Monday, April 13, 2009

Thoughtful things on a Monday afternoon.

First, I hope all who celebrate Easter and/or Passover had a lovely and blessed season. Our church had an unusual celebration, gathering for brunch at a local hotel, with only a short meeting, and when we went to pay the bill, were told it had been taken care of already. Whoever our benefactor was, that was a lovely gesture, much appreicated, and it got me thinking (hence Jacqueline's thoughtful pose in today's picture.)

Since I've been known to pull from widely diverse reference sources, I'll start with a paraphrase from Dr. Phil. If what you're doing isn't working, do something else. Or, as Benjamin Franklin put it, the definition of stupidity is to perform the same experiment the same way and expect different results. Both gents are quite right and their advice works well when one hits a writing wall.

Next piece of the puzzle: the Ben Folds song, "Carrying Cathy" and the movie Love Actually. I'll have stretches of time when I get strongly focused on one thing that inspires me, and have to examine it from several different angles, to see why it resonates that strongly with me, and what I'm to do with it. Current object: song mentioned above. Particularly this bit:

Woke up sad from this dream I've been having
The last couple nights or so
With her father and brothers we're all at the funeral
Carrying a box through the rain

That image refused to leave my mind, and being the Anglophile that I am, the movie in my head had the men carrying the coffin at shoulder height, in British tradition (which brings in the funeral from Love Actually...and Four Weddings and a Funeral, come to think of it) instead of the American tradition, though Mr Folds is American and one might presume the song is as well. What can I say, I'm hardwired for British historicals.

So why is this random idea monopolizing my brain when I have a contest entry to get in, agents to query, and a schedule to make sure my ms is polished and ready to submit? When I'm also ripping apart a shelved story idea to see if it can be saved, if it's part of another partial idea, and ack, I have to research for the next historical once the time travel sails off to its requested appointment?

Because ::deep breath:: I haven't written for fun in a while, and if one doesn't enjoy one's work, it's going to be harder. I did not remember this before now, why? Hmm. Yes, writing is a job and a career and needs professionalism and dedication, but there needs to be the joy of it as well. Not that writing has been joyless of late, but a bit of a reminder, and sometimes it's in the playing around that the best ideas present themselves. Guess what I'm doing today.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Back from the NEC conference (okay, a week later) and as always, revved to get back to the grind and get another book out. Everyone who saw the gorgeous cover art for Orphans in the Storm loved it. I got to attend a wonderful workshop with Emily Bryan on writing sex, and found Sally MacKenzie (she of Naked noblemen fame) makes a delightful lunch partner. I was able to tell her how much I'd enjoyed her presentation last year on writing linked books and that her entry in the Lords of Desire Anthology was waiting on my nightstand for me at home. ::Happy sigh:: I love conferences. Must attend more.

Good results; my roommate for the conference got a request for her first thirty pages of a novel with romantic elements, I won a free critique of first three chapters and synopsis from Sourcebooks, but the big news is...drumroll...I got a request for the full ms of Endless Summer from Leah Hultenschmidt at Dorchester! ::does cartwheel:: Time to polish and send out.

The not so good result of the trip, though, was driving away with my suitcase still on the hotel curb, but the DH and I went up with our friend, Linda, to retrive it, everything was there, and we stopped at Chili's on the way home, so all's good there.