This is a Good Book Thursday, March 31, 2022

This week I read ten thousand files of Lavender’s Blue, a book I started in 2013 (?). It’s part of a three book trilogy, and I like it, a lot, but it’s a mess, which talking to Bob confirmed. (Let’s give the guy props, he read over 65,000 words for me.) Which is when I said, “This needs Vince’s PoV.” The whole thing was in Liz’s first person voice, and I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but my voice can be overwhelming. Oh, you already knew that? Sorry. So I said, “How do you feel about writing Vince’s PoV?” and we talked about that and he did a scene that was, of course, great in Vince’s voice and it pretty much confirmed that low-key Vince needs to be the counterpoint to snarky, angry Liz. So we are cautiously thinking about collaborating again. Those of you who’ve been here for all of Argh know that occasionally Bob and I have tried to kill each other, but we’re older and wiser now, so with any luck we can do this. I’m also re-reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and watching while Christie tap-dances around the murderer. I maintain that it’s completely fair play, but still she was dancing pretty fast on this one. I sympathize.

So what did you read this week?

Working Wednesday, March 30, 2022

While my mind was exploding from thinking about Nita, I switched over to Liz, which was worse. At some point, I e-mailed Bob and said, “Help” and sent him over 60,000 words of of first person single point of view garbage. Okay, not garbage, I actually liked a lot of it, but still it was a mess. I knew he was still recovering from trying to save You Again, but I was desperate. So this week has been a lot of e-mail swapping on plot and character and arguing who’s the murderer and who’s the victim and “Why would she do that?” and “Why would he do that?” something we haven’t done in many years. We started writing together eighteen years ago and have often threatened to kill each other since then, but when it comes to fiction, he’s the guy you want in your corner. So at this point, I’m fairly cheerful about Liz. I think Bob’s fairly annoyed, but he’s being great about it. He even said he likes my protagonist. So this week is a lot of house and yard work and Liz. Fingers crossed.

What did you do this week?

Rewriting the First Scene: The Devil in Nita Dodd

I just went back and looked at the first scene of Nita, to see how bad it was. It was bad. (Click here if you want to see how bad.). Nita was humorless, it read like I was setting up Chloe to Mort’s love interest (I wasn’t), there were a ton of names, and there was very little conflict. It sucked.

Then I read the latest version from this week, six years after the first version. It’s better, but I’ve rewritten it so many times that I think I can recite it in my sleep. It’s Nita vs. Button (Chloe) so at least I have conflict, Button trying to convince Nita not to get out of the car, and Nita determined to get out to help somebody. There’s still a lot of characters, and I’m not sure it’s focused enough (I think the conversation with Frank is still part of the Nita/Button conflict, but not sure about the conversation with Jason), and it doesn’t have any echoes of the last scene which I need to fix.

But I’ve been rewriting this sucker for six years so . . . The latest version of the first scene is below, should you want to compare what’s changed in six years. Short answer: EVERYTHING. Well, everything except the setting.

And of course, you all will weigh in on this in the comments. It’s the Argh way. Continue reading

Happiness is Sleeping Late

I taught in public schools for the first fifteen years of my career, and I had to be at work at 7:30 AM and I hated it. Today I slept until 1PM. I’m a sleep slut, but I am fully rested and very happy. Sleep. It’s a good thing.

How did you wake up to happiness this week?

Happiness is the Last Snowstorm of Winter

We’re getting slammed with snow this weekend (okay, not slammed, four inches is not slammed) and it’s beautiful. This is, in part, because it’s the middle of March and next week it’s going to be in the fifties all week so we just have to shovel out the weekend, and in part because it’s probably, I hope, the last snow of the season, but mostly because it’s just beautiful watching it fall. And then melt on Monday. Also I bought a giant Lemon Gnome to encourage me to keep going. Happiness is also a Lemon Gnome.

How did happiness fall into your life this week, lemony or otherwise? Continue reading