Last month, my husband and one of his co-workers went to Washington, DC. They work at a facility for boys in state custody and took four of the boys along to a leadership conference.
As they were driving through Virginia when his phone told him there was an accident ahead. They took the next exit and took a forty-five minute detour through the Shenandoah Valley. They saw scenery they never could have experienced if they’d stayed on their route – including churches that are nearly 300 years old. If they’d stayed where they were, they would have been stuck behind another car for who knows how long, inching their way along – when they weren’t at a complete standstill.
Life can be like that – we’ve all experienced it. Maybe an unexpected pregnancy or a job transfer – or being laid off. We’ve all had life detours. Sometimes, they end up going well, and we find things we never would have otherwise. Other times, it turns out we took a wrong turn :p. And sometimes, we can’t take the detour even if we want to.
Writing life, especially as an indie, can be the same way.
Maybe your readers don’t follow you to that new genre /eyes Medieval Knights in Space story begging to be written/ or something about that book you loved just falls flat with readers.
Or maybe writing the stupid thing makes you want to scream and beat your head against a wall.
(Secret: all writers think their book is stupid sometimes – maybe (hopefully) not every book, but there’s always a point where we believe this stupid thing is nothing but drivel. Usually, we’re wrong, but we still do it.)
Sometimes, we push through (I did that with my upcoming Christmas novella – mostly because it was short… and because I had people depending on me – it’ll be out in a boxed set soon!) – but others, it’s time to shelve the book and move on. Maybe permanently, maybe not.
I spent part of this summer working on Grace to Stand, the sequel to last year’s Grace to Save. But it just. wasn’t. working. No matter what I tried… None of my usual tricks to get my head in the game worked.
Finally, I talked to my husband and took his advice to “call an audible.”
One thing I never want to do is put out an inferior product. Sometimes, forcing a story will lead to a breakthrough and it’s all good. Sometimes… notsomuch. We’ve all read books where it seemed like the author was “phoning it in” – and I really don’t want to do that. As an indie, I have the freedom to make that call – so I did.
I’ve gone back to the main series I’m working on at the moment. I’m itching to get to book 4, but I have to get books 2 & 3 done first. ;) I started book 2, I’m loving it, and I can’t wait to finish edits on my Christmas novella so I can write it full time! The kids are back in school, weekdays are settling back in to “normal” (though weekends find me doing the band mom thing most of the time).
So sometimes, detours are a good thing. What about you? Have you taken a detour recently – literally or metaphorically?
(Here’s a sneak peek at the beginning of the untitled second book in Crowns & Courtships – it’s barely written, much less edited, and could change significantly – or get tossed all together by the time the book comes out… but don’t you just love Gracie?! ;))
“My call you Kenny.”
Prince Kensington of San Majoria grinned. No one had ever called him Kenny. His very royal mother wouldn’t stand for it.
“What’s your name?” he asked the little girl.
“Gracie? That’s a lovely name.”
The little girl’s blond curls bounced as she nodded.
“Well, Gracie. Do you know where your mummy is?” He’d found the little girl wandering alone in the mall.
She shook her head. “Mummy gone.”
“Gone?” Great. He didn’t really want to contact the authorities. No one knew he was here and Kensington wanted to keep it that way.
“What about your papa?”
“Did your mummy and papa leave you at the mall?” he asked, confused.
She shook her head.
They both turned to see a brunette running toward them.
“Annie!” Gracie wrenched away from Kensington. She ran to the brunette who swept her up into her arms.
“Where’d you go?” Tears streamed down Annie’s face. “You aren’t ever supposed to leave my side.”
“My sorry, Annie.” Gracie’s voice was muffled into Annie’s shoulder.
Kensington nodded at the woman then turned. Gracie was clearly back where she belonged.
While you’re waiting, catch up with Crown Princess Astrid and Jordan Haines in Heart of a Prince – Crowns & Courtships, Book 1: Royals of San Majoria!
Oh oh! I really want to read the story! Thanks for the snippet…hope it stays in the book!
I want to read it too!!!!! ;) Hoping for an October release!
Hi Carol- not fair, teasing us all like that! Will send speedy writing wishes your way:) No detours recently, for which I’m glad. Life is busy with family, work and the like…hard to believe Spring holidays in 5 weeks time- term 3 always goes fast!
Took me a minute to realize you must be Down Under somewhere!!! We started school last week here!
Thank you!! I appreciate it!!
Hi Carol! During our summer construction season, there are many detours. Hubby and I like taking back road trips and enjoy seeing the countryside. We see the wonderful agricultural regions of the Midwest, wind farms, solar fields, small towns, the beauty of Lake Michigan and God’s mighty power of glacial wonders (rolling hills, inland lakes, and more). In life only detour was as a retiree finding a new doctor.
Jordan Haines exemplified the Heart of Prince by his concern for Princess Astrid’s physical and emotional well being. The reason why this inspiring romance touched my heart. Not often the case in male character or in life. Looking forward to the rest of the Crowns and Courtship series and your Christmas novella. Best wishes even in the detours of your life and those of your readers.
I totally get construction detours!!! One of the major highways around here is being completely rebuilt and it’s a pain! Not even scenic detours to help!!
Jill Weatherholt says
Being a lover of the Shenandoah Valley, it’s a great place to take a detour. I enjoyed your excerpt, Carol. Thanks for sharing.
They did enjoy it!! I probably would have too ;).
If life didn’t have detours we’d all get very bored. That’s one thing that always draws me to God; either in praise or in shock. ?
Sometimes I’ll take boring ;). But yes it is!!
Currently there is a bobcat moving dirt on the side of our house. I don’t think/ hope/ that there is anything there he can hurt. The good news is maybe they will build a house on the foundation that is there. I guess i won’t take my granddaughter out to play for a while.
I loved Heart of a Prince!
Fingers crossed for a new house over there! I’m sure you can come up with something fun inside, but this time of year, you want to take advantage of nice days whenever you can!
Great snippet! So makes me want to read this one. Thanks for the lesson on going with the flow! Sometimes you need a detour!
Sometimes you have no choice ;). But you have to try to find the beauty in it anyway. :D
I really enjoy road detours that take us through pretty sceneries. I hardly see that anymore now that I’m living in a big city again. (I still take detours all the time, but mostly to avoid–the best that I can–traffic jam.) Life detours are another entirely different thing–in my mind, we can only appreciate the beauty of the detour a few years after we past it.
Agree!! Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate it until later! Big city detours aren’t as much fun – unless maybe you stumble across a good restaurant or boutique ;).
Valerie Comer says
Does every writer hate every book at some point? I’ll raise my hand. Usually I’m about 1/3 of the way in when it hits.
I text my editor: This is the worst thing I’ve ever written.
She texts me back: You say that every time. It can’t always be true.
Me: It could be true this time.
And, so far, I’ve always loved how they turn out. Of course, some are favoriter than others!
Yep. Pretty much. And something HAS to be the worst thing you’ve ever written, but that doesn’t mean it’s BAD just not YOUR best. I go through that ALL the time. ;)
Tammy Francis says
I don’t mind that you’ve decided to work on this book instead. ?I’m looking forward to reading the finished product, and I’m sure the other one will come together when it is time.
I’m not too sorry either, though I do want to tell the other story eventually. GRACE TO SAVE is so near my heart, that a sequel is intimidating, you know? It’ll happen when it’s supposed to though ;).
Margaret Nelson says
My hubby and I are “experts” at detouring around traffic jams/problems! I drive and he navigates with an old fashioned map.
Another kind of detour is that one of my nieces was planning to visit this week, but called it off. So, we’re trying to figure out how to go visit her later this month :-)
Happy writing! Oh, by the way, I’m curious why all the little kids in your books say things like “My G’acie” “My sorry” etc. I’ve never known a little kid who talked like that…
We do the same – except hubby drives and I use a smartphone to tell him where to go ;).
Really? All of my kids talked like that… wonder if it’s a regional thing?
Yay, hints of a new story!
I love new stories!!! :D
Marylin Furumasu says
I just wrote a FANTASTIC reply to your post, and for some reason it didn’t post! UGH! Now I have to remember what I said! OLD MINDS SOMETIMES DON’T WORK TOO WELL! Oh well, I’ll give it a try.
Okay, First I said, NOW you have really hooked me! I can’t wait for the next book to come out! Gracie sounds so cute.
Also, I wrote, even tho I’m not a writer and I’ve never had your problem with a book, I have had times in my life where I thought I should go one way and God said, “No Marylin, I need you to go this way.” He’s like that sometimes. hehe! I have some life verses and Proverbs 3:5&6 always seem to be popping up. All I need to do is trust Him and rest assure His plan is best. Not easy for someone who likes to take control. UGH! Yet like your husband and boys, if we fight it sometime we might miss blessings He has along the way.
Take care dear and keep trusting!
Yep! Sometimes God’s like “nope don’t go that way” and we have to listen – even if it’s something we’d had planned forever. If we don’t, we usually end up regretting it…
Julianne Archer says
Hi Carol! Thanks for the teaser :) I look forward to reading the whole story in the fall!
I hope it lives up to it! I’m looking forward to writing it!!
Life detours can sometimes be challenging, built I guess that when the detour is in God’s will it will be for the best, even when we don’t understand it when going through it..
Carol Moncado says
Amen! Sometimes they’re the best – even if we don’t realize it until later :).
janet estridge says
Life can be one big detour after another. You just have to roll with the punches and leave the rest to Go.
janet estridge says
That should be leave the rest to God.
Carol Moncado says
Yep! That’s exactly how it works!!! God’s got it!
Jackie Smith says
Thanks for the “peek”, Carol…….can’t wait to read it!
I feel like my life was on a detour and now maybe it will go somewhere….i hope. I’ve had a lot of changes recently so change is a good thing, right? lol On to better things and new horizons.
And thank you for sharing some of your story! :D
Shelia Hall says
Sounds very interesting!
“Royal” books are some of my favorites! Thanks for the sneak peek!
Alexa Verde says
Thank youfor the sneak peek! And yes, I’ve taken many detours in my life, metaphorically speaking!
Even when life takes a detour, God has us securely in His hands :-) I love that assurance don’t you? And sometimes, like your husband, we would have never seen new things if we didn’t take that detour. Love the analogy. I need to remember this, thanks for sharing and for the book excerpt Carol!
Andrea Byers says
I certainly have had life detours, but in hindsight they’ve brought me to a place I need to be. Many times I wish I hadn’t gone through what I had, but then I wouldn’t be able to share from experience, or understand someone as easily.
Medieval Knights in space book would be interesting
Nikki Dawson says
This sounds like a awesome book ?