This is a Good Book Thursday, Oct 8, 2020

I’ve mostly been rereading my own works-in-progress along with some research books, old school in hardcover. I’d really missed underlining in the real world. I reread an old Mary Stewart and was surprised by how light on the romance it was. As in, no arc. And I’d loved that book many decades ago, too. I’m desperate to find something to take my mind off the increasingly bizarro news, so I will keep searching for re-reads. The problem is that I’ve reread my fave Heyers, Francises, Allinghams,Aaronovitch’s, and Murderbots so many times I can recite them now. So maybe Pratchett and Wodehouse. I can read Baxter falling down the stairs several more times without fatigue, I’m pretty sure.

What are you reading?

Working Wednesday, October 7, 2020

I am slowly cleaning up the front and side yards, not really so much cleaning as clearing up the edges. Blowing leaves and cutting back long grass is bad for things that need to winter over, but by making nice, clean, mulched edges, I can give the illusion of a plan. Also, baking things this week. It’s baking season.

What are you doing this week?

You Gotta Have Friends, Part Two

My other penpal is, of course, Bob Mayer, with whom I wrote for five years. If there’s one thing Bob and I can do, it’s communicate, often in short pithy phrases. Bob was career military, so he’s great at giving me parameters on that, plus we wrote together for so long that we speak the same fiction language. And, like Toni, he points out the places that tripped him up and gives me possibilities the story evoked in him. So below are some of the exchanges we had; as with Toni, there’s a lot more in my e-mail folder.

(He was particularly helpful with the strangling stuff.)

To begin with, I described my idea of Nate’s back story and got this: Continue reading

You Gotta Have Friends, Part One

I have the great good fortune of having Friends Who Know Stuff, in my current case, two who are invaluable, Toni McGee Causey and Bob Mayer. I’ve been e-mailing like crazy with them about Anna.

Toni and I have been pals forever, and we think a lot alike, plus she knows a lot about the FBI from her Bobbie Fay books and from real life (like she me, she benefitted professionally from giving birth to somebody who grew up to be an expert) and she has background in the mob because Toni knows everybody, so she’s been reading and giving me feedback, talking through the back story basics with me. It’s not invasive, more like setting up guardrails, aka “The FBI wouldn’t do that,” and again, that’s not messing with story or discovery, it’s more giving me parameters so I can keep this within the bounds of improbability instead of impossibility.

So, on the theory that everything I do is fascinating, (sorry, Argh), here are some of things Toni and I talked about. Continue reading

Happiness is Fat Bear Week

Some days, you just need a fat bear.

That’s why this week is so happy at Brooks River in Katmai National Park as the annual Fat Bear Tournament has kicked off. From September 30 to October 6, you can vote on who is the fattest bear. It’s prime fat bear season because the fuzzies are bulking up for winter. Matchups will be open for voting from 12 – 10 p.m. Eastern (9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Pacific).

Last year’s winner: Continue reading

HWSWA: Talking About Starting Anna

Here’s the latest HWSWA post on starting Anna’s story.

We talk about the new book I’m working on as I try to explain the basic idea using some really bad conflict boxes and the a too-long sentence idea to focus in the fog of discovery. Bob asks good questions and makes me think about things and justify my decisions, exactly what a critique partner should do.

Next week, Bob’s one-sentence idea and conflict lock for his new book, where I will try to make him justify things and he will answer, “Because.”

Working Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Well, my favorite month just flew by, and I didn’t get much done, but I have revised the Anna Part One post more than thirty times, so I did have a surge of activity there at the end. It’s 6,500 words. Part Two is 5500 words. Part Three isn’t finished, but it’s 3500 words so far. Plus Bob and I did the next HWSWA talking about Anna (his new book is next week) so I did a lot of thinking about the story for Saturday. I have been working.

What did you work on this week?