Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Odds and Ends
So it's late June and I'm fully immersed in summer. Sitting on the front porch reading, talking, watching the world go by. Taking my dog on long walks and letting him play in the creek. Grilling almost every night. Even though I'm no longer tied, at least professionally, to an academic schedule, summer is still more than just a season. It's a philosophy, a state of mind. The kids are home and the rhythms of the house change. (Over on my group blog, my post today is about my summer mom makeover. In a sense.)
I'm also blogging less often. But that has more to do (I think) with the writing work I'm doing than anything else. I've decided to take another run at my MS for Unexpected Grace (for regular readers, this is the novel I thought I'd completed in February). I'm excited about this. I know I'm just a few fine tunings away from what I want it to be. And I've figured out how to get there. Which strings to pull, which threads to loosen. And I owe my buddy Kristy Kiernan a huge thanks for pointing me in the right direction. We were chatting a week or so ago, talking about writing and ice cream and dogs and such, and she recommended the Donald Maass book Writing the Breakout Novel.
I admit, I was skeptical. I viewed it (and many writing books, I hate to say) as on the same level of those articles and headlines that promise you can "lose your belly fat and still eat everything you want!" But this book is the real deal. It is practical and smart and hands on. It's not suggesting a formulaic anybody-can-write-a-bestseller plan. It's designed to help writers take a draft to the next level. It has clarified things for me. Crystalized what I was aiming for. Helped me give my characters and plot some needed torque. I highly recommend it. And I'll keep you posted on my progress.
Finally, and most importantly, three years ago today I married my trophy husband, my keeper spouse. Happy anniversary, John.