Friday, January 22, 2021

Writing Some Wrongs

 It’s been a busy week.  Just when I thought I’d have time to get caught up on some household stuff, I got back the editorial notes on WRITING A WRONG.  Luckily my editor Carl was okay with the basic structure.  In any case I’m going through the whole manuscript and making changes on almost every page.  The big thing I’m doing is paying attention to continuity.  Since I know what’s coming, I need earlier parts to match up.

It’s always interesting to me to see things that pop out of the characters as I’m going over the manuscript.  Like I didn’t realize how set in her way Veronica seems, well, and it turns out is.  Luckily, she is pretty self observant and I have added having her notice it.

As reached the end of the draft of this book, I realized how much it was about family and how without family Veronica was.  It’ kind of like I have the characters do and say things, but only later realize what was really going on.

I suppose that people think because you write about characters that you can make them anyway you want, but really what happens is that they kind of take over.

I know that Barry really surprised me in the Crochet Mystery, ONE FOR THE HOOKS, that comes out this summer.   It probably sounds like a surreal movie, but it is as though I am watching and listening to something in my mind’s eye.

Even though I sent back the copy edit of ONE FOR THE HOOKS a few weeks ago, it’s still on my mind as I know I’m going to get the first pass pages to proof read soon.  That is the final time I see the manuscript and can only make minor corrections.

The weather here has gone from warm temperatures and strong winds to a prediction of a number of rainstorms.  The studio, as we now call the garage, is finished.  And the small barn was built in the yard for storage.  But there is still stuff all over the yard and driveway that needs to be moved into the barn or discarded.

I always run out of time before I run out of things to do

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Deadline Two Met!

This week I met the second deadline of my three in a row, one each month, that I needed to meet this year. I had planned to wait till the date was actually closer to that February deadline, but I received an email from my editor asking about it, and, well... I was able to read it once more and send it off.  It'll be my Harlequin Romantic Suspense, part of their Colton series, which will be published in October this year, the tenth in a twelve book miniseries. 

So now, I just have one more deadline currently dangling in front of me, for March. And I'm currently polishing a draft of that one. 

And after that?  Well, I'm working on at least three ideas. And more to come. That's part of the fun of being a writer!

 Meantime, I'm trying to do my part in staying home and safe and COVID-less. It always seems strange to me to get into Zoom meetings, which most of my writer organizations are doing, but I'm getting more used to it. 

I'm still missing the traveling we used to do. I'd really love to have been on the Alaskan cruise I'd tentatively planned as research for the mystery I'm currently writing, but not now and not for the foreseeable future. Oh, well. Something to look forward to--along with my hopes for an even better 2021.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Murder Ink

 It seems like it was just Christmas and then New Years and here it is the middle of January already.  I was so caught up in my deadlines that I missed the MURDER INK was released on January 1 and that both ON THE HOOK and HOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING are on special at Amazon all month.  The e-book is just $1.99.

I made my second deadline which was to send in the copy edit of ONE FOR THE HOOKS, the next Crochet Mystery by January 13.  I was actually several days early.  

And now I’m taking a few days of not writing while I catch up on everything around here.  I am putting everything together to update my website.  Clear up the area around my computer and attach a better keyboard. The one I’ve been using is a cheap model that doesn’t always work.  The hand me down new one is bigger and probably better designed.  Maybe I’ll type better.  I am not one of those people who has to have everything just so to be able to work which is why I didn’t even think about another keyboard until the hand me down one was offered to me.

My computer desk is from the 80s when I got my very first computer.  It even has a slot for paper for a dot matrix printer.  Remember those?  My chair, well, I always have to stop and think about what chair I’m using because I don’t really pay attention to it.  Then I laugh when I actually look at it.  It is an ancient typing chair that was in an office we had in the 70s.  I think it was already old then.  It’s covered in blue fabric that must be made out of steel because it’s still intact.

I guess I have old stuff on my mind.  I’ve been going through stuff that used to be in the garage before we transformed it into a room.  There was a two drawer chest that I hadn’t looked in since we moved into our current house 30 years ago.  The stuff in the drawers was from the 70s and early 80s.  It felt like a time capsule.  I found 13 cents postage stamps, some blue chip stamps, an address book with phone numbers from before the time you had to dial the area code in your own area code.  There were some old check statements and checks when they used to send you the cancelled ones. Included were checks written for the diaper service I used for my son.  Even then cloth diapers were a thing of the past.  There was also a box of childproofing things for sockets that we never used.  I guess it was okay because he’s 39 and never been electrocuted .

There was a telegram wishing us a happy 7th anniversary, some old valentines and some journals.  It felt strange to read them and step into my mind all those years ago.  I was surprised how legible my handwriting was.

I found an old map of Chicago.  It was interesting to look at it and see that the downtown neighborhood I write about in MURDER INK didn’t exist then.  It was literally just a white space on the map.  The S curve on Lake Shore Drive was still there.  It was called the S curve but it wasn’t a curve.  It was a sharp turn that used to cause traffic to back up and cars to overheat.  

I tossed a lot of the stuff.  I mean who needs erasable typing paper anymore?  

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

More January

 I'm impressed with how busy Betty is, as she described in her latest blog.  Guess I'm busy, too, but I can't compare with her!  Although I do think I'll be having three books come out later this year.

In fact, the first edit I mentioned before is finished. It's for Her Undercover Refuge, the first in my new Shelter of Secrets miniseries for Harlequin Romantic Suspense. Shelter of Secrets is a spinoff from my prior K-9 Ranch Rescue miniseries, and Her Undercover Refuge will be a July release.  Two more books to come this year--one more HRS in a Colton series, plus a new mystery for a new publisher for me. 

Also, the new idea I mentioned last week is now taking shape and I think I know where it's going, but that could change.

 On the whole so far, though, I can't say that 2021 is much better than 2020, and in some ways it's worse. But 2021 is still new, so I'm still hopeful. 

Fortunately, my pups seem well--and as demanding as usual, which is a good thing. 

I guess one thing that's somewhat new for this time of year is the weather. No rain predicted, which is a shame, since we need some in Southern California. And the high temperature is supposed to be potentially record breaking over the next few days. Sigh. 

So...  well, I'm hunkered into my house as much as possible, trying to stay safe and healthy--and busy with my writing. And I hope all of you reading this are safe and healthy, too.