For an author's blog, I've certainly been derailed as well as allowed my focus to become distracted. But after not working on my story for two months, I've gained distance from it so I'm better equipped to revise and edit.
And last week, I put in two full days of writing. (Do I hear applause anyone? Thank you, thank you!) reworking a couple of 1939 chapters. My protagonist and her younger brother move--from Königsberg, East Prussia to Oban, Scotland--to live with their grandfather's sister.
One of the things I was attentive to in this rewrite was dialogue. The native language for Amalie and her brother is German while their Aunt Moira is a Scotswoman. So Amalie and her brother speak a more formal English whereas I try to give Aunt Moira a more rhythmic pattern of speech.
I lived in Scotland for a couple years and still have friends there, so I remember a bit of Scotland's distinctive accents and brogues. Soooo different from Midwest American! Which is why I'm not doing a Glaswegian brogue!
On my first flight overseas. I flew by myself, heading to a programme week at Iona Abbey. I had not slept well on the overnight flight but I made it through emigration, found my luggage, then went outside to get a taxi. As soon as I heard the taxi driver speak, I figured I may as well turn around and head home for all the sense I could make of his words.
Four years later, I worked with a man who spoke that brogue. I never did catch on to it. (I have a hearing impairment which complicated things.) To make sure I understood him, he would stand in front of me so we faced one another and he spoke directly to me, dropping most of his brogue, then asked to make sure I'd understood him. And we'd laugh!
Today, I focused on composing a query. Again. I probably have about a gazillion query iterations (well, I suppose not quite that many). When I became serious about completing my story (back in, oh about 2013), I studied the query column in Writer's Digest but I learned the most from Query Shark's biting critiques of the queries emailed to her for that purpose. Writing a query works different writing habits. Queries, and synopses, are short, focused, concrete-oriented pieces. And that's a habit I need to develop because I tend to wander around in my writing.
So I often bounce my writing times between my manuscript, my query, and my synopsis. Together, they're like a Rubik's cube. They each remind me of the different pieces of the story I wish to tell.