed to be delivered. It’s part of an ongoing series (Spotlight on Sentinel Pass), which means tying in characters from previous books. Plus, the opening scene takes place at a wedding where there are lots of people, lots of names to remember.

This small but ernest critique stayed in the back of my mind as I began writing the opening for my new book. I found myself second-guessing two of the secondary characters. Were they too much alike? Did/could they serve the same purpose? Which one could I do without? The crotchety first-floor neighbor who fills the role of Wise Old Man (from the Heroe’s Journey) for the hero? Or, the heroine’s father, who serves this purpose for the heroine as well as causing her angst.

I waffled.

I walked.

It worked.

Spring worked. A shoulder-into-the-wind sort of breeze loosened up the cobwebs. The brilliant blue skies with jagged contrails and the sort of white clouds we only see this time of year made change seem limitless and possible.  The burgeoning buds on the trees reminded me that beginnings are fluid. I returned with my answer.

The two characters remain, but only one will have an on-page speaking role. Her father is going to stay in Denver. She still has to deal with her angst and daddy-issues, but she’ll share the hero’s Wise Old Man –and, of course, the hero and heroine will help each other to find their way.

So, that’s how Spring works for me.


13 Replies to “Spring works for me”

  1. Hey Deb, Thanks for the flowers, daffodils and whatever the pink ones were(apple?dogwood?) I wore NO coat outside today after skiing on Satuday in a pretty snow…i love spring and the transition just as spring approaches…so much promise, so much hope, especially with the grandbaby coming in just a month from now…grateful for the reminder. ps. still scheduling the music one hour a night til done. I have a deadline too!

  2. The pink tree is a flowering cherry. No cherries, but it does put out some small, hard bitter fruit that the birds love.

    Glad you had a good day skiing. Spring skiing can get messy and wet but I always prefered it to bitter cold. I hate it when I can’t feel my toes.

    Only a month until the birth? Time truly flies by. Do they have names picked out?

    I’m so glad the music has helped. Now that my FIL has returned home, my house is quiet, but I still use the music. Seems to help with the focus.


  3. Maybe I have a good imagination or maybe I’m crazy but in the background behind the daffodils it looks like there is a sleeping concrete dragon.??????

  4. I SEE IT, ELLEN TOO! That is so cool. My eyes missed it completely until you pointed him out. I’m going to name him: Rock. 😉


  5. Ooohhhh pretty. Supposed to rain in Ohio tomorrow, but I did notice I have sprouts. My tulips are poking through the ground and my lilac bush has some buds. Other than that my grass is – what I call – gold. Some might call it dormant.

    I have one of those characters in my story too. I ‘highlighted’ all her parts to replace her with someone else. Poor thing just got fired. Guess she isn’t running around saying “Winning!”. bad joke I know.

  6. Deb, walking works for me all the time! I love it best when it’s flowery, like your day today, or gusty/stormy. It’s strange, isn’t it, how it can widen your mind? Your decision sounds great…and LOVE those pictures!

  7. HI, Kathleen (waving madly),

    Lovely to see you. You live in paradise, as well, don’t you? A different kind of paradise.

    Walking has saved me many times when I’m stuck in a rut–story-wise.

    Thanks for dropping by,

  8. Hi Deb, just when things are looking good…slam. My hubby’s work is “downsizing” and his job of 7 years is over in 2 weeks. He even took a 25% cut in pay to keep that job 1 1/2 years ago when everyone was losing jobs around here. Well, he won’t have to take vacation time to go see the baby born next month…yeehaw. I am so sad because I really hate change and the insecurity of it all. Minor tsunami in my life compared to what is going on in the world….I am so dramatic. We will be fine.
    Baby Boy Salonen coming in 4 weeks! Yes that is his name so far, really. See, twin, my son kept my maiden name….lol Ending on a happier thought.the other deb

  9. Oh, Deb, I’m sooo sorry to hear this news. What a bummer! I hope he’ll find something “new and improved” real soon. Stay positive and maintain the belief that good things will come from this unexpected change. (not always easy to do, I know, but believing is half the battle).

    Four weeks! You’re not excited by any chance, are you? That’s so fun that this new baby will carry on the Salonen name. That is so cool.

    And, yes, the pain and suffering in the world just seems so extreme at the moment. The photos and videos coming out of Japan are almost impossible to get your head around.

    Take care. Sending good thoughts to all.


  10. Hey, Deb. Thank you for the positive thoughts and empathy. I took him out to eat to celebrate his “future job”…that is by pure faith.! I thought you would like the Salonen name thing. I keep sending them name suggestions…my newest is “Waub-o-jeeg” named after the Great Indian Chief in our family history.lol guess we will know his name when we see him born! the other deb

  11. Hi cyber mirror twin…Nicknames!no wonder i got no reply from my son on my suggestion.!LOL Definately want this grandson to LOVE his Grammie! Today i gave him “Luke” as a suggestion…we’ll see. enjoyed your blogs on the Super site, but missed the 3 days(offline, battery out etc.)big oops. Timing is everything when it comes to occasional internet access. I am going to have to give in and let the dumb thing come into my home. Can’t fight progress if you want to watch the grandson grow on that skype thingie.
    i am so computer savvy…lol. the other deb

  12. I love the name Luke. And Lukas/Lucas. A friend’s son is Lukas, and he is one of the sweetest kids I know.

    We used Skype while my FIL was here. He got to talk to his granddaughters in Colorado. He was soooo impressed–especially because it was FREE.

    Yes, I’m afraid you’re going to have to bite the bullet. And sorry you missed the cut-off for the drawing, but you should still make a comment one of the blogs so your name goes into the $50 drawing.


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