Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Trilogy title

Woohoo! I just finished the revisions on the NC paranormal romance, Putting Down Roots. It now joins Heaven Coming Down and Hell to Pay in the complete trilogy. 

It's exciting to finally be down a project that's taken ten years from the original sentence in the first book to the final sentence in the third. I had no idea I was starting a trilogy when the idea came to me.  And all because a cocky man I knew at the time said that he could solve all of the world's problems if he had the same time and resources as God.  

I need a name for the trilogy. The first is a quest to save the world, features gods and demons. The second is a challenge to save one man’s soul from the demon’s daughter and the third is about nymphs and humans curing cancer while falling in love. The central theme in all three books is man's interference with nature. All the characters from the first two appear in the final showdown with the evil nymph at the end of the third book. 

Do you have any ideas on what I can call the trilogy?

PS - I am doubly proud of myself for finishing it while still suffering from vertigo.  If something means enough to you, you will find a way

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Still spinning

Being dizzy 75% of the day makes one cranky. That's my experience, at least.  I miss reading and writing.  I've jotted things in my notebook when the world isn't going by quite so quickly but the days of spending hours at my desk seem but a distant memory.  Steps are being taken to resolve this.

In the meantime, I've learned the following:

Sitting on the ground is a good position for not only weeding but throwing a ball. Be sure to sit on the grass so that when you fall over, it's a cushy landing.

The reason the wild petunia isn't doing so well is the neighbour's volunteer black walnut. If you lie on your back and stare up between the leaves, the sky looks like it's been serrated.  Also, that tree grew very tall very fast.

Mulberries hold fast to the tree branches during a wind storm but leap from their stems if you're trying to pick them. Also, a robin can ride out the wind if the berries are plentiful.

Cats like to sleep in the window.  They also like to chirp at the foraging squirrel.  A closed window is best at these times.

Every manner of vegetation will grow in the cracks of the sidewalk.

If you lie on the floor, the birds will fly from their cage to walk all over you.  The cat stands back as beaks are sharp.  Also, freckles look a lot like seeds. Beaks are very sharp when the freckle holds fast to the skin.  Beak wounds heal quickly with the aid of coconut oil.

Closing your eyes to slow the spinning of the earth occasionally results in naps.

Reading a printed page is much easier on the senses than a screen.  No new book scent on the screen.

All of the above can be used as research in one capacity or another. It's all fodder. Fodder!

Stay balanced, my friends

Friday, June 19, 2015

It's always something

Vertigo, my friends. It's my second go-around in as many months. I'm am tired of the world spinning past me.  I've been moving my body to minimize the speed at which things fly past my fast when I am no longer in motion.

That is not conducive to writing. Or reading, for that matter. Hence, the complete and total lack of creativity. That made the writing retreat an odd experience. Fortunately, I am blessed and was able to have many conversations and brainstorming sessions.  I have notes made in the moments when the spinning was less severe.

Do you suppose the fact that the new project is about spinning wool had any bearing on my inability to stand still? Spinning, spun, fell.  At least, I have some great ideas. And sheep photos. We were staying in a town whose university mascot is a ram. Lots and lots of ram paraphanalia. So my mind was definitely on the new project.

What do you do when you are unable to work on a project?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

May updates

Rootless Trees is done its first draft!! I've been sitting on it waiting for feedback from my critique partner. I really struggled with the last two scenes.  There were a lot of loose ends to tidy.  Even in sewing or knitting, I hate doing the loose ends.  You have to take time to ensure they are woven in well enough that they don't unravel, nor are seen by the eye (untrained or expert).

I'm very pleased with the horror story. It needed about five sentences for revisions. Unfortunately, that leaves it at novella length. My plan for that manuscript needed another 20,000 words. That would destroy the rhythm of the story. More pondering.

So on to the Icelandic sweater story.  I need a reason the two friends will fall out. It needs to be big enough and real enough to cause a rift that can only be mended by some serious growth on the part of the two heroines.  No one dies. No one gets divorced. Those are my two rules.  These women have been friends for over twenty years. They can say anything to each other.  But one of them has to cross a line, no matter how unreasonable it is, for the other to fall out with her. I'm just not sure which line or which one crosses it.  Other than that, I have an outline and am pleased.

At this point, I can write the opening as well as get to know the characters. I'm sure the break will reveal itself. In the meantime, the feedback for Rootless Trees was good so I can take it from there.

In other news, my beautiful mulberry tree has been cut back drastically. Two gutters and a house corner were pummeled by the two main branches that curved over the porch. I don't have pictures of the handsome man on my roof taking care to damage the tree as little as possible. He managed to save three main branches, enough for a couple of jars of mulberry jam.   I'll spare you the photos.  It hurts my heart to stand at my desk and look out the window.  One thin branch continues to reach up towards my office and occasionally wave.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Letting go

Just two scenes left to write. Two scenes.  I know exactly what's going to happen. So why is it taking so long to actually write all the words that are needed?

One theory is that I don't want the book to end. It's the third in a trilogy and I really like these characters. They've all been with me in one form or another for seventeen years.  The original idea came out of a conversation with a male friend who thought he knew everything.  Once the characters showed themselves they became as real to me as any imaginary friends. They're independent of my will. I know that sounds a little bit nuts but other writers feel the same way about their characters.

Another theory as to my delay in finishing these two scenes is the need to send them off in a really big way.  I keep trying to improve on the grandiosity of the final scene. That's in conflict with the tone of the story. Yes, there's magic. Yes, they're changing the world and curing cancer. But their personalities would dwell on the moment rather than the larger picture. They are intimate scenes about two characters and how their interaction affects each other.  Saving the world is the by-product.

Do you ever hold off finishing a story (reading or writing) because you're not quite ready to let the characters go off into the world without you?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Musical inspiration

The current manuscript is tentatively Season of Renewal which doesn't have earth in it either. I originally called it Rootless Trees.  I like that title as they both are floundering without connections other than the ones they make together in this new land.  That is a very angry song by Damien Rice.   It's come in handy a few times as I worked on various scenes.

There are multiple versions of this song. The most haunting is the one with Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan.  I won't post a link as I cannot find the official version that used to be on Damien's website.  The angry version is much faster and full of power.  Google them on youtube.

What I like most about this song is the varied nuances in each and every rendition.  And I use them all in the story.  Because sometimes being a rootless tree can free you up to find your heart's true home.

Titles - not as easy as one would suppose.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Titles

I'm wrapping up the third book in a trilogy.  The first was titled Heaven Coming Down, followed by Hell to Pay.  The last one should have Earth in the title. It was called Rootless Trees because both hero and heroine are transplanted but the truth is the book is about regrowth after the forest fire sweeps through and razes everything to the ground.  I like Earth's Renewal but it doesn't have the same rhythm of the other two titles.

I've spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at quotes and sayings about trees.  This is one of my favourites -

What did the tree learn from the earth
to be able to talk with the sky? 
- Pablo Neruda

It won't work for my title so I need your help.  Do you have any suggestions?