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Is it morning yet?

Most or all of my readers here also read or know about Terri and the fact that she just lost her husband to cancer. My heart goes out to her and to her family. Life is always too short for the people we love and who love us. We all face that loss sooner or later, and I’m not sure we can ever really be prepared. Life is a one-way trip, with each of us reaching the same destination. It’s the paths we take to get there that matter. If we love and are loved along the way, it’s been a good journey.

It’s actually very early in the morning, in a technical sense, but in a practical sense it’s the middle of the night and I’m wide awake. Gah! At least after a week of vacation I’m reasonably caught up on sleep, and I’ve only got two more days to go before the weekend. I took some OTC painkillers and maybe if I’m lucky I’ll sneak in a short nap before I have to get up again.

Still waiting on the artwork for my book cover. Now that the writing is finally done, I want to get on with it. Then come the hard parts:  figuring out which path to take to go public, and publicizing the darned thing. I dread the latter. Being a recluse sounds so appealing in comparison.

I have been trying along the way to help my friend edit her own book, too. Let’s just say it’s… challenging. I correct the originals she sends me because I’d be writing a companion book of corrections any other way. Don’t get me wrong, she has a talent for story-telling and her story will be fun to read once we fix the grammatical errors. It’s just frustrating to me to have to fix so many grammatical errors, taking the time to explain WHY this needs to be fixed (several times) and seeing the same errors recur again and again. Some of her chapters are literally more red than black when I send them back to her. Makes me appreciate teachers all the more (and more l’empress’s help with my own opus). Lisagh really has made progress, and knows that I won’t let her get away with writing the entire story with point of view changing between very single paragraph. Hopefully by the time we finish this book for her, she’ll have established a stronger starting point for her next story.

G wants to write too, and says he’s got an outline for his book nearly done. I was afraid he was going to expect me to be his ghost writer, and I dreaded the prospect. As it turns out, he really does want to do it himself (thank goodness!) When it comes to his writing, I expect to pull my hair out less concerning grammar and more about “under-drama”, so to speak. He has a definite tendency toward dryness in his writing. I have to try and coax him into making things less textbook, more tension. Maybe it will be different when he’s writing about something he loves.

Both G and my friend want their books to be series. Not me, honey. I love writing but don’t want to live by formulaic writing, which is necessary in a series. The tome I just finished begs a sequel and I’ll write it, then I am DONE with that story and on to the next. I would go nucking futs writing a seven-part series, a lá J.K. Rowling or George R. R. Martin. I can’t fathom writing something as comprehensive as the Nancy Drew series, with the same characters over and over and over, ad nauseam. I am working three completely different stories, removed by time and genre. I love character studies and hopefully my characters are engaging and very different from one another. Now I’m all for making my heroes thoroughly heroic, as long as their humility, integrity and long-suffering studliness gets punctured by a dose of Monty Python or Lucille Ball now and again. THAT is my formula, if I have one. I write a bunch of unlikely drama, and throw in a dose of warped humor whenever and wherever I can.

Oh, and twists. Ideally I start with a cliché and promptly turn it on its ear. If you see where I’m going with things, I haven’t done my job right. Predictability only works for pulp fiction: romances and murder mysteries. Boy gets girl. Boy nabs bad guy.  You can’t veer away from those principles for those kinds of stories – which is precisely why I don’t have any desire to write those kinds of stories.

Well, it’s an hour before I have to get up for work. Think I’m going to try and grab 40 winks before I do.

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