Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm finally getting some substantial writing done after a month mostly absent from the keyboard.  Castaway Dreams is chugging toward its conclusion within a chapter or two, and I'm feeling good about how it's going.  It helps that I have much of the climactic scene and dialogue already written, and I'll be able to drop it into the framework of the story.

Now I have to stop thinking about the next book and stay focused on this one.  It's an occupational hazard that I hear about from other writers.  The work you're doing doesn't feel as exciting as the work you'll do next. But this happens with every novel I've written, so I'm used to it by now and know there's only one cure--finish this book before I start the next one.  Otherwise, I'll have a file drawer full of unfinished manuscripts, which wouldn't help anyone.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A typical Snellen chart. Originally developed ...Image via Wikipedia

I had an eye exam today and it took longer than usual because the doc and I were discussing a research question I had. I'd asked him at one point about giving my heroine an interesting vision problem, but ended up not using it in my novel. However, he was enthused at the concept and was very forthcoming with information and ideas.

I find that generally when I ask people for research help in their particular areas they're excited to help. No one says, "Euuuwww...I don't want to help write one of those books!" (My math teacher son did refuse to look at my sex & geometry scene, which I fully understood, but he was kind enough to put me in touch with another math teacher who was most helpful.)

People like to be called on to discuss their areas of interest. The MDs, RNs, EMTs and other medical professionals who've read scenes in Castaway Dreams were all great and as my manuscript nears the finish line I owe them all a debt.

I feel bad sometimes when I ask someone for help and I end up not using the information in my novel. Yes, I'm looking at you, USGS hydrologists! But I never discard the research. What doesn't make it into one novel may very well make it into another, or be a springboard for further research.

So thanks, all of you who help to make my novels a little more accurate and interesting. And as always, any mistakes are mine and mine alone.

Sunday, May 09, 2010




"Julia blinked away the sudden moisture in her eyes.
'Oh, Mama, I wanted to be more like you. Bold and adventurous, not afraid of anything!'
Christine set her cup down with a click and stared at her daughter. 'My dear child, there is so much I am afraid of! Every mother has constant fears for her children's safety, and their happiness! But you were the daughter I dreamed of. You sparkled and shone. I would watch you at parties with all your friends, filling your dance card and laughing, and I was so proud of you and so happy for you. I did not want you to be like me when I was young, sitting on the sidelines watching the other girls have fun!'

--Smuggler's Bride

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers who worry and fret, and are proud and happy too.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I was offline for the past 10 days or so and it's amazing in hindsight how soothing that can be. It's not that I don't love all of you bunches and bunches, but sometimes not being connected all of the time to the world outside is a good thing. I had more time to think, to be with my family, to let my mind go down other avenues.

On the other hand, it's also good to be back and to pick up the threads of my normal life. Today's been a catch-up day, but tomorrow I expect to be back at work writing.