Thinking about Argh Ink


I am behind on the comments, so if you asked me something there, I’ll get to you, I swear. I’m slashing Nita’s Act Two with a vorpal sword, and talking with Krissie about rake heroes in general and her latest book-in-progress in specific, and talking with my brother about winding up our parents’ estate (my brother is a wonderful, wonderful person, a saint, I’m telling you), and trying to turn my living room into an office, and making sure the dogs get out in the sun, and then there’s dishes and laundry and the sheets need changed and it’s 4PM and I still haven’t had breakfast or lunch.

The days are just PACKED.

In the meantime, I need to clean up this blog, which means I need to simple things up.
Continue reading

The Shoulds Got Me

I figured out why I didn’t write Lily this week. I was treating it like a book. That is, if this is a book, I should be dealing with the museum, I should be writing more Van, I should be exploring Dorothy, I should . . .

The Shoulds got me.

This is my fault (not yours, Katie or anybody else). I know how my discovery mind works, and it’s just to noodle until I have about 60,000 words. I have no idea how many words I have now, but it’s not 60,000 (20,000 maybe?). Sixty thou is about half a first draft–I always overwrite–and at that point, I know whether I have a book or not and need to buckle down.

The difference this time is that I’m letting you all play in my noodles (that metaphor needs work) and it’s been very beneficial, I’m learning a lot and you’re bringing good ideas to the mix, and the ones I can’t use, I ignore. But somehow I let that slop over into Should and, as we all know, that way disaster lies.

This does NOT mean you should stop discussing the drafts. I’ve gotten a lot out of your comments. It does mean I have to reorient my brain from Should to Noodle. (These are all highly technical terms from the most elite of writing circles; I’m quite sure Tennyson felt strongly about Shoulds and I know Byron noodled. With everybody.)

Still, I feel the need to entertain. All I have is the first act of Nita, now rewritten for the last fucking time, at least until somebody in New York gets their hands on it and says, “Needs more dog.” The problem is that most of you have read Nita’s first act four thousand times. And it’s 36,000 words. So I’m thinking no on that.

So it’s Choose Your Own Entertainment time. Tell me what would amuse you, and that’s what I’ll do on Friday. (And thank you very much for playing in the comments on Monday’s post. It reinforces my feeling that the posts are just here so you all have something to hang the conversation on.)

Lily Delayed

So it’s almost eleven on Sunday night, and I still haven’t written any Lily. I would feel bad about this, but I worked on Nita and made a lot of food, most of it now frozen–chicken casserole, beef stir fry, chicken noodle soup, steak quesadillas, tortellini, tuna salad, and coming up next, lasagna–so I feel like a non-slacker. I will get Lily 8 up when the Girls send up something. I think they took the time off so I’d make food–I was eating a lot of sandwiches–and now that the freezer is full again and I’m fed for the next couple of weeks, I’m sure they’ll start sending stuff up again.

And after all, it’s not a book. I just feel bad about promising to entertain and then not following through. Entertainment tomorrow, apologies tonight today.

Happiness is Grocery Shopping in a Pandemic

Karl-Heinz Wellmann from Wikipedia
I go out for groceries about every ten days, which is about the time the Diet Coke runs out, and the veggies in my freezer are depleted. I have to replace fresh vegetables–the old standards tomatoes, celery, peppers, onions, potatoes, lettuce, bok choy, snow peas–and bread, which right now is brioche bread, something I should not be eating but fuck it, it’s a pandemic. I LOVE brioche bread. And rolls. And raisin bread. Brioche raisin bread is insanely good.

Unfortunately, only one grocery store in this little town carries brioche bread, and it’s not My Grocery. It’s the Annoying Grocery. So this week I went to the Annoying Grocery, where I had to stand in a six-feet-apart line to wait to get in because there’s a limit to the number of people inside at a time (150, if you want to be exact).

This made me strangely happy. Continue reading

Cherry Saturday, May 9, 2020

It’s Hamburger Month. (That picture below is Epicurious’s Ultimate Hamburger.)

I’m heavily into hamburgers/cheeseburgers at the moment because (a) they taste good, (b) they have infinite variety, (c) they’re fast to make, and (d) I’m writing a book a noodle about a diner. My current fave is a two-cheese (cheddar and jack) burger on a brioche bun with spinach and tomato, mayo-dijon, and a pickle on the side so I can control the sour, but last week I had a bacon cheeseburger with homemade ranch dressing, romaine, and sautéed shallots, oven chips on the side, and it was excellent. The possibilities are endless, and I can count it as research.

Celebrate Hamburger Month. There is no downside.

Lily 7 Notes

So one of the things that the Girls sent up that’s been bugging me is Vikings.

I mean, why the hell Vikings?

I remember starting with the title, Surprise Lily, and then thinking she’d pop up in different centuries like a surprise lily, mainly because I couldn’t think of any other way she’d just pop up out of nowhere. If I was going supernatural, she could time jump or walk through walls or something, but I wanted something simple and fun. This is not a book. Let’s not make playtime difficult, Crusie. Continue reading

This is a Good Book Thursday, May 7, 2020

Sarah Wendell has a great essay in the Washington Post on why we’re all rereading right now: our normal way of living has disappeared so we’re constantly adjusting to change. “Everything is new, so everything is exhausting.” Enter old faves. I’ve definitely been plowing through Georgette Heyer again after spending last week with Christie and Stout. I was feeling slightly guilty about it, but evidently back lists are back in demand and fan fiction (more about favorite characters) is booming, so I’m in good company. I did read a couple of new romances, but it just wasn’t the same. I need something familiar wrapped around me right now.

Are you reading or re-reading? And what?

Working Wednesday, May 6, 2020

It’s amazing how much easier it is to work in the spring. I like winter, it just lasts too long. Spring and fall, however, just flit on by, thrilling the hell out of me. Well, I do love change. So that’s what I’m doing this week: changing my work habits, which were getting erratic. Yesterday, I didn’t wake up until 1:30 since I’d stayed up reading Heyer until the dawn. I think it was the dogs staring at me that woke me up. I could feel their unspoken thoughts: “We go out at NOON, you slovenly wench!” As I said, been reading Heyer.

So what’s new with your work this week? Is anything changing?