Friday, May 24, 2013

It's Been 10 Days

10 Days since my last post. And much has happened and much has not. Stenciled a jump, ran a horse show in the rain, spent a day in Boston. But, I've written nothing. 10 days of no writing feels like an eternity and I'm eager to get back to it. It's another rainy day in Connecticut, so it's perfect to write (as well as to nap).

Although it is a Friday - and generally Fridays are not the start of a work week (especially not the Friday before a long weekend). But so what? When does the calendar control my ability to be productive? That is the beautiful thing about writing - the Friday before Memorial Day weekend is a great time to start a new project.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

David Brin: What Every First-time Novelist Should Write

David Brin describes why every writer should start off writing a murder mystery. I couldn't agree more.

Monday, May 13, 2013


I just finished reading an excellent post by Vaughn Roycroft, Re-Revision: Getting Messy.

I thoroughly enjoyed the post - partly because I enjoy playing in the dirt and watching things grow, but also because I'm in the same mode of revision. I've worked through the easy stuff. I've even dug fairly deeply into my novel's plot lines and made it tighter and cleaner.

However, as I'm sitting here waiting to hear back from all the queries I sent out last week, I'm cycling through an emotional rollercoaster.

I've had my finger's crossed - I can't hold my breath much longer for the hopes and anticipation that someone will absolutely love the book. The longer I wait (and truly I haven't waited long), the more I convince myself that something is wrong. The feelings of dread and fear - that my sentences are too long, my characters too bland, my plot too transparent.

Vaughn's post brought some reassurance and sanity. I like the garden metaphor. The compost, weeding, watering and digging are the hard work that produces the best food. There are no shortcuts. Especially not on a night tonight, when a threatened frost could kill it all by morning. So there was extra labor tonight covering the planted things and moving the containers to safety.

Tomorrow I will let my breath out and will away the fears and doubts.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Place for the Short Stuff

Inspired by the Story a Day in May challenge and a recent post on Writer's Unboxed, I've completed a short story. It's been many many years since I attempted a short story.

The reason is simple - I love to explain, to ramble on, to explore tangents and multiple story lines. Short fiction requires an economy of words and an inefficiency of plot that I claim to dislike, but the truth is, I'm just not very good at it.

I'd rather ramble and figure out my point as I go along. That's so much easier that constructing a story that is complete in under 10 pages.  For me, writing more has always been easy. It's writing less that is so difficult.

And then I read Suzanne Windsor Freeman's post What Novelists Should Know About Short Fiction. So I decided to write a short piece - an economical yarn.

The story, Obstruction, is actually a true story, but it happened so long ago - and memory and age being what they are - it may have more fiction in it than reality.

Here's one more reason to write short fiction - in addition to all of the wonderful things Suzanne lists in her post - the light at the end of the tunnel is quite close.

I remember struggling through chapters of The Board of Dead, feeling as if I would never reach the end. Obstruction wrote so easily - because I had such a short path to follow in reaching the end, I found myself eager to finish, more enthusiastic than I'd been about writing for months. It was fun! And what an enormous psychic lift to have finished the story (at midnight) on the day I began it.

I think I am still a novelist at heart, but now I also see a place for short fiction in my life as well.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Story A Day

The month of May poses a unique challenge for writers - write a story every day (just one each day) for the entire month of May. No prizes, no word counts, no rules. Just write.

Story A Day

A short story, 50 words, 500 words, 5,000 words, it's up to you, the writer. You can do anything - be creative - but take a character somewhere. Make something happen. Every day.

Wow! What a fantastic, fabulous idea. I'm in.