Sunday, August 18, 2013

Melancholy Day

"There is melancholy in the wind and sorrow in the grass" (Charles Kuralt). 

Do you ever have days like that? Maybe everyone does at times, usually because of living in a time other than the present. Not always of course, but regretting the past or worrying about the future causes unnecessary pain. 

For me, this evening, the problem seems to be a mixture of past, future, and present. I admit it, I'm a bit homesick. But there you go—that problem comes from not living fully in the here and now, and the anecdote is simple: be grateful for the present and make the most of it. Understanding that a large part of this afternoon's sorrow relates to some phone conversations in which the news wasn't grand, I also realize that I'm feeling "grandchild time" withdrawal pain. I agree with the man who said: I have often thought what a melancholy world this would be without children, and what an inhuman world without the aged.  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Having thus identified the source, I feel better already, so I'll heed Paul McCartney's words: But with writers, there's nothing wrong with melancholy. It's an important color in writing, and I'll write some more of my book.

In the first chapter, Miranda has feelings she cannot describe—melancholy feelings that she can't pin down. Here it is in the first two paragraphs of my first draft of book 7 of the Miranda and Starlight series.

Miranda Stevens, age 14 going on 30, as her daddy liked to say, had everything her heart could possibly desire. So why wasn’t she the happiest girl on earth?
“I should be so excited about this weekend I’d be bouncing out of my boots,” she said to the freckle-faced, green-eyed girl in the mirror. “So what is this feeling of —I don’t know, dread? Fear? Like the world’s coming to an end and I’m the only one who knows it? Only I don’t know. It’s just this feeling like something’s wrong.” 

And then later on, even though she thought she'd found the cause of her gloom (news of her best friend's misfortune) the feeling returns. Here is the last paragraph of chapter one.

It wasn’t long before they were on the road, Chris driving the crew-cab truck, Higgins riding shotgun, and Miranda hunched forward in the back seat. She frowned as she stared at the road ahead. The feeling she’d had the morning before was back, full force—an overwhelming sense of doom. Now where the heck was that coming from? 

I'm going, now, to write more of Miranda's adventure, figure out what's wrong—and how bad things will get before they get better.


Tina said...

We (my 7 1/2 year old daughter and I) are currently on book 5 of the series and we love every book. So excited that you are working on another one!

Janet Muirhead Hill said...

Thank you, Tina. I'm so glad you and your daughter are enjoying Miranda and Starlight's story.