Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mental Plotting

Soon I will start my next novel. But not yet. First I had to recover from a bad cold that hit me out of nowhere. (The cough is nearly gone now.) And this weekend I'm moving back into my basement office, which my third son recently vacated. He still lives at home, but he moved to a different part of the house. I have missed my office!

So when I'm sette led I plan to sit down and write a new novel that has nothing to do with Joshua Adams and his family. My new protagonist is Nina Weston. She's tough and determined and I'm looking forward to working with her.

But not yet. I never start a new novel after Tuesday because the weekend comes too soon and I get very little writing done when my kids and husband are home on the weekend. So far now I'm busy plotting away.

Nina already has a story. In fact, I already wrote it once, two years ago, as my NaNo contribution. But she's grown quite a bit in the last two years and many parts of the old story simply don't fit any more. I can see her now. At night while drifting off to sleep I write whole paragraphs in my head. I'm almost ready.

On Monday I'm going to the eye doctor for the first time in about seven years. It probably is time for a new pair of glasses. But on Tuesday I will sit at my laptop and begin to paint Nina's life on the pages.

I can't wait!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Another Book Finished. . .well, almost

It's been a long time. I keep trying to become more regular around here. One day I'll make it.

About three weeks ago I completed writing and revising my latest book, Silence. It still needs to be read by the editor and I know there will be changes. In fact, sometimes during the day I think of something I should have included. But my publisher warned me not to touch the manuscript until the editor has had a go at it. So I'm behaving myself.

I do have another project in the works. Last night, as I drifted off, I wrote the first couple of pages in my head. But I woke up with a bad head cold and I'm in no shape to tackle a new novel right now. Give me a few more days. After my sinuses open up and my cough abates, there will still be time.

Writing is harder these days because I'm obsessed with the 2008 presidential race. I'm deeply disappointed in the recent VP pick--she's speaking now as I type. Not impressed. I plan to vote for the other guy. The one with the funny name. The one who will work to reform the policies of the last eight years and rebuild our economy, among other things.

So that's where I am these days. I hope it won't be too much longer before I get back here with an update.

Friday, August 01, 2008


I'm back, and this time I hope to be more consistent. Tomorrow is my birthday so I thought it would be a good time to resume.

The last time I wrote, I think I was working on Silence. I still am. I finished the first draft and have gone through some revisions so I was ready to call it finished, or at least ready for the editor. But during a recent rereading I hit a snag.

Something happened in real life that related strongly to my story. The solution in the story was neat and tidy but the real life results were painful. I looked at the ending of Silence and realized I wasn't finished at all.

First I changed the ending. But I reached a dead end. That's when I knew I would have to go back to the beginning to make my new ending work. So that's where I am. I have a good 200 pages or more before I approach the ending, and I'm busy building up to that point.

I hope that, when I get there, the ending will work. This is the problem, of course, with writing by the seat of one's pants.

But I still think it's more fun that way.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Time to Read

I meant to post earlier this week, but it's been busy. This was the week of the Kentucky presidential primary and I spent the first two days canvassing for the candidate of my choice.

I've spent the last two days reading about politics. Today the blogs and websites were full of controversy. I actually became tense at times. Then I went to my candidate's blog to read more hopeful posts. That helped.

There is a time for everything, they say. For the last few weeks it has been my time to write. Now it's time for me to read. Articles, essays, blog comments, and the occasional novel. As long as words are involved, it's bound to be stimulating.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fighting the Addiction

Today was my third full day without writing. Oh, I penned some emails and, of course, I'm posting here. But that's been it. No characters. No plots. No thinking about clever ways to turn a phrase.

I miss it.

After putting my family (and my body) through marathon writing sessions during the last month (on one day I wrote 30 pages) I certainly need the break. But I don't think I can go cold turkey.

I've had a plot in mind for some time now. I even wrote a couple of pages. Tonight I opened the file. Now I've begun thinking about where I can go with this.

I won't do any marathon sessions--at least not until I'm further along in the book. But I can't just stop writing. It's not natural.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Out of Focus

As I mentioned yesterday, I have spent quite a bit of time working on my next book. For weeks I did little else. My to-do list lengthened (mental list, that is--I was too busy to actually write anything down) and my house got messier. On some nights I didn't go to sleep until 3 a.m., especially toward the end when I was sure "today would be the day" and I would finish. My characters generally had other ideas, dragging me deeper into a never-ending story (which did finally end) that began to resemble the Democratic party's primary race.

Yesterday I took a well-deserved rest. Today, I thought, I would wake up and tackle life. That is, until I opened my eyes. I was more tired than I had expected and the sky was a dismal gray. So I slumped through the day, catching up on emails and reading nearly every post in the CNN blogs.

I thought I would get back to life tomorrow, running long-postponed errands and jumping into spring cleaning, but they're predicting rain all day. Not only rain, but thunderstorms. We know that April showers bring May flowers and Mayflowers bring Pilgrims. The question in Kentucky these days is, What do May showers bring?

I crave sunshine. Really, I can't go long without it. That's a major reason why we moved to Kentucky. They say this weather is unusual--just like the countless snow days this winter. That doesn't encourage me.

This is the grayest May I've ever seen. While I was obsessed with writing my book, I could try to ignore the gloomy weather. But now what do I do?

Tomorrow I'll keep reading emails (I fell very far behind) and watch my soap. I'll try to do something productive. But I'm tempted to reopen the file of my book and start reading from the beginning again. I lived with these characters so long. I miss them. And even when something sad happens, it's better than looking out at the gloomy gray sky.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm Back!

First, I need to apologize for being gone so long. Back in March, when I last posted, I said I would be back much sooner. But for the last five weeks I've been snowed under.

What was I doing? Frolicking in Florida? Watching the soaps? Eating bon bons?

Of course not. (Though frolicking in Florida does sound nice.) I was writing.

And, as of last night, I have completed a new book. Silence, the final book in the Echoes Series, is done. And I'm relieved.

Today I didn't frolic but I did take time to do not much of anything. In the morning I napped and read. In the afternoon I caught the latest installment of my favorite soap (I've watched it off and on since college) and then put in a Fred Astaire/Audrey Hepburn movie. It's been nice.

Tomorrow I'll have to get back to work--starting with my desk. I haven't flipped the page on my planner since April 23. And my planner is under a pile of mail and snack wrappers. I'll unpack my suitcase--from my trip in March--and do some laundry. I'll rejoin the human race.

My manuscript weighed in, finally, at 450 pages. You know how a 30 minute sitcom becomes a two-hour series finale. It's kind of like that. Later I'll drop a few clues (maybe).

I am back. I plan to post here regularly now, insha Allah. If I slip up, feel free to call me on it.

See you tomorrow!