State of the Collaboration: Essay on Revision

We are now at 85,000 words on Rest in Pink, looking at being done with the first draft by the end of July. Yes, we’re stunned by the speed of that, too. Also I browbeat convinced Bob into picking a name for the last book which is now One in Vermillion.

In other news, the NYT did an essay on revising books that have already been published, and while I drifted during some of it, it made some really good points. For the record, I updated a couple of my novels and ended up regretting it. But that’s just me.

So that’s:
Lavender’s Blue
Rest in Pink
One in Vermillion

It’s a plan.

35 thoughts on “State of the Collaboration: Essay on Revision

  1. I’m very excited at the possibility of new books! And even more excited because you guys really seem to be enjoying yourselves! BTW, your titles are reminiscent of the titles of the Travis McGee series by John D. MacDonald which I used to enjoy back in the day. I wonder if that series still holds up…

    1. I read Travis McGee many years ago and liked them.. tried rereading some a while back and there were some issues with the earlier books. I think they are understandable given the time period they were written in, but still it made me pause. For example one young woman he is helping got upset about something so he slapped her to calm her down.. and she was kinda grateful?? just did not work for me.. but asides from that his books have a lot of charm for his ruminations about the destruction of Florida and the world in general. and the storylines are always interesting. a few had more violence than I was ok with, but I just skim those scenes.

  2. I’m humming “One in Vermillion” to the “One In A Million” song now, which I’m sure was the intention 😛

    How does one incorporate that color into murder?

    1. I think even having three firm titles for books in a series is an impressive accomplishment — especially in the context of a collaboration that includes both epidemic apostrophes and recurrent zombies. You’re making all of us very happy on a Gloominess Monday.

      Also, in the spirit of Random Thoughts Whatever-day: this quote from an AMA newsletter:

      “the production of just one serving of red meat generates 200 times the carbon dioxide (CO2) that is involved in growing a serving of beans.”

      Off to check the recipes online for meatless chili….

        1. I like One in Vermillion but maybe Yellow Brick Roadkill can be the fourth book. 😉

    2. There’s a company called Vermillion Inc, which is the semi-bad-guy.
      The rep for the company gets annoyed when Liz points out that the name is basically Red Ink.

  3. Apropos collaboration, I am re-reading, for the gazillionth time, one of my most favorite go-to feel-good books ever — Agnes and the Hitman.

    Every time I read the book, I am reminded that the absolute best line, hands down, ever, in the Romance/Crime genre has to be when Agnes gets pissed off after the arrival of the second flamingo and calls up to get them removed:

    “You take them back today, Butch, or your ass is grass and I am a John Deere super-classic riding lawn mower with a V6 engine and a double-cutting blade, do I make myself clear?”

    I laugh EVERY DAMNED TIME and I look forward to that one sentence EVERY DAMNED TIME. And I have read this book so often that I think the physical copy I have in my hands right now is at least the 4th one I bought, as the others have disintegrated. (I actually gave a disintegrating one, held together by a rubber band, to a girlfriend of mine, because I couldn’t bear to throw it out and as far as I know she still has it….)

    So, am I looking forward to the upcoming trilogy? You betcha!

    (BTW and off topic: There is a big fat pigeon sitting in my tree about 6 feet from my office window, staring at me, unblinking. I am beginning to feel paranoid. I hope it’s only staring because it’s waiting for me to refill the feeder for the little blue tits…. If not, I have to wonder what’s going through its little pigeon head. 😱)

    1. If that’s an empty feeder, it’s a legitimate pigeon attention magnet. On the other hand, it could be thinking about starting its next novel.

    2. Oh, thank you.
      My favorite line in this so far is, “You know, I’d be okay with my life being an open book if people would quit reading out loud from it.”

  4. “So that’s:
    “Lavender’s Blue
    “Rest in Pink
    “One in Vermillion

    “It’s a plan.”

    It sounds like a great plan!

    I have a plan, too. Nothing that will involve writing, though. You see, I had this fly infestation…

    Easy solutions were easy. I set up a quart rubbermaid drink container with some honey water and an inverse cone (a coffee filter) with a little hole to let flies in. When it caught nothing, I put some bamboo skewers in the bottom of a frying pan, added water, and set the hotplate on low. The water was supposed to warm up the honey water and make it more aromatic to attract the flies. I caught one. There were ten drowned in the frying pan, though.

    I unrolled two flypaper strips and hung them where I thought they’d do the most good. The overhead light in the garage apartment is a pull-chain screw-in single bulb, LED of course. I noticed a bajillion flies congregating on the chain, so the first strip was attached to said chain. Now there are a bajillion raisons on the strip, and the fly population took a catastrophic hit.

    The other was pinned near the ranches, and it also has a bunch of raisons dotting it.

    I went to my FNFL and bought a can of flying insect death spray. No way could I indiscriminately spray that around. It’s a small living space full of plants I want to eat. What I did spray was the fly-block netting that I use for light abatement from the harvests. They land on that all the time. Now they land and die.

    The last part of the plan arrived from Amazon this evening. Electric bug zappers. In fact, I just heard the characteristic SNAP of a bug being zapped behind me.

    I have not seen a fly in the last hour. I love it when a plan comes together.

    1. We’ve got a mass of flies in the RV we own. They come back every year. I’m going to try some of your suggestions. Sounds like you won…until they regroup. LOL

      1. Before I got proactive, the flies had time to lay eggs. They’ll be back. (Or their progeny will.) The bug zappers are now a permanent part of my décor. The sticky strips will come down – they are unsightly – but I have more standing by. The honey water has been retired as ineffective.

        Good luck in your RV.

        1. Which reminds me of my favorite Yiddish curse, “May you grow like an onion, with your head in the ground.”

  5. I like the original to stay exactly the same, warts and all. I would rather make my own concessions to the time of a book’s writing than have someone guess them for me. Those guesses will just irritate me.

  6. I can’t imagine writing at the pace you two are managing. I think of that sketch of Jo March in Little Women, captioned “Genius Burns.” Kudos!

    1. We can’t imagine it, either.
      But it’s working for us.

      Eventually we’ll have to slow down, but today is not that day.

  7. This is amazing. I can’t believe how fast you guys are working and I am so so happy to know that there will be a new novel soon. I wouldn’t discard yellow brick. There’s always that fourth one.

  8. I am at the “sit in front of the computer or I will do something unspeakable to you” phase where I am lucky if I get 200 words a day. I loved to Taiko Waiti’s quote on that.
    Some times writing is opening up your lap top, looking at a blank page for eight hours, and then feeling sad, and closing it. That still counts as writing.

  9. I am so excited!!

    Upcoming books from you, upcoming books from KJ Charles, nothing but good times ahead.

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