Michaeline: The Beginning is the Ending of Something

A small lizard curled into a circle against a clear sky, held by a human.

Ouroborus cataphractus, by Handré Basson, via Wikimedia Commons.

We talk about starting a story with an inciting incident, and it should be an exciting time. Something changes; something is new. As someone says (many attribute it to John Gardner), there are basically two story beginnings in the world: someone takes a trip, or someone new comes to town.

It’s an opening up of possibilities. It’s also a slamming of doors. Options are cut out of the picture by whatever happens in the beginning. One of my favorite examples of this Continue reading

Michaeline: April is the cruellest month

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

“The Wasteland” by T.S. Eliot

April can be a cruel month. The days, finally long enough again, make me feel

Girl holding lilacs outdoors.

April is the cruellest month, but after that come the lilacs! Via Wikimedia Commons

invincible, like I can do anything. Until I do too much, and sit still the next day, mindlessly letting YouTube grow roots into my brain.

The first quarter is over, and I wonder what in the hell have I done. It’s an illusion, of course. I’ve worked on my book nearly every day, pages of research to show for it. Yet when I go to write something in the manuscript, I realize I haven’t actually written anything since January. I’m dismayed, but the words shoot from my subconscious like crocus spouts. Continue reading