My trip to the north of Idaho is an attempt to get into a new environment and hopefully get over writer’s block. I need to find an ending to the Blue Fate series, a set of novels I have been working on. My main character is stuck in an irresolvable moral dilemma and I’m not quite sure where to take the story. I’ve got some ideas but they create more questions than answers.
It was a long set of flights from Barcelona, Spain to Spokane, Washington, and then a three hour car drive up here near the Canadian border. I got in late to the log cabin where I’m staying and then had a fitful night because of the time change. I suspected that I would be experiencing some serious jetlag over the coming days.
In the morning I drove into Bonner’s Ferry, to buy some groceries and look around. There was no food in the log cabin. I was hungry, so went into a coffee shop on the main street of the town. The restaurant, more like a diner, was full of people. There was an empty stool along the counter so I sat down. Next to me was an older guy wearing dusty boots, jeans, and a plaid flannel shirt.
“You new around here?” He asked.
“First time,” I replied, keeping it short and vague.
“I’d recommend the breakfast special,” he said.
I scanned the menu and saw the special; two eggs, bacon, hash browns, three pancakes, orange juice and coffee.
“Looks good to me.” I needed an American experience.
The server came, automatically poured a cup of coffee without asking, and then took my order. As she walked away I talked with the man. He was born in Bonners Ferry and had lived seventy-five years, his entire life in Boundary County. I asked him what the people were like and he told me it was an odd mix. There were ranchers and farmers whose families had been in the area for generations, a couple of different groups of Mennonites, Amish, hippies, back to nature New Age-ers, traditional Mormons with their multiple wives, and many Libertarians. It sounded to me like an interesting place to live.
The old man took his check, said goodbye and walked to the front where he paid the cashier. No one filled the stool next to me and it gave me time to think. I decided that I needed to get out to meet some of these people. I didn’t know what they had to do with the Blue Fate series, but maybe I might get some ideas from them. You never know.
The breakfast came. It was enough to last me for the day.
Lately I’ve been suffering from 'writer’s block', a condition which probably hits all writers at some point in time. Technically writer’s block is defined as, “A usually temporary psychological inability to begin or continue work on a piece of writing.” Indeed, we hope the key word here is ‘temporary‘. In my case it has to do with the Blue Fate series.
Some years ago I began to question the concept of fate. It came from several events that happened in my life including the successful sale of my company followed by the loss of someone I loved. I was on a high and just when I thought my life was on track I went to a low... a very low.
Fate has to do with the development of events outside a person’s control, and that’s what I felt was happening to me. I thought about a lot of things, such as how much control we really have on our destiny, and whether fate can be linked to the will of a supernatural power.
As I began to ask questions, I came up with the Blue Fate series. Initially I thought the series would be five books where the stories were linked together. The writing of books one to four came relatively easy, but then I ran into a brick wall. By the end of Squeeze (Blue Fate 4) the main character finds himself in a very difficult social and moral dilemma, one that is not of his own choosing. I’ve drafted Blue Fate 5 but am now at an impasse in how to conclude the series in Blue Fate 5. Basically I’m stuck.
To break my bout of writer’s block I decided to get out of my Costa Brava routine and head off to a new environment, so I just arrived in Northern Idaho in the USA.
A old business partner of mine owns a ranch in Boundary Country in Northern Idaho. When we sold our company I ended as a writer on the Costa Brava in Spain and he bought a large ranch on the Kootenai River not far from the Canadian border. He told me I could stay on the ranch as long as I want, but he isn’t around. He is currently off on his sail boat in the Caribbean.
I just arrived in Northern Idaho and am jet lagged. The trip was around twenty eight hours from door to door. I hired a rental car, a 4 x 4 SUV that I picked up at the Spokane airport. I’m staying at a newly built and quite modern log cabin on a far edge of the ranch. Jacob, the guy who manages the ranch led me over some bumpy dirt roads to get to the cabin and he opened it and showed me around. It has a large large living room with a kitchen to one side, a spacious bedroom with a king sized bed and very modern bathroom. It was late in the evening when we got here, so I couldn’t really see the scenery.
I’m quite tired and will head off to bed to try and get some sleep. Let’s see what this does for writer’s block. The Blue Fate series deserves an ending.