Thursday, May 30, 2019

Finishing a Book in Bits and Pieces

At this phase of my life, I am usually a very focused writer. Start a book (with our without some outlining) and keep moving. No so with Final Operation. I started early in the year, and it's the end of May! I've just finished a 52,000 word light mystery, which generally takes me a couple of months to write.

Before I began a (close to) full-time writing career in 2011, I wrote in small chunks -- it was the only way to finish a book, and I wrote several that way. Somehow, my memory worked better when I was younger (however you define the term). Each time I'd dive back into a project I remembered what I'd been writing -- more important, where I was going with it.

Now, if I take a couple we weeks off (as I did for some surgery earlier in the year) I have to reread a few chapters. Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised, sometimes I say, "Who wrote this and what was she thinking?" I'm only half kidding.

No, I'm not getting senile. I've decided our brains have an 'almost full' point. We've pour trivia and important material into them for decades, and then the sorting component says the file cabinets are overflowing. Time for a purge of the irrelevant.

Purging is hard, whether with my paper files or my brain. Since I can't force the memories or plot ideas out, I'm going to have to teach my thinking cap to focus 'only' on writing. (And family and friends, of course.)

Now, back to the final edits before the book goes to a proofreader. Keep an eye out for the third book in the Logland mystery series. Final Operation (a police procedural with a cozy feel) will be out June 7th. Scheduled for that day six month ago, because it's my sister Diane's birthday. Family and books.
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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Mothers in My Books

Rita Rooney Orr
I don't have enough of them. The strongest is Aunt Madge in the Jolie Gentil series, and you could call her Jolie's Mother-in-Spirit. (Jolie's mom is...problematic and rarely appears in person.)

I have two aunts I was especially close to (Marguerite and Mary Doris), so perhaps that's why Madge seems so real to me.

Why not more moms? I've finally decided that it's in part because my mom is not someone who could be replicated -- not that I base ANY fictional character on ANY people I know. Rita Rooney Orr was strong, nurturing, funny, kind, and uncomplaining. No character I create could even come close.

A new series I'm working on has to involve the main character's mom in some way (for the rest of it to work). I realize I haven't thought through her character well. So, here's a commitment to develop a strong mother in the new series. (Sorry, no hints.)

Happy Mother's Day to all the great women I know.