The Day After


t’s the day after the San Miguel writers’ conference week-end and my brain is buzzing. So stimulating! My own workshop on Net promotion for writers went very well. I’m thinking of making the information available on-line … but first, first …

First I have to give some thought to my PEN lecture tomorrow afternoon. I need to have a look at my usual talk, revise it for the occasion, and incorporate some of the things I learned at the conference.

And then: practice, practice, practice. My gown is ironed and ready to go. I checked it: I can still get into it—but barely!

And then, quickly, before it all slips away, I need to organize my Conference notes.

Wednesday, the day after the PEN lecture, will be the first day of a two month “free period”: time to settle into normal life. Time to get at the plot of The Next Novel.

(Photo credit: James Brylowski)

Emerging from the Archives

I’ve finally made it through to the end of the French biography of my heroine—sentence by slow sentence. Of course now my entire concept of Claude is different and the plot is going to have to be entirely changed. And also, of course, I should have carefully read this biography before I’d crafted the plot. I’d skimmed the book, but there was a great deal I didn’t understand. Fact-based fiction can be so challenging!

But before I dive back into The Plot, I need to give some thought to the promotion workshop I’m giving in ten days, as well as the PEN lecture I’m giving shortly after. Plus two talk meets today: one with my VA (who has already done so much!), and another with a French translator about certain passages in the Bastille Archives that defy my understanding. And then, later in the day, another attempt at video conferencing in preparation for a book club meet next week. The first, last Tuesday, failed, using AIM. This time we’re going to try using Skype.


I’ve two links to post here before signing off, both having to do with creativity. The first is a fantastic TED lecture by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, on creativity: click here to see it. She’s amazing.

And the second is a blog post on “how to write a book” using computer technology: click here. The discussion that follows the blog is of interest, as well, and one certainly close to my heart, since I’m continually trying to figure out how best to use certain database programs such as DevonThink and Evernote and NoteBook. Each have limitations that I find frustrating and I’ve yet to sort out. (For those of my readers who get pangs of Mac-envy, I’ve learned that the best database program for historical researchers is OneNote (for PC only, alas.)