The long and winding road….

It was one of those days when my surroundings became my setting.

The sun was strong but the humidity was low (just my kind of day) and the wind carried the lake on it. The linden trees were in full bloom, and chamomile was everywhere!


Suddenly, I was my MC. I was sitting in her backyard, not mine. (I immediately ran to get my laptop).

A linden harvest was created, and in order to do this I needed to do research. I was amazed at the recounts I came across, of gypsies, massive treks, staving off pistol-firing farmers, and docile drunk bees…all to collect the linden bloom for tea. I heard of soldiers chewing on the bark of the tree to keep starvation at bay, and finally making flour from it – I had no idea (I also learnt that linden tea is an old school therapy for getting restless children to sleep – woohoo! Can’t wait to try this one:).

A whole new novel could have been born from these tales, but the role of the linden was just a small one in my story. I find it fascinating how our stories can get carried away, leading everywhere and anywhere if we did not guide it.

The question I leave you with this weekend is, when you write, do you know where you are going and how you will get there?

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day
Why leave me standing here
Let me know the way

Beatles, of course


22 thoughts on “The long and winding road….

  1. I sometimes know where I’m going, most often not. (In my fiction.)

    Reading about your experiences and thoughts around the possibility of birth for a whole new novel makes me think that all stories are ultimately connected.

    1. I think they are Cathryn, and probably why I do not have one particular writing niche. Even from fiction to non-fiction, I think the boundaires are easily traversed.

  2. Alot of times I know where I am going with my writing, but with novels especially, I don’t often know how I am going to get there. Part of the fun for me is to really get to know my characters and figure out how each one thinks on their own, and then I put them into a world with a conclusion in mind and see just how exactly they get there. Sometimes. Occasionaly, I actually know what I’m doing. ;-P

    1. Once in a while I know what I am doing as well, Andrew, but not too often. The fun is the journey. I just need to remind myself that all the other stories I see can be told another time (when what I am currently working in is done). Except shorts, I allow myself those – I see them as challenges and teaching tools.

  3. I know where I’m headed, but even when I think I know how I’m going to get there, my characters often have other ideas. It only makes sense to listen to them.

    1. Linda, do ever have to enforce control and push things another way?

      I have just done that recently (i think i mentioned that in a comment on one of your posts). It is a first for me, I usually let them take me where they need to go. Yet, in this case, I really felt it was wrong wrong wrong. Once I changed course it was smooth sailing – I wonder if I altered the natural course of progression, but I need to trust my instinct.

      1. Ha ha, no I haven’t pushed, I guess I’m too intimidated by my characters. If the story’s moving smoothly, then I’d say you were right to take the upper hand.

    1. You see, for some reason, I have always thought that I am doing things backwards. Of the few writers I know, most use outlines. Something I have not yet been able to do..

      1. I’m no good with outlines either Jennifer! The one time I tried it I found myself throwing it out the window entirely. I guess I outline some events and plot out in my head before I sit down to write, but they are just some really loose structure so I don’t get too lost or overwhelmed in a project. I can’t recall really ever having success with a written outline. Even back in school, the outline assignments were always my most despised. It’s interesting how peoples methods can be so varied.

  4. That’s a beautiful post, Jennifer — all of it.

    I know where my characters are going and the tears they’re going to spill along the way. I’ll just be glad when we all reach our destination. 😉

  5. I tend to have an idea where I’m going—or at least starting. But then the characters take over and write their own story through me.
    My only real use is that I’m not imaginary and I know how to type. If my characters could do the same, I’d be quite bored….

  6. This is the Beatles song guaranteed to bring tears to my eyes. I saw McCartney play in 1990 and he did this one near the end. I was in bits. It describes the passage through life so well, and evokes the way memories, good and bad, can ambush us at the most unexpected moments.

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