Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Writer's Seat on Expedition Everest

Ever been to the Happiest Place on Earth? I’m lucky enough to go to Disney World every year (yeah—go ahead and hate me) as a chaperone for a hundred some eighteen year-olds as part of their senior trip (jealous now?).

The whole four-day zombie affair is totally fantabulous. And the best part—I get to visit Animal Kingdom where they have the super coolest roller coaster ever. Expedition Everest.

Spoiler alert—just FYI.

Expedition Everest whips you through the Himalayas, soars you up and down treacherous mountain paths as you avoid the Abominable Snowman. The roller-coaster train starts you up a steep slope, then into a dark, spooky cave (ooooh). The train propels you forward, through many a nail-biting hairpin turn, until—gasp—there’s no more track.

Oh no! The Yeti’s torn it apart.

Back you go. Yes—I really did just say “back”. You travel backwards, the ride spinning you through more turns, not knowing what drops lie… uh… behind you.

Finally, you stop your backward trek, the nefarious Yeti looming just above you. You whoosh forward and out of the mountain, zooming down an exhilarating, breath-taking 80-foot drop. Bottoming out to face more crazed turns, until finally you halt abruptly, and sail back to where you started.

Okay—this is so the story of my life.

Here's a not so banner day in the Miller house-hold (PS—yesterday): my son sucker-punched me in the nose(total accident, but—ouch—still hurts). I went to the beach and an hour later, rain forced me home. I spent the majority of the evening not figuring out what I want to do with the beginning of my book (uh, IMPORTANT!) Oh—and my laptop froze, like, a katrillion times.

Then today, I ride the high of IHOP and Minionade with my children. I pay my bills and feel like I might make it through the month. I get my hair done and feel like a new woman. I edit my stories and reconnect with my characters (bliss!) And bonus—I win a thirty-page critique with a YA author!

And stepping out of the drama mama role for two seconds, I’m sure you all experience the highs and lows of life, the roller coaster thrills of being whipped this way and that. The anticipation of the upward climb, the exhilaration of the drop, and the let-down when it’s all said and done.

My writing life is a thrill a minute too.

In writing a new novel, there’s the thrill of finally pouring out all the ideas that have spiraled in my head for months. I climb upward, sometimes at a glacier pace, but the anticipation of reaching that one point in my script propels me forward. Once I start, the murky middle of my book throws many a hair-pin turn my way, some thrilling, others knocking my head from left to right and I’m left with a migraine for days. At times, my book heralds me backwards. Sometimes I look back and can see the path ahead. Other times I just don’t. Know where. I’m going.

And after months of nail-biting yet exhilarating work, I finally reach that climax I’ve yearned for. I spiral towards the ending, clearing up every loose end along the way.

And then I’m done. It was FUN! But, I’m done. Gosh, that's great, but, again - I'm done.

And that kinda sucks.

But you know what? Just as I’m certain my super-duper happy moment of today will end too, I also know this.

I’ll be jumping right back in line to ride this crazy writing ride again and again and again.

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