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2024 Focus: Mind, Heart, and Gut. Notes from a Friday morning on the terrace in Almeria, Spain.

2024 Focus: Mind, Heart, and Gut. Notes from a Friday morning on the terrace in Almeria, Spain.

“Wow, what a year.” is going to be how I look back on 2024.

Here are my notes from Almeria. Good timing, my friends just got back with breakfast.

Inspired by JLS at Dublin this past weekend (I’m in Almeria as I write this), I’m inspired to write fiction again.

Henri (heart) wants to spill my, well, heart out and write romance. Geau (gut) just wants to get writing again and publish it ASAP. Martijn (mind) is going to hold the keys to the publishing house and not let it get published until it’s at least 100% done.

Speaking of done, I have no idea how to “actually” write fiction. I just like to tell stories. I wonder if there’s an easy/easier way to tell the short stories (like JLS does) and if I can more quickly learn a methodology.

I’m not sure my stories have changed so much (Charlie Holiday, romance, bit of supernatural, in Europe, relationships, etc.) but maybe I can, you know, follow some guidelines on how to actually write fiction that people will want to keep reading and buy. You know, that stuff.

I don’t have much time here as the boys (R, M., and A.) will be back soon and my spell of fiction writing will be broken.

If I were to take some notes on topics or themes, here’s a bullet list.

  • Love: because, let’s be honest, is there anything else? Not only the love between people but the love of life, travel, and existence. OK, that’s a little vague: it’s really Henri (heart) here who wants others to feel the passion he has—and he knows they do, too.
  • Travel: Europe, ex-pat life, stories for those who will never live abroad (or travel much) but enjoy the vicarious experiences of others. Descriptions of places as well as insider cultural secrets and stories.
  • Frequency: (or Energy or Spirit?) Sneaking in a little woo-woo where I can share without being prescriptive or “teaching.” From my non-fiction, how can we live our lives at a higher frequency (or energy or spirit).
  • Woo: (or supernatural or fantasy or … I don’t know what to name it) Not dragons and flying unicorns but just a sprinkling of “magic” in the way that I (honest and truly) believe it exists. Enough to pique the interest of the reader to the point where they ask, “Wait a minute, is this fantasy or reality?” (for this character/story)
  • Short: mostly because I just don’t feel like I know how to write a long novel but also because I’d love for a reader to be able to finish a story in a sitting or two (or at least a weekend (away)), I’d like to find a sweet spot of words that gets the story to a conclusion while not dragging on and bringing in the history of the neighbor’s ex-wife from Romania who … yeah.

Oops, they just got back. Gotta go.

P.S. I haven’t written or at least really felt much like writing since my mom passed away in June of 2020. That’s almost 4 years. It’s time to write again.

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