Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Going for Weird

 My fourth book has a weird plot. 

What happened was that I wrote three books about suburban motherhood. Each one had a different take and a different setting and a different world with a different set of rules. I like each of those projects a lot, and sometimes, I can't believe I even wrote them. It seems so bizarre and hard to produce a book. Still, even after I've done it a few times.

And, when I finished with Home or Away, I just didn't have anything else to say about suburban motherhood. It took a while to figure out what the pivot was going to be, especially because my editor and publisher get to collaborate on that. Collaboration always takes longer, but experience tells me it's generally worth it.

We all went pretty far on two different ideas before bagging them and going back to the drawing board for my real fourth novel, my first (pretty-please) non-pandemic release. One of those discarded ideas I'm running right back to when I finish Book 4. It's going to be Book 5. But in the meantime, I'm immersed in a funny-yet-poignant, quirky-but-believable, high-concepty story about mistaken identity, deception, and--this part came as a real shock to me--grief.

Least surprising surprise ever, right, since my own brother died eighteen months ago? Every main character has a powerful grief wellspring hanging out in their motivations for every damn thing. Figuring that out (it took 200 pages or so) gives me some ideas about how to move forward.

Moving forward is happening. This Thursday, I'm printing all the pages and taking stock.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

I Got Inspired by Leeway

I just zipped over to ALittleLeeway, a blog I have loved for lo these 18ish years. It inspired me to write here. Blogging has changed a lot for me in the last several years, obviously. I won't recount the reasons here, and instead, I'll just give a Status Report. This blog is known for those.

Fitness Training: I didn't write about it, but I ran a pretty good marathon in the first week of October. It was Twin Cities Marathon, and I ran my second-fastest time ever for that distance. I had a new running coach this last year, and she really had me in tip-top shape. Now, she says I have to get stronger in terms of my muscles. That's how we get to the next level.

The trouble is that I'm not what we'd call a brave soldier when it comes to doing sit-ups and push-ups. Still, I'm doing them. Because a couple of things I am very good at are following directions and seeking external approval and needing gold stars to feel worthy as a human being.

Book Writing: I'm not going to lie: writing the fourth book has been a bear. A big scary grizzly bear straight out of hibernation. But now, I'm kind of rolling on it. There are words hitting the page. The whole thing is a mess, but I am optimistic that someday, it won't be. And there are some really good parts. That's all we need for now.

Christmas: Today is Christmas Eve. Generally, this is a very hard time of year for me; but today, I'm feeling happy and generally cheerful. We're taking it and running with it. Stuffing it in our pockets and rolling it around between our fingers. That's the plan.