Monday, August 26, 2013

Starting Anew

I always have mixed feelings about sending my kids off to school at the beginning of the new year. I want them to be excited, but I know too well that life doesn't always work out the way we plan it. That doesn't have to be a bad thing. So, on their first day of school today, I hope the surprises are good ones (or at least something that they already have the problem-solving skills to deal with).

I've already seen two of the three off to school. After I drop off the third, I'm going to start the beginning of a new series. It's something I've been dreaming about and making notes on for years, but I just found the setting last week. The setting is historical, and while I was researching it, a librarian introduced me to Interlibrary Loans (ILL). Through my local library, I can borrow books from libraries all over the world. Specifically, when I was looking up a certain historical figure, I found a book written by him that has been translated into English. This guy lived in the ninth century! That book is currently in Amsterdam, but I can request it and have access to it through my local library. Isn't that awesome?

But it could be months before the books I request arrive, and I already have story that I need to get down. I'm excited (and a bit nervous) to get started.

But I have a third child to get off to school first. :o)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

TBW 9 Finished!

Thank you for your kind words on my last couple of posts. I appreciate your support.

I've been working on the ninth draft of TBW since January--over seven months--which is longer than it took me to write the first draft. Granted, the last five months have been rough for personal reasons. But in revising both this novel and SS, it felt like I hit a point where it was impossible to revise the story into what I wanted it to be. More than that, I wasn't even sure what I wanted the story to be anymore.  Earlier this month, I punched through that.

I remember when I was writing my first draft of SS, I hit a similar wall, and I just had to keep working at it until I found where the story was supposed to go again. Often I have to go back to move forward.

I'm not saying that TBW is perfect now or that I'm ready to send it off to agents, but I am ready to let critique partners read it again. I don't need to fix anything because it isn't broken anymore. And that is a wonderful feeling.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Life Update

It's been a long time.

Thank you for your kind words after Ben's accident. His shoulder is still recovering, and he has one area that still blisters from being burned so badly. But he's still here.

Two of my friends aren't. In April, one of them went into a diabetic coma and didn't come out of it, leaving behind a pregnant wife (who delivered a healthy baby girl the next day) and three children who loved and depended on him. In May, the other committed suicide. I've written posts and not posted them. I have to write my way through stuff like this, and yet some things are not only gut-wrenchingly personal; there's also the possibility that my observations will hurt someone who's already hurting. Family is especially touchy. The neighbor who committed suicide was my sister's brother-in-law, and suicides always make people question whether there was something they could have done to prevent it.

I may revisit what I've written for later posts, but today, I want to share what George Saunders had to say about kindness. It's beautiful.