It’s Tuesday and I’ve come to the page with no real topic in mind. It’s been a little hard to conjure up magic these days. Maybe it’s because, as I sit here, my dogs quiet, my husband working across the room, I can’t use the props I normally use when writing. Maybe it’s because my fantasy world is so hard to find lately. As I struggle with the last hundred pages of Tipping the Scales, I’ve gone back to review the basics.

The last section of the questionnaire I use to develop my characters requires me to list his or her favorites. Things like song, book, movie, drink, color, TV show, sports, possession and motto. Over the last couple of days I’ve been focusing on the kind of songs that apply to Minnie and Simon. Minnie’s from Virginia so I’ve gone with country and some folk rock, like Mumford and Sons. Simon, like many chefs, tends to listen to heavy metal while cooking.

Music has always been a big part of my flow. After I choose a genre that speaks to a character, I play it to get into their head space. I’m not doing that so much these days. The Dixie Chicks aren’t my husbands cup of tea, nor is Metallica, one of the bands that Simon listens to while he’s in the kitchen. I grab minutes here and there, while he’s in the shower or gone off to the post office to check his post office box. I’m still finding my way through the new normal.

Just given a half an hour to immerse myself in music, I asked Alexa to play some Chicks and after shuffling, she began to play one I’ve always loved. In fact, it’s the one I chose for Minerva’s cell phone ring. With them such a prominent part of people’s lives, the ring is another way of revealing a character’s personality. Goodbye Earl lends itself to Minnie’s profession and friendships. It was the song that came on. Good sign. As I move forward with the edit, I’m hoping it keeps me connected to who she is and what she wants.





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