Journey to Metzlingen: Reflections

It’s been three months since The King’s Sword came out. I’ve been quiet here on the blog. I’ve been busy and honestly, I’ve been at a loss for words most days.

The launch of my novel was a mix of beautiful support, mad chaos, and an absolute flood of emotions. I can’t even begin to thank everyone for their support then and their support now. The emails, the texts, the cards and calls – you have no idea how appreciative I am! To those readers who have journeyed into Metzlingen with me, shared the book with friends, posted on SM, and have left reviews for the book online….Seriously, simply amazing. My heart is full. Thank you – truly!!

I wanted to give you a bit of an update from the past few months and let you know what I’m working on. 🙂

The book launch was followed by an extremely busy time for our family, so I took a bit of a break from writing. Well, my regular writing routine anyway – I’m always taking notes. I’ve learned years ago since I always have my phone on me that it’s easy to shoot myself a quick email so that I don’t lose an idea for a scene or a snippet of dialogue that flashes through my mind. 😉

The kids went back in school. Things seem to be going well there. ❤ Their dad/hubs came home shortly thereafter safely from his latest deployment ❤ ❤ He was able to take a little time off to rest afterwards, so we spent that quality time reconnecting and catching up on all the things he had missed while he was gone. Once he was back at work, and I could sort through a lot of personal and family things that needed immediate attention, I turned back to my writing routine.

I’ve turned one of the extra bedrooms that moonlighted as a playroom into a writing room. I’ve always had a random space to write – generally next to a window, I would find a happy little spot that became habitual, where I can just sit and write. (Or at least stare at the computer as one does sometimes lol). This has been my first go with a dedicated space. I cleaned out the space and relocated what was in there. I’ve hung up white boards and assembled my research books and notes. I’ve hung up the original sketches that I made for the book. I’ve hung up the notes of encouragements that I received. I set out the cushions for the cats (who always seem to find their way beside me to nap while I type away) ❤ Once I had the space, I had to reevaluate my routine. Routine and structure are important to my family. They’re very important to me as well, otherwise I will start to spin. I’ve gotten into a new groove now. Once I have everyone off to school, get the laundry going, grab another cup of coffee and call Grandma (if the Squirrels haven’t already woken her up on the way to school drop off), then I check in with my writing group and start my writing time.

My goal is to work every weekday morning from about nine to noon, which saves the afternoon for cleaning, cooking, exercise, purging for our ’22 PCS (Permanent Change of Station aka military move), and prepping/taking care of whatever else the kids and hubs need. I’ve been doing a lot of outlining, plotting, and notetaking the past few weeks. I’ve got a pretty clear vision for the sequel, though there have been continual surprises as I’ve dug further into the relationships between the characters. Matthias and Avelina are being tested and pushed and pulled in several directions…which I am loving the development of. Several of the secondary characters have stepped forward lately, giving me some great insight into their own trials and their personal goals as well. Don’t want to give anything away, but Beatrix and Rose have had the most to say lately ❤

I’ve also been working on a novella, which led to two other novellas. The more that pops into my mind, the more that I am thankful for my separate writing space, because I need to start doing some serious charting. Up until now, I’ve always taken pages and pages of notes, but as Metzlingen keeps getting larger and more involved, I really need to “see” it in front of me.

A quick reference guide, if you will. Which honestly in itself is pretty interesting, as I realize in moving forward that I have circled back to the beginning of my journey. As part of the PCS prep last week, I attacked a box I pulled from the back of a closet in one of the bedrooms. It was one of those ones filled with random papers that never really got opened since we moved here two years ago, but needs to be gone through now and either trashed or filed. Right in the middle of a bunch of property listings from when I was house-hunting for our family in that basement apartment in Stuttgart in 2016, I found a little treasure – a page of handwritten notes from the first days of writing, with a list of potential character names and a rough sketch of Metzlingen. ❤

It was so exciting to think of those first days versus where we are now. I could see that scene so clearly that day – Matthias at the water’s edge on the down-sloped hill below the ruins. The autumn air is cool and crisp against his cheeks, as he’s staring out across the river. Waiting. Watching the water whip around the exposed stones, as the two of us contemplated just who he was, what was important to him, and where these first steps in his journey would lead.

Today, five years later, Matthias stands there again. I know him. His scars. His true loves and his greatest fears. What he’s gained and what he stands to lose – the stakes raised even higher than they were before. It’s true; he’s still nervous and afraid of failure, but he’s also ready and hopeful, as he’s turned to walk up that hill towards his family.

I’m so excited to see where these writing sessions lead. I love this part of the process. Building it, one page, one stone upon another, while connecting the lines, stories, and people. I’ll keep you posted on progress. Thanks for checking in and THANK YOU again for all of your support. ❤

P.S. The painting is by my son Benjamin of the mountains he remembers from Germany ❤

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