Bind Me Up, Bind Me Down

seven novels and a glass of wine

I was four when my first plan went wrong. My room was dark and I was supposed to be asleep. I was jumping on my bed. The mattress slid sideways, a corner of it almost touched the floor. My effort to push the mattress back up failed.

So I started from the beginning. I dragged the entire mattress to the floor, certain that this would make everything easier. I’d push the mattress up to let it drop back onto the box springs. My parents would never know I’d been jumping on the bed.

I forgot to consider my skinny four-year-old arms. My parents found me sitting in the dark, on the mattress, on the floor, a sweaty, frustrated mess.

“What are you doing?” asked one grown-up shadow in the doorway.

“Have you been jumping on the bed?” said the other.

I got screamed at. And it is the only memory I have of my parents together.

So, here is my plan 37 years later. I’ve printed all seven novels I have written. Two are finished. Sort of. One is probably finished. Maybe. The others are, well, messy. Most of them take place in the same town. Characters show up here and there. It is not a series, but they overlap.

For the Christmas season I’ve been calling myself Jacob Marley and this binder is my chain to lug around for all my writing sins. I’ve giving myself 11 months to work through them. hahahaha

By then I may need a binder for myself.

Your turn. What is your plan for the next year? What challenges are ahead? Do you have any challenges you keep to yourself in case people laugh at you?

14 thoughts on “Bind Me Up, Bind Me Down

  1. When you say “work through them”, do you mean finish them all? I wouldn’t even know where to start with such a project, since I can barely encompass one novel in my mind. This will be interesting.

    Well, let’s see. I’m challenging myself to put The End on my novel by Christmas. Another challenge has gotten in the way of that…In the spring I’d challenged myself to go after an editing job, and while that has not been a wholly fulfilling venture, it did teach me I’d rather be writing than anything else. I did what I set out to do with that one, and that was to increase my experience of the world, so it has been a successful challenge. Now it’s getting in the way of the novel, so I may have to let the editing go. I feel fine with that possibility.

    I can see in the year ahead some challenges which I will have to deal with, but they won’t be some I set for myself.

    1. Because of where the novels take place, they overlap. I want to make sure details about the town are consistent.

      Every year will have its challenges. Good luck with all of yours!

  2. My plan is to finish the novel I’m working on now. Everything else will just have to get out of the way!

    And, I’m with Sherri- holding one novel at a time in my head is more than enough, but if you wrote all those novels, I suppose you can edit them too 🙂

    1. Writing and editing are such different skills–I don’t know if I can pull this off at all.

      And good luck with everything getting out of the way. More luck with the writing!

  3. That you have seven novels under your belt is pretty amazing to me. That’s quite the feat! Congratulations!

    Plans? Hm. Let’s see. . .I have some things I have to resolve in my non-writing life, post-haste. I have about four, maybe five workable novel ideas and no time or resources to sit down and dedicate to them. When I do have the time and resources to do that, I lack the motivation and inspiration, so. . .no, no plans for writing. Whatever will be will be, I suppose.

    Plans aren’t my strong suit. I don’t do resolutions well. When I set my mind to accomplish something, though, I do it. Mostly. So I’ll see what floats through my brain next year and let today have worries enough of its own. 🙂

    1. They aren’t set-the-world-on-fire novels, so don’t be too amazed.

      I don’t see this as a resolution. The word resolution sounds like an invitation to failure. It is my project. It is what I will do.

      I wish you the best in getting those ideas on paper. Go write!

  4. 7 novels in 11 months? Let’s see, that works out to be roughly 7 weeks per novel, maybe just a hair under. I bet you can do it! Wow, how many pages is that?

    I’m sorry that’s the only memory you have of your parents together. That made me try to recall my own parents together and I think I have pretty much similar memories. At least they divorced while I was still so little, so I didn’t have more memories like that. They were so wrong for each other!

  5. Attempt to publish some of my flash fiction and attempt to…ha,ha,ha, write a novel even though I’ve tried and failed a zillion times but this time I really have to do it once and for all on a topic I’ve been obsessed with for years.

    1. I thought you decided not to write a novel? Is this just one novel that you feel you have to get out? Good luck. I hope you can find the space you need to write what you need to write.

  6. One “plan” (though a real plan oughta have a schedule, right? Ha!): finish The Book, at least this draft of it. Except for writer friends, I don’t talk about this plan to anyone else. Not so much not to be laughed at; more like not to be looked askance at when the work goes on and on and on, and/or not to be pestered for status reports.

    I think the biggest challenge will simply be to not get discouraged. At least, not for long. 🙂

  7. Every January, I publish a list of my writing goals.
    Every December, I squirm as I review all the things I didn’t accomplish. But I keep making goals, and I try to achieve them as much as I can while I continue living life in the real world. When I’m lucky – and sometimes I’m very lucky – the real world and the writing world align and it is magical. That is why I keep making lists of my goals.

    1. Whatever makes the magic. If it is lists, then do that. For me I think it is running in circles–and every now and then I’m in sync with a few other circles around.

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