Rompecabezas and Writing

It’s been a dreary, grey, and misty Monday here. I did not accomplish the writing I should have. Instead, I worked on a rompecabeza. What a fun word, especially when you can roll your “r”s. My tongue does not have that capacity.

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You’ll notice that I have most of this jigsaw puzzle done and so I’ve organized the puzzle pieces according to shape. I can’t help myself! When the colors get more subtle or more muddy, it’s easier to look for the shape I need rather than the color.

So what do rompecabezas have to do with writing?

Yes, it is a wonderful way to relax and let the subconscious mind work. Much the same as when I’m driving the car on a familiar road. I can disengage from the minute details of my story and think about the larger story.

Piecing Our Story Together

Story comes to each of us differently. My current story started out with four daughters of a widowed father who married a woman with two children of her own. It takes place in the 1970s and was about rebellious teen daughters. Then I added an older aunt who lived with them, a mash-up of Little Women and the Brady Bunch. I never wrote it to the end, though I had an ending in mind.

Instead, I set the story aside for many years but it never left me. In the meantime, I wrote a couple of short stories, romances, and attended a writing workshop. Married life and having children and full-time work and owning a house and living life took over.

Six years ago, I came back to the story although I had lost several chapters in the computer’s netherworld.. After a divorce, obtaining a Master’s degree, traveling around the U.S., grown children, and living in Scotland for awhile, I let the 1970s story become the backworld to my current story. The older aunt became an East Prussian Tante. Then the Tante had a story of her own to tell.

It took two years to finish my first draft. I did a lot of learning about the craft of writing. I found the Query Shark and Fiction University blogs. From there I found other blogs, started taking part in the flash fiction contests on Janet Reid’s blog.

All of these different aspects of writing—the characters, the craft, the contests, the living life—jell around and morph to create a story. Not just one but many. Tante Amalie’s story and Addison’s story and potentially more! But not all in the same book! But someday I will finish this story, just like I will finish the puzzle. It’s just the story is taking a lot longer.