Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dueling projects - still

The pre-writing has begun its transition. I changed my desktop photo away from the gorgeous Icelandic sunset to a rich contrast between a fern and a birch. Although both projects start in Iceland, that photo sustained me through the final stages of Hell to Pay. I needed a fresh image.

I spent a significant portion of Tuesday and Wednesday pouring information on to the page about Rootless Trees. There's a strong outline to start from. I plan to start writing the first scene from Kelli's perspective on Monday.

On Thursday I switched to Sturla's Sweater. The characters are Tess, Callie and Nick(who was first Mark then Eric). Poor Tess changed names a couple of times as she and Stashaholic argued over the correct one. Tess is very self-assured, and quite adamant that her name was one syllable. It was funny to hear the two of them get quite heated about it, when one of them is imaginary. Ouch. That head slap hurt. Tess doesn't want to meet a man. She's doing quite fine in her life without that complication. Her money, her time, and her bed are her own. NO one is messing up her schedule.

So the characters, setting, premise and turning points are there for Sturla's Sweater. The starting point hasn't jelled, before Iceland or there - but I'll just continue to jot down notes until I'm sure where the story truly begins.

I'm having fun alternating between the two projects. Neither one of them has solidified to the point where I can go full steam ahead. As both have significant time in Iceland, I've been watching a lot of video to get a feel for the location. I'd prefer to walk around there but that will have to wait. While airfare is reasonable(that's one of the perks of the Internet - quick ticket info)the travel is out of my budget. In the meantime, my imagination will have to do.

No, Tess you cannot spin camel hair. This is a book about sheep.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I'm sorry the blog is a day late but I was busy watching this and then this while I was in Dayton, Ohio for the Dogs and Goddesses book signing. It was a fantastic weekend with some good friends. There was cheesecake. And margaritas. Other people saw men in uniform.

A good time was had by all. During the drive down, Me and I discussed our current projects. We brainstormed the Big Bad in Rootless Trees. That means I shot down every single suggestion she had. My reasons were valid but it was frustrating for both of us. Her ideas were sound but failed to resonate.

While shampooing my hair Saturday morning, I found the answer. Without a shower crayon in sight. I repeated it several times, rinsed, dried off and dressed quickly so that I could burst into the living room to share it with the eager masses. We ran through the Big Bad from several angles. It worked every time. We were unable to shoot holes in it. It makes sense, gives a credible backstory, sets Bracken and Kelli up for danger and makes them allies despite their conflict.

The only remaining hurdle was setting. And thanks to Jenb's generous offer to use her home on Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks, I think North Carolina may be a winner. We had several conversations about the the state, its geography, environment and the beauty it has to offer. She even has a brilliant brother who can answer some of my scientific questions.

All in all, it was a great weekend.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Two projects

Right now I'm working on Rootless Trees which is connected to Heaven Coming Down and Hell to Pay. I couldn't continue with the theme in the title but as a previous post explained, this was the perfect title for Bracken and Kelli. I'm still not sure who threatens, and unites, them.

While my brain puzzles that out, it came up with another idea. Sturla's Sweater is based entirely on a film idea I was trying to sell to Stashaholic and Jon. Given that it could take two years for filming alone, it's not a project that is likely to materialize. Neither Stashaholic nor I want to be on-camera either, but the idea is so good I don't want to lose it. After a great deal of thought, I decided to write it as a book. Two women decide to make a documentary about spinning wool from fleece to sweater. Trust me, it will be fascinating.

I keep going back and forth between the two projects because neither one has solidified to the point where it can no longer be ignored. I hit a snag on one (the villain in Rootless Trees) then move onto the other where I write an outline. Until I hit a snag (better names than Stashaholic and Keziah)Back and forth I go.

Part of my dilemna is the difference in tone and genre between the two projects. The first is a paranormal romance in the vein of the other two books. Sturla's Sweater is not. It's women's fiction. Perhaps some romance and woo-woo stuff because those are elements that are integral to my identity. My story. My rules. There's nothing out there like it. I know because I looked. And while it sets me apart from the rest, publishing houses don't like to take risks. Especially not these days. So it will probably take me two years to write it(hey, we could have filmed the documentary after all) because my focus will naturally go to Rootless Trees.

What do you do when you have multiple projects?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Challenge met

Despite the dedicated procrasti-writing that I did last month, I did reach my goal for the second annual January Write off the Deep End challenge.

I finished revisions on Hell to Pay, started re-reading its predecessor Heaven Coming Down which entailed a few minor edits as well, and jotted a few notes about the successor, Rootless Trees.

Most importantly, I wrote every day.

Despite the trauma of losing my parents' dog Tara at the beginning of the month, a return of therapy for Casey, an injured wrist, a dentist trip from hell then book ending the month with a critical trip to the vet for my cat Hera, I wrote every day.

Every day. Even when it was procrasti-writing. That eventually turns into decent words on the page.

As my brilliant poet friend Jim Slominski reminded me, as writers we are ALWAYS (his caps)writing. No matter what we're doing, it's all absorbed into our psyche, which in turn gives depth to our writing.

Writing is not what I do, it's who I am.

I am a writer.