Happiness is More of a Good Thing

I’ve been binge watching The Brokenwood Mysteries and finally made it to Seasons Nine and Ten, which to my surprise and delight are new to me. Favorite characters in new stories, the ultimate comfort watch. Bob has explained to me that we’re doing series from now on, and as I’m winding down Season Ten, I can see the wisdom in this. Happiness is definitely more of a good thing.

What made you happy this week?

Oh, Hell, It’s Wednesday Again

The good news is I’m done copy editing Rocky Start. I’m also having conferences on the website redesign, planning the newsletter (yes, there will be one), and giving up on my plan to stop drinking Diet Coke (such a relief). Also, I’m making brownies tonight.

The bad news is I’m putting Working Wednesday up late again. Really sorry about that. I need to look at this blog again and figure out how to better plan for you all to have a good time here. No, I will not touch Good Book Thursday, that definitely stays, but I’ve been coasting here so if you have any ideas for improvement, put ’em in the comments.

In the meantime, I’m going to go take a nap. I deserve one.

Happiness is Finishing a Book

I love finishing something because I so rarely do. Very good at starting things, finishing not so much, which is why Bob Mayer is a godsend. He finishes EVERYTHING. Of course, now I’m moving into OMG-is-it-any-good????-territory, but still. Rocky Start is finished and that’s a huge relief.

What made you happy this week?

This is a Good Book Thursday, July 4, 2024

For those of you in the US, happy Fourth of July. For those of you not in the US, be grateful. We’ll have more idiots setting themselves on fire today than any other day of the year. Plus loud noises. Because loud noises are very patriotic. Just look at Trump. You know what would be a good way to celebrate American independence? Sane legislators and justices. I loved Australia and New Zealand when I was there. Maybe it’s not too late to move. That might explain why, instead of reading anything other than the three books we’re writing, I’ve been rewatching the Brokenwood Mysteries. Very comforting.

So what did you read this week?

Working Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Yes, I screwed up again, but at least this time it’s still Wednesday. I’m working on the last pass on Rocky Start–it is formatted and ready to go, thank Bob–and a structural and thematic edit of Very Nice Funerals, and organizing some of the brainstorming we’ve been doing on The Honey Pot Plot, so I am working. A lot.

What have you been working on?

Happiness is Not Sucking

The beginning of a book is fun. I write a bunch of different scenes and think I’m brilliant and have all these IDEAS, and Bob writes stuff and it’s great and gives me more ideas and I’m just flying. And then we get into the weeds and I panic because we’re writing two different books and I have NO idea what my part is about and I don’t have my character yet and my stuff is all flat no layers and I tell myself I suck as a writer and Bob’s going to have to get us through this. And then he talks me off the ledge and we keep going and then, after much weeping and gnashing of teeth and despair of spirit, I can suddenly see the book. And it’s good. And that’s when I start glomming on to details and adding more, and finding the layers. There’s a whole book there, but there’s so much more that I didn’t see before that’s suddenly just blatant, and the book is wonderful, and Bob is a god among men, and MY GOD I’M GOOD AT THIS.

Happiness is getting close to the end and realizing you don’t suck after all.

How did you find happiness this week?

Writing the Second Book in a Series OR “Previously on . . .”

One of the many things that’s difficult about writing a series is that each book has to stand alone, so you have to set up the stuff from the first book at the beginning of the second. But you can’t just lay it out there, that’s boring for the reader who HAS read the first book. The opening of the second book in the Rocky Start series begins with my heroine being significantly annoyed with the hero because he’s leaving her, which of course he has every right to do. Or as she puts it, “You know what I hate? I hate being mad at somebody who hasn’t done anything wrong. It makes me look bitchy.”

And that’s a worry for me, too, because she’s repressing a lot of anger in the first two pages (as she recaps briefly what’s gone before) because she knows she shouldn’t be angry BUT SHE IS. Nobody likes a bitchy heroine. So here’s the first paragraphs of Very Nice Funerals. Tell me in the comments if you think she’s too awful or if you think the recap is too heavy handed.

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