Where have I been?
I’ve been MIA here … why? Partly it had to do with a big change to my website, which threw me off. I couldn’t quite figure out how to navigate it, and various visuals I used before were suddenly missing. I was, as they say “all 6s and 7s” (an expression I love).
Also, I’ve been struggling to finish Moonsick, the working title of the Young Adult historical novel I’ve been writing. For years. The final stages are always the most intense.
Why is it always like this for me? Even now, in the 8th draft, I sometimes feel I’m just scratching the surface of this story.
The return to Real Life
But enough of my whining! It’s Boxing Day, our lovely Christmas holiday is behind us. I’ve played with my new toys, and now it’s time to begin to get back on track. Real Life.
My plan, now, is to go through the manuscript, copy out all the scenes that pertain to Napoleon and paste them into another file. Napoleon’s relationship with his stepdaughter Hortense is key to this novel, and I need to make sure that there is a clear arc. It’s a time-consuming approach, but I used it analyzing the arc of Hortense’s relationship with her music teacher (another important thread), and I was glad I did.
And so, onto Napoleon …
From the good book department
I recently read, and loved:
Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett
Tell Me Three Things, by Julie Buxbaum
The Girls, by Emma Cline
Each of these novels kept me up reading too late into the night. Highly recommended.
Who knows? I might even post again before the New Year, but if I don’t, have a Happy New Year!
I have been doing quite a bit of research into Phantasmagorie for the Young Adult novel I'm writing about Josephine's daughter Hortense. Phantasmagoria was an extremely popular "show" put on for both children and adults in France after the French Revolution, featuring...read more
This morning I happened upon a computer file of notes I kept while writing The Shadow Queen. I was particularly interested in a section on formulas for figuring out a novel’s “elevator pitch”—the summation of a story in a sentence or two. This is invariably difficult,...read more
The day before the Woman's March Election Day. The Man Who Shall Not Be Named was sworn in as President of the most powerful nation on Earth. Some were cheering. The majority were in depression. This is a watercolour I finished that day, titled, simply, "January 20,...read more
Yesterday was a big day for me: I woke at 4:00am, and shortly before 8:00am I emailed my manuscript to my editor and agent. It was Friday 13. I am not superstitious, but that did give me pause. Some writers are able to write a perfectly good novel in two or three...read more
Happy New 2017! I like the feel of this year already. I’ve weaned myself — to some extent — from toxic international news and immersed myself in finishing the eighth draft of Moonsick, my YA novel about Josephine’s daughter Hortense. (Yikes! Due this month.)...read more
As I've no doubt mentioned before, I'm a big fan of Renaissance magazine. I devour every issue as soon as it arrives. It's largely intended for devotees of living history, specifically those who participate in Renaissance fairs. That aspect of the publication doesn't...read more