In which this week has been ALL THE CRAZY

Oh, chickens. If anything could convince me I should never, EVER do “Survivor”, it was this week. I am a creature of conveniences, and I’m so attached to my devices and my air conditioning and my electric kettle and my flushing toilet, I’m not even ashamed to admit how useless I am without these things. (Did I mention cable TV? Internet? Hot water?) I am not of hearty pioneer stock. If westward expansion had depended upon the likes of me, we’d all be stuffed into wee tenement rooms in New York, coughing our various ailments gently upon each other.

We undertook a fairly involved project around the house–having a generator installed–and we’re deep in the throes of getting the offspring ready to go off to college. So it was check-ups for the child and her car and fortunately the child is beautifully healthy. The car, not so much. Let’s just say the simple transaction of buying new tires and getting it inspected turned into major repairs with TWO different specialized auto shops involved. Argh. Anyway, the generator is installed and just needs a bit of final tweaking to get us fully prepared for the next big outage–and we’ve had a few since moving here. The odd thing about outages in Virginia is they don’t happy often, but when they do, they are of LONG duration. This is frustrating enough when you’re trying to cook or wash clothes, but since our water supply is powered by an electric pump, we don’t even have running water when the power goes. We won’t speak of what that means in terms of toilets…suffice it to say we’re VERY HAPPY to have all the electricity. (Of course, putting in the generator meant doing without any power on one of the hottest days of the year because we’re not that bright. I’m not sure Deacon has forgiven me yet. He too is not of pioneer stock. He’s a suburban dog with highbrow tastes and your gerbil could probably beat him in a fight.)

Now, onto the GOOD news this week–editor loved the Julia Grey novella I wrote in May, so we are all set for an autumn pub date! Last I heard it was November 1, but I’ll be sure to holler if that changes.

Other good things: here is an interview I did with the lovely Emmanuelle of France Book Tours–check out the giveaway at the bottom. And here’s a second giveaway at VVB32 Reads. Tremendous thanks to the bloggers participating in the tour!

Also good–I had a strange sort of epiphany moment the other morning. I had just popped out of bed and was brushing my teeth when I suddenly had the start of the novel I’m beginning August 1. And not just the start, the first two chapters with five scenes in one and seven in the other. That is BEYOND strange for me–I’m lucky if I can tell you precisely what happens in the first scene. To have the beginning so thoroughly mapped out, to the point where I even know some of the dialogue–is DELIGHTFUL. Today I’m writing up the scene list and filing it since I have a novella to write first, but I’m going to be very interested to see if this scene list works as well as I expect it to. And it’s a good reminder of what I always tell people: process changes. Just because you’ve done things one way doesn’t  mean you can’t do them another. The Julia novella my editor loves? Was written in a completely different way than I’ve ever written anything before. It was my first experiment with writing scenes out of order–something I’ve been terrified to do–and it worked just fine. Which is a good reminder to ME that it’s never a bad idea to try new methods, even if you’re happy with what you’re doing.

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7 Responses to In which this week has been ALL THE CRAZY

  1. Angel Crowne says:

    I’m thrilled that you have a generator. Power outages are simply inhumane. There’ve been a few ocassions where I lost power in my bathroom – yes, just the bathroom. And there’s no window. So I showered and did my makeup and hair via flashlight. A SMALL flashlight. Needless to say, the manager of my townhome heard from me very promptly upon opening his office.

    As to trying new ideas, when I initially began writing I decided to try several different methods for telling the story. (After my initial experiments with writing were stowed safely beneath the bed, wrapped securely with devices guaranteed to implode the contents should anyone ever attempt to open them.) One novel was written solely from the heroine’s POV. The next I faithfully flipped between hero and heroine midway through each chapter. It’s a great way to stretch those writing muscles.

    Great post! 🙂

  2. Nancy C says:

    Stephenie Meyer wrote about her process in a blog post of hers once. She stated she wrote everything she wanted to write first and then went back and filled in all the blanks. Bolt of lightening moment for me there & ended up working SO well! It wasn’t nearly as “draining”. It felt more like a bite at a time rather than trying to swallow whole; like I couldn’t begin to actually write until I knew how EVERYTHING played out first in my head. Just took so much pressure off. It let me begin to create instead of creating everything first *in order TO* create. Hopefully that makes sense.

    You say “it worked just fine.” Will you do it again?

  3. emma says:

    wow, so happy for the epiphany moment!
    thanks for the shout out for the tour as well.

  4. Leslie G says:

    I live in rural Ontario, so I know exactly what you mean about the joys of no power = no plumbing. Longest outage recently has been 53 hours, but my husband went three weeks in 1998, during the Ice Storm!

  5. Madonna says:

    I’m new to your blog–but not your books. Love Lady Julia and liking the new books/characters from Africa.
    In this post you mention Elizabeth Von Arnium and taking her books with you. Do you carry the actual books or do you use an e-reader? If so, what e-reader do you use?

    • Welcome, Madonna! I prefer print books, but I do use an e-reader. I love the idea of having a few hundred books tucked in a single device. I get nervous without anything to read! And there are so many wonderful books that are free in digital form but hideously expensive in print because they’ve been out of print for a long time. I have tried a few different e-readers, but the Kindle Fire is my favorite.

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