Hidden, Music, and Magic


One of the themes I like to explore in my writing is the relationship between music and magic. There has always been a connection between those two concepts in my mind, and in many ways, I like to consider music as a form of magic in its own right. There's a reason Gren is a musician; there's a reason it's his music that opens the portals between worlds. (If you haven't read Destined yet, that's only a minor spoiler--it occurs quite early in the book, so trust me...I haven't just given away something super profound that is going to ruin the entire reading experience for you--but also, if you haven't read Destined yet, why are you even reading my blog? Go read my books!)


Music is transportation. Music is life.


Of course, as a musician myself (albeit, not a very good one), I am obviously biased in this regard. I vaguely recall blogging about this exact topic--music as magic--probably eight or so years ago, back when I was a small blip in the semi-anonymous pagan blogosphere, writing under a ridiculous pseudonym that I thought made me sound all mystical and cool. Incidentally, I almost published Destined under that very same pseudonym, but boy am I glad I decided not to at the very last minute. Some feedback from my beta readers certainly contributed to that decision, but in hindsight, you have no idea how glad I am that I listened.


And now, for the Hidden updates: I've hit a writing wall. Blame it on the Great Laptop Crash of 2019 or the encroaching end of the summer (and with it, the end of my free time), but there is a giant wall in front of me, and I am having the darndest time trying to get over, under, around, or through it. It happens to everyone now and then, or at least so I hear, but that doesn't make the wall any less frustrating. I used to hit walls all the time back when I was writing Destined, which is why it took ten years for me to write it and another two for me to be happy enough with the manuscript to publish it. In those two years, I rewrote the first three chapters, edited the whole thing nine thousand times, changed a few characters names, added a subplot... In those last two years before publication, I spent almost as much collective time on my story as I did in the entire prior decade of writing the first draft.


In the initial draft phase for Destined, I would alternate between bursts of massive progress--a chapter or two in just a few days or a week--and then lengthy bouts (think six months to a year) of having zero motivation to even open the document, let alone add to it. That's why it took me ten years. That's why I had to go back and rewrite the first three chapters. From starting the book to finishing it, my author voice had completely changed; the tone, the maturity, the pace had evolved so much over the course of those ten years that my beginning no longer fit my end. Thus, a rewrite.


Whatever the cause of my current motivation reduction to finish Hidden, I do know that it won't last six months. I can't quite explain how I know this, but I feel it in my bones; this slump will be short lived. I had managed to stay motivated and crank out four chapters in a matter of weeks back before I lost nearly everything and had to start over halfway through chapter one, so I know I have that kind of energy still inside me. With the school semester starting up again--did I mention I'm currently working on a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literature? If you think there's a lot of Slavic myth and folklore in my writing now, just wait 'til I have a darn doctorate in the field--my available writing time will be significantly reduced. However, I have a plan.


Every Friday, once the week has ended and I have had some time to recharge, I am going to devote an hour block to writing. Not paper writing. No essays or literary criticism. No studying or reading for any of my classes. Just writing. Good old fashioned fiction writing. I'll set up on the porch with my laptop and my incense and my little USB powered color changing salt lamp, and I will write. Most of the time I'll work on Hidden, but sometimes I may work on another creative project, like the novella and short story that will follow Hidden or maybe I'll even start sketching the dialogue for the third book in the Circle series. Regardless of what creative writing I'll be doing every Friday, I have already marked off the time on my calendar for the rest of the year. Once I get my calendar for 2020 going, I'll add it in then, too. I am determined to still get Hidden published by the end of 2020, come hell or high water, and keeping a schedule will *fingers crossed* keep me honest about it.


So here's what I need from you:


If I haven't posted about progress in a while, bug me about it. Ask me why. Ask me how my writing is coming along. Ask me about Hidden. Ask me for a sneak preview. Ask about your favorite character from the series. Ask me anything at all about the books. Not only am I happy to answer questions, if you ask me "So how is the writing?" and I know I haven't written a single sentence in a few weeks, that'll 100% shame me into hopping immediately on my trusty new laptop and knocking out a few pages. I'll try to stay motivated on my own, but we all need reminders sometimes.


In the meantime, I've still got two audiobooks in the works (and we're at the recording phase, so those are largely out of my hands) and a ramped up Twitter presence after forgetting my password for a few years, so things are still looking up. I'm also making another desperate attempt to try and recover the original, pre-corrupted file of Hidden with a new program, but it's a long shot. Rewriting the lost chapters is probably what I will have to do. But it's worth a try, eh?

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© 2015 by Melissa Ivanco