This is a Good Book Thursday, December 29, 2021

I bought myself a book for Christmas. It was expensive and unnecessary (although I told myself it might work into the Haunting Alice book) but I ignored the practical and went for the beautiful. It’s titled Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser, and it starts with pages and pages of gorgeous Alice collages and then goes into the history of how Alice came to be written, how the story has been translated to the stage and screen, how it’s inspired art and fashion, all of it copiously illustrated with photos and drawings. It’s a wonderland of a book about a wonderful book.

What did you read this week?

Happiness is Other People

I talked to my brother and sister-in-law on Christmas Eve about nothing important; it was wonderful.

I talked to my friend Alisa yesterday morning about how we’re doing, nothing either of us needs to remember; it was fun.

I talked to my daughter yesterday afternoon about this and that, nothing crucial; it was the best.

And the thing I remember most about all of it, is the sheer joy I felt hearing their voices, picturing them in my mind, feeling warm memories about times past and warm thoughts about futures together. I really don’t like the phone, but I love the voices.

Note to self: Call Krissie.

What made you warm and happy this week?

This is a Good Book Thursday, December 23, 2021

This week I mostly read my own stuff. I tried Hunter Thompson’s Hells Angels, but I’ve had enough toxic masculinity this week from Congress, so I passed on that. (Hella well written, though.). I sampled a couple of new romances and mostly learned what not to do before I DNFed (not well written). I tried to figure out what it was in blurbs that made me buy and realized I was moving toward a romance reading black hole–no billionaires, no shifters, no bikers, no smirkers, no control freaks, no professor/student-boss/employee-rich person/poor person stories, no werewolves, no . . . Yeah, I gotta get a grip. The gold standard is still “read the sample and if it keeps me reading I don’t care if it’s about a billionaire shifter who smirks while he tries to control a woman who kicks his ass on a regular basis . . .” Actually it’s that last part that matters. Well, that and good writing. Hunter Thompson, for example, was a good writer. Too bad he never tried romance. No, wait, that’s a terrible idea, forget I said that. We can’t stop on that idea, that’s bat country.

What good writing did you read this week?

Working Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Yesterday was the solstice, aka the longest night of the year in this hemisphere, which means today we turn the corner and the days start getting longer again. (Those of you in the south are getting your longest day of the year. I picture you gloating. :p). We Northerners still have most of winter to get through, but every day there’ll be a little more sun, a little more stretch to the light. More time to work. And read. And pause to be happy just for the moment.

What did you work on during the darkest week of the year (or lightest, depending on where you call home)?

Questionable: How Long is a Chapter?

CateM wrote:
Jenny, what’s (roughly) the word-count for one of your chapters? I know chapter lengths are arbitrary/ not inherently tied to story structure. But I’m trying to figure out pacing stuff for the new thing I’m working on, and I like how yours feel long enough to feel substantial/like I’m settling in for a good story, while also being short enough that it’s comfortable to read them in one sitting.

I don’t write in chapters, I write in acts and break the acts into parts/scene sequences, and my chapters come from there, usually in the final draft.

But that’s no help, so let me get specific. Continue reading

Happiness is Something Good Around the Corner

I get to see my family right after Christmas, which is wonderful.

Krissie is coming to visit in April, which is amazing.

I’m almost done with Nita for the last time, which is such a relief and will be such a rush.

I’d almost forgotten, with the virus and staying hunkered down, how much happiness there is in the idea that there something just around the corner, heading your way, that’s not an oncoming train. It changes “What now?” from “What fresh hell is this?” to “OMG, it’s a rainbow,” and makes me ludicrously happy. Nothing but good times ahead, once we get around this corner.

What came around your corner to make you happy this week?

Okay, I’m Back

I’m feeling very pro-active because I am finally back to work. I’ve been checked out for awhile, and that’s not good, but I think I’ve got myself in gear again. I’m almost finished with the Act One rewrite of Nita and I am never rewriting it again. I don’t even care if it’s lousy (it’s not) I’m not looking at this again. There’s just this one section (Part 4) that needs tightened because it’s just information about what they did all day, and the info is important but they’re not together and that’s death in a romance novel, so I just have to sharpen it so I don’t lose any readers and make sure the parallels are strong. Make it faster. More snark. It’s 5000 words, I can revise that in an hour or two. Continue reading

This is a Good Book Thursday, December 16, 2021

I’ve been avoiding anything with Christmas in the title, so I mainly concentrated on Anne Stuart’s It Takes a Thief (working title) which isn’t out yet because she’s still rewriting. Such a pleasure to read smooth, professional writing that doesn’t use smirk as “cute grin.” (Get over it, Jenny.) Also a lot of Buzzfeed because that’s about where my intelligence level is at this point.

What did you read this week?

Working Wednesday, December 15, 2021

I’ve been crocheting again and remembering how wonderfully soothing it is. There’s something about really great yarn–and I have Felici and Hawthorne, so I have really great yarn–that is just valium for the senses, color and softness and weight. Right now I’m just noodling around with it, but I am working on cardigan, making it up as I go, that I’m really happy with. Yarn is good.

What did you work on this week?