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


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?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Welcome, Spring

Yikes, over a month since my last post. Things have been busy.

My nieces took part in a Bear Bear photo shoot. We had so much fun it was ridiculous. Then it was decided that Bear Bear had to be returned to the Lost and Found and could not be played with by us. His brief taste of fame was over. I am still compiling the stories. I'm looking into a way to illustrate them.

After five months of living beside each other, Amadala moved into Yoda's cage yesterday. I had nothing to do with it. They decided on their own that they were ready for cohabitation. It is a nice big dwelling and the cage door is open most of the time. Neither bird is afraid to peck the cat. He has the wounds to prove it. Regardless, they are not left unsupervised.

My plan to finish Bracken's story by the end of March was knocked off course by external forces. Now that I have a handle on those, back to writing. I'm pleased with how it's coming along.

One last thing - the end of winter does not mean it's short weather. Not yet. Soon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Writing and knitting and bears, oh my

I've been busy with Bear Bear and nieces and editing and finishing projects. I should have photos and stories to share shortly.  The only thing I've actually completed is the sweater I started knitting during the Winter Olympics a year ago. I had to stop because of the elbow injury.  Now that's as good as it's going to get(considerably better than it was) I'm incorporating more of my activities back into my life.

I've also done a fair amount of shoveling. Not Boston marathons of shoveling but enough every day that my upper body is starting to look good. Mother Nature is a very effective trainer, and less expensive than a gym membership.  I am one of the happy minority enjoying this winter.

What's new in your neck of the woods? (and why do we call it that?)

Thursday, February 05, 2015

#How librarians spend their breaks

This is the short story I wrote when we found a little bear in the lost and found at work.  It is the first in a series of adventure for the lost bear my coworker named.
We're promoting it every where in the hope that his family sees his photo and claims him.  

Bear Bear was scared. His family was lost. This place was nice. Bright. Smelled like books.
He liked books. But his family wasn't here. The lady behind the counter picked him up from the couch and put him on the cabinet. He could see everyone who came into this sunny place. The lady talked to him. She was nice. She petted him and told him she would help him find his family.
But first he needed a bath.
Not a bath! A bath would ruin his stuffing. He didn't have much stuffing left. His family had loved it right out of him.
The nice lady said bears had to be clean to stay at the library.
He was at the library! His family loved the library. There were stories and games and movies and lots of fun things to do while he waited for them to come back.
Bear Bear decided a bath would be okay. He would have a bath and sit on the cabinet and wait. His family would come back and see him up there.
The library was a safe place to wait. Maybe he could read a good book while he waited.