The Book That Will Not End

on January 16, 2013

I’ve been working on this story (UP TO THE CHALLENGE Book 2 in Anchor Island series) since last summer and the end is so close, I can see it shining bright and happy in the distance. But that distance is the problem. The more I write, the more the distance seems to grow.

If you aren’t a writer, you’re probably thinking, “Why can’t she just end it if she wants to end it?” Oh, if only it were that easy. You see, the story ends when it ends and I really don’t have much say in that. Sounds strange, I know. I definitely would have considered a statement like that quite loony before undertaking this writing gig myself.

But this is also good. At least for me. You see, I’m not very good at writing endings. Most writers hate the middle, but I love it. That slide into THE END is the one that gives me fits. I tend to pull my punches, get through the ugly black moment as quickly as possible, have them make up, and BOOM we’re done.

You see the problem here. For some readers, that black moment is the best part. That’s the scene they’ve been dying to reach, the pay off for the time they’ve given to the story. You can’t rob the reader of that angst and heartbreak. At least not too many times before they stop bothering with you at all.

So I’m looking at this as progress. It’s taking this long because I’m not pulling punches and rushing. And in the end, the book will be better if I let it fall onto the page how it will. Still 4 or 5 scenes from the end, all riddled with angst and a couple should induce tears if I write them as I imagine them in my head. (One sad tears and the other happy tears.)

I will hit THE END by Sunday. That is my self-imposed deadline. Which is really non-negotiable since my contract-induced deadline is six weeks after that. In the meantime, the cover for my debut novel MEANT TO BE is under construction. I’ve seen a potential version and can I just say, THIS IS SO EXCITING! As I typed to my editor, “It’s a book. With my name on it. Heh.”

Understated much? Do you read for the black moments? The blacker the better? Is the happily-ever-after as satisfying if the heartbreak isn’t dark enough?

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Running Out of Underwear Would Not Be Good

on January 11, 2013

There seems to be a theme in my life these days. A lessen the Universe is trying to teach me. You see, I’m a planner by nature. As in, I like to organize things. I like to work out the logistics and make sure everything is perfectly in place. Set a schedule and lock in the details. But I do not plan by committee. For one, too many people involved in the process just makes it more complicated. And there will always be that someone who doesn’t like anything the rest of the group decides.

Then there’s the possibility that someone will drop the ball. They’ll say, “I’ll get the forks” but when the time comes, there are no forks. Best to do everything and then nothing falls through the cracks.

At this point, I know what you’re saying. “She’s a control freak.” You say that like it’s a bad thing.

Well, right now, it IS a bad thing. You see, I’m on my first deadline and I’m not handling this with a lot of grace. I wanted to have the rough draft done a week ago. It isn’t done. It’s a week away from being done, but that’s only the rough. That leaves me *checks calendar* six weeks to revise and have this puppy to my editor. *freaks*

*breathes* Totally doable.

But only if I do NOTHING ELSE FOR SIX WEEKS. Clearly, I cannot ditch the day job. That pays for the internet after all. And I would love to be one of those people who can function on four hours of sleep a night. I’m not. I’m old and my body gets very cranky when I don’t get 7 ½ to 8 hours a night. (Case in point, I nearly passed out in my boss’s office earlier this week from lack of sleep and proper nutrition.) Oh yeah, and I need to eat.

The rest must be delegated. A completely foreign concept to me, but learn it I must. Kiddo will be getting a crash course in what it takes to run this household. (You’d think it would be easy with such a tiny space and only 2 people.) Laundry, care and feeding of pets (including dog walks), and a significant amount of food prep is about to fall on my teenager.

You think I’m crazy now? Check back in 7 weeks. This is not going to be pretty. Do you delegate? Are you good with letting things go? Should I buy new underwear now so I don’t have to worry about doing laundry?

PS: Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter (on the Home page) to be in the drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card at the end of the month.

Chugging Along

on October 19, 2012

I am officially on deadline. Like, a real one. There is a date circled on the calendar and a person who will be tapping her toe expectantly on said date. This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill.
I always expected at this point I’d freak out and be way behind. Bite my nails to the quick, adapt Einstein’s stylish doo, and start ranting incoherently about segues, plot holes, and dialogue tags.
Happy to report, I’m right on track. So far. (There had to be a caveat in here somewhere.)
My goal was to have as much as possible of book 2 done before edits arrived for book 1. As of now, I should have 50K (of 85K) done when edits arrive in five days. Of course, I have no idea what edits will look like nor how I’m going to write one while editing another. But as Tim Gunn would say, this is a Make It Work! moment so work it shall.
Now, when next spring comes and I’m writing one while editing another and promoting a third, you’ll likely find a very different blog here. But for now, I got this.
PS: For kiddo. Concert is 27 days away and I’m almost as excited as she is.