Please join me in welcoming my guest, Christy Effinger, to Muse Monday.
Remember that old poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost? The poet describes how “two roads diverged in a yellow wood” and in the end, he chooses “the one less traveled by.” Four months ago I found myself in a similar situation with my WIP. I had reached a fork in the road where my story could move one of two ways. For several days I stood at the fork wishing for a sign, a map, or a Cheshire Cat to point me in the right direction. When none of these appeared, I stepped forward and hoped for the best.
One little problem: I chose the wrong road. I realized this after an intense, two-week writing spree during which I had too much coffee, too little sleep, and limited social interaction. My first response was to lament my misdirected energy and effort. Then I remembered that no amount of time spent writing is ever wasted. I had made a mistake, but it was fixable. Yes, that meant backtracking. And yes, that meant trashing pages (and pages and pages) of work.
Now that I’m on the right path, those two weeks don’t seem like a big deal. But what if I had spent two months traveling in the wrong direction? C.S. Lewis said, “If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.” Making a U-turn is frustrating, but it may be necessary for a project’s success.
What about you? Have you ever had to move backward before you could move forward again?
When her aunt steps off a grain elevator into the emptiness of a prairie evening, Mira Piper loses her one protector. Chloe, her flighty mother, impulsively drags her daughter to Bramblewood, an isolated spiritualist retreat in northern Michigan, run by the enigmatic Dr. Virgil Simon.
Chloe plans to train as a medium but it's Mira who discovers she can communicate with the dead. When her mother abandons her, Mira discovers a darker aspect to Bramblewood: the seemingly kind doctor has a sinister side and a strange control over his students.
Then one winter's day Troy Farrington arrives, to fulfill his mother's dying wish and deliver her letter to the doctor. But calamity strikes and he finds himself a captive, tended by a sympathetic Mira. Haunted by her dead aunt and desperate to escape Bramblewood, Mira makes a devil's deal with Dr. Simon. But fulfillment comes with a steep cost...betrayal.
The Wild Rose Press: