Some blog entries begin in funny places. This one began in the laundromat. Rainy laundry days are my favorites, even the ones where the laundry starts about the time I would like it to finish, which means I need to use the dryer cycle time to write a blog post in longhand, even if I have no idea what that post is going to be about, and not use the time for reading, even though my reading tracker says I am behind and need to step up my game in that department. This morning, I woke up later than usual, which meant my feet hit the ground in go, go, go mode right from the start. This wasn’t the schedule I’d planned for the day, but it’s the one I got.
When I grabbed a random ballpoint to get some ideas flowing, one of the first ideas that flowed to the top was my upcoming author visit to Buried Under Romance. I’ve been there as a blogger for long enough that I’d have to think really hard to remember when I wasn’t, but, this week, I was asked if I’d like to make an author visit. I said yes, because it’s a great site, and I will take basically any opportunity to blabber about romance novels, especially my own. I am now on the calendar for September eighteenth. This has me both excited and apprehensive. Since I have anxiety, this is pretty much my normal state, but this is different.
Right now, my first co-written contemporary romance (along with the fabulous Melva Michaelian) , Chasing Prince Charming, is now under consideration with Carina Press. This means it is one teeny tiny fish, swimming in the same giant ocean as elebenty billion other teeny tiny fish, and the fishing crew will get to it when they get to it. Melva and I can expect to hear back within one third to one fourth of an entire year. Our joint attention now goes to Drama King, where a misanthrope actor who isn’t acting clashes with an uber-optimistic literary agent. When people tell me they didn’t know I also wrote contemporary, my usual answer is “neither did I.” Would I have written contemporary on my own? Nope. Not wired that way, but when Melva and I both got the same idea at the same time, we went for it, and it worked out so well we’re doing it again.
While Melva works on her own solo projects, I get to return to my historical stomping grounds, which, right now, involves hopping between two different time periods. No, I am not talking about time travel at the moment. Right now, I am reading A Heart Most Errant, my medieval novella, for the umpteenth time, one eye on the calendar, because beta readers are waiting, and hey, it wouldn’t hurt to look at potential cover art options while I am procrastina…uh, I mean at it. Is this book going to shove itself past my overthinking and find some way to publish itself? I can neither confirm nor deny that possibility. Right now, my job is to get it ready for beta. I will deal with the rest, later.
Fast forwarding to Georgian times, I brought so many notes to critique session this week that N had to mark the spot on my giant stack of pink pages, to mark where we can pick up next week. I see scene cards and sticky notes and Scapple in my future, and I am okay with that. That’s what a writer gets when a generic supporting character turns into a specific supporting character with a job to do, and a scribbled note about “some social event” turns into a house party that lasts several days, and it is time to start ripping up floorboards and putting in drywall because this story structure is getting significant renovation, and it is getting it now.
The book I will be promoting on my author visit, Orphans in the Storm, is not a brand new release. I wish it were, and I wish it weren’t. I wish it were, because new releases are exciting and fun, and get applause at RWA chapter meetings, and sometimes a special token to take home and cherish, as a visual reminder. I don’t wish it were a new release, because the book I wrote coughty-cough years ago is not the book it would be if I were to have written now.
The plot would be the same, the characters, and the historical period, but I can think of two scenes, off the top of my head, that I would like to rewrite. One is a love scene and one is not. Neither would be significantly different, but they would be better. I would at least hope I am a better writer now than I was when I first put pen to paper on Jonnet and Simon’s story, able to add a few more layers and finer details than I know how to do back then. That’s how it goes, though, in this writing life. Plot twists happen in life as well as in fiction, and we grow and adapt along with them. Best thing I have found, in my own experience, is to steer into the skid when possible, and enjoy the ride.