Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Big Fat Sigh of Relief

Miracles happen. I finished the Wedding in Paris novella and shipped it out today.

How one writer can spend four days trying to write one paragraph defies explanation but that's what happened. Okay, it was the last paragraph which makes it kind of important but 4 days?? That seems a bit excessive.

I just couldn't come up with the right words to convey what Ryan and Katie were feeling. I wrote it, rewrote it, re-rewrote it, threw it out, pulled it back out of the recycle bin, tried it funny, tried it serious, tried it with their daughters there, tried it without, during the wedding reception, before the ceremony, out on the dance floor, everywhere but Disneyland.

Finally (and I swear this is true) just seconds before my brain imploded it all came together and I was able to send them all on their way toward happily ever after.

I could've flown to Paris and back twice in the time it took me to wind things up.

But it's done. I'm happy with it. (I think. It's hard to tell right now when I'm so close to it.) And now it's on to the next project. I haven't decided if the main character will be a fancy cake maker or a bookbinder but some research over the weekend will help reveal all.

This is the fun part. When it's all a little fuzzy, a little blurry. The characters have popped up and introduced themselves but they're still guarding their secrets and I get to play Nancy Drew and worm those secrets out of 'em.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

At the Finish Line

I'm not sure if that will be the final cover but so far that's the way my March 2007 book will look. (And yes, this one is 100% romance and told only from his and her points of view. I didn't plan it that way. I didn't even know that's how it would turn out until I started writing when Kate and Mark took over and all I had to do was pay attention and type fast.)

But this post isn't about Just Like Heaven. I'm about an hour away from typing The End to We'll Always Have Paris, my contribution to the "wedding in Paris" anthology Harlequin will be publishing early next year and I can't wait to capture the last scene.

Unfortunately that last scene has one major complication that I'm trying to work out and I keep bumping up against a brick wall. In truth this book has been basically done for a week but something just didn't feel right. There's a rhythm I listen for when I write. A certain flow of words, of emotion, of event that leads almost musically to the right ending. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't quite bring it all together. I had all of the components but, as it turned out, I couldn't push them into the right order.

I've got it now. (At least I think I do.) While I'm typing this to you, a part of my brain is running the video and audio of the ending and, like a dance, I think all the steps are in place.

Now all I have to do is get it down on paper!


Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Layers upon Layers

See that lamp? That rests on the bookcase which sits at a right angle to my desk. I paid $1 for it at a yard sale in North Babylon, Long Island during the summer of 1979 and it remains my all time favorite lamp. The base is cheap plastic. The shade is cardboard. But I love it.

If you're anything like I am, you're trying to figure out what else is in the picture. Well, the framed items on the wall are book covers. Mostly my old Harlequin Americans. I kind of stopped framing covers around book 25 or so. I'm not sure why. Maybe I was running out of wall space? I really should gather up a bunch and play catch up.

Yes, that's a stuffed unicorn on top of the lamp. Yes, I'm a grown woman.

Look to the right of the lamp and you'll see a stuffed parrot lying on his back on my keyboard. There's a book about Princess Diana under the lamp. My bulletin board is faintly visible. One day I'll take a photo of that--it's like an archaeological dig back to the late 1970s/early 1980s. Would you believe I actually have a Jordache Jeans ad pinned up there??

I've often wondered why the things that cost the least end up meaning the most in life. Definitely a lesson to be learned there.


Monday, August 7, 2006

All Or Nothing At All

I missed a few days, didn't I? (So what else is new . . . ) It's the usual all-or-nothing scenario: full concentration on one project or scatter-shot attention to many. There has to be a way to prioritize or delegate or whatever the secret verb is that will make me efficient, productive, and dependable.

God only knows what it is.

I can't even say I've been off having fun. I finished knitting the second of a pair of extremely homely black socks for Roy. I've watched some DVDs courtesy of Netflix (how did we live before Netflix?) (and can you explain how the post office manages to ship Netflixes accurately and at the speed of light but can't send a greeting card from my house to the house down the block w/o a detour or three?) and stared at books I'd like to read but aren't.

My focus is on the Paris wedding novella for Harlequin. I'm not going to publicly embarrass myself by telling you how many times I've rewritten the first ten pages because, quite frankly, I don't want it in print. (Hint: it's a whole lotta times.) I started it in Paris. I started it with them together. I started it with them apart. I started it in the present. I started it when they were teenagers. I started it on a street corner, in a hospital, in a parking lot, on a cruise ship, in a bed. Nothing worked.

And then I suddenly saw them sneaking through a snowy backyard, hand in hand, with wintry moonlight spilling over them and a rented car waiting for them in the driveway where they --

Well, you'll have to wait and see what exactly they do but thank The Muse I think I'm on the right track.

Short is tougher to write than long. No doubt about it. A 100+ page novella will take more close work than a 500+ page full length novel. Every day of the week.


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