No matter what our plans or best intentions, life somehow always has a knack for getting in the way.

It was a tough summer. A lot of stuff went wrong. A lot of sh-stuff got in the way. Life’s been handing me a lot of lemons lately, and I’m rather sick of drinking lemonade.

Nevertheless, I managed to make some good progress on the story and work my way through a number of difficult chapters that I’d been avoiding.

I’d be lying if I said that all of the life challenges this summer hadn’t influenced the story. Amazing how that happens. I always figured I’d dream up a story and write about it. I never realized how much the course of life, or love, or hopes and dreams would play into the crafting of said story.

Just as this blog is chronicling my process of writing this novel, so has the novel become a private chronicle of what transpired throughout the course of writing it.

No, it’s not becoming autobiographical. But there are enough reflections of the happenings of my life throughout the telling (at least in this draft) that I think it will almost serve as a sort of chronology for the time I spent writing it. Just to me, of course. I’ll be the only one who knows which bits were pulled from reality and which ones sprang from my mind.

I think I like knowing that.

My workflow has been sporadic. Some of my writing days were spent actually writing. Some were organizational, retracing the scenes of my outline and restructuring where necessary. Some days were just spent editing, when the words weren’t flowing but the story was still captivating. I’ve been told I shouldn’t do that. But hey, it’s better than ignoring the story completely and feeling like a failure at the end of a “writing” day where I didn’t write anything really.

This, however, I found most interesting. In the thick of the lifeload of crap that was being thrown my way this summer, where things had completely hurtled out of my control and I was cast adrift in a perfect storm of happenstance, misfortune, and bad timing, I found respite in an unlikely place.

At times, it seemed the only sense of control I could conjure up came from when I was writing.

It never really occurred to me how empowering the crafting of a story is. After all, it’s mine. Really, truly, wholly mine. I drive the story, I drive the dialog, I drive the action. MINE!

The next time things go south in my life, I’ve got to remember that. When I’m feeling out of control, I should spend more time at my keyboard: more time in control. Win-win.

When life hands you lemons, write.