The visit of the Monarchs yesterday.
Stumbled into a bit of quicksand yesterday.
Flailed around ineffectually for a few hours.
Put myself to bed shortly thereafter feeling a complete failure.
And that was my Friday. How was yours?
Sarcasm aside, my writing efforts yesterday sucked.
I realized, to my abject and total horror, that I can’t write late colonial dialogue to save my life. This could be a small problem to a girl starting on a 100K word Revolutionary War-era romance.
Hence the quicksand-flailing hours.
Years of being Panic’s whore, however, have made me either remarkably thick-skinned or remarkably foolhardy when it comes to these “little” stumbling blocks. (After all, how important is dialogue really? *smirks*)
After a quick but fervent visit with Samuel Richardson’s “Pamela” and Fanny Burney’s “Evelina” (two wonderful 18th century sources for Colonial manner of speaking), I plan to soldier on, right back into said-quicksand with a hardy laugh and a devil-may-care attitude…
So, this could get really ugly.
Or this could get really, really good.
P.S. Monarch butterflies are migrating through north Florida this week. I took this picture yesterday.
“Work in progress.”
In your mind, please place this admonition over all the blogs detailing my work on the Six Brothers project.
For instance, everything I professed in yesterday’s post about voice and style and “needless daisies” should be disregarded as hogwash.
I was wrong.
Oh, it was an honest mistake. I believed everything I was spouting and was fully prepared to embark on the short, dramatic, punchy sentences…
But, then, I dared to have a peek at some of today’s bestselling historical romance authors and found that needless daisies were in fact very much in season.
Not groves and groves of them, but they were indeed spattered about quite liberally.
After squeaking in utter glee, I spent the rest of the work day defining all sorts of wonderfully exacting details for my characters.
It was delightful.
But it also meant I needed to hammer up the “Work in Progress” sign first thing this morning.
That done and with apologies made and hopefully accepted, I leave you to your Friday.
Fully recovered from the other night’s psychiatric escapades (see yesterday’s truly pathetic blog for the truly pathetic details), I am ready to actually put word to paper today on the Six Brothers.
*a spattering of half-hearted applause echoes through the blogging auditorium*
Alright, I’m going to be needing a little more than that, folks. A big, messy belly-flop into the mainstream deserves at least one spirited “Yahoo!”
*a single, fur-faced sneeze from a foot off the carpet is the lone reply*
Fine. At least my four-legged muse is making an effort. I’ll take whatever I can get.
*sighs dramatically around a poorly hidden smile*
What I am concerned about is what kind of voice I’m going to use with a late Colonial/Revolutionary War-era romance?
With 100K words as my goal, I’m terribly tempted to get verbose, flowery even. Describe every detail down to the utterly ridiculous.
I could do it, too.
I could do it good. Real good.
But I won’t.
I’m aiming more for short, dramatic sentences that pack a clean and dramatic punch.
I’ve got a lot of ground to cover in the Six Brothers, so drowning in needless daisies and extraneous rose-hips really isn’t the way to go.
At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
Of course, the other half of myself quite reasonably muses, “Is there really such a thing as a needless daisy?”
I hesitate to even write this… (*chuckles sadly* Cowardice personified right there, folks. Jeez, I’m a wimp.)
Anyhow, I had a panic attack last night.
A bad one.
My stomach even joined in for three hours of jolly good fun in and out of the bathroom.
It was simply terrible.
And exactly like the ones I used to have twenty years ago…
Exactly like the ones twenty years ago that crippled me and locked me in my room for ungodly stretches of time (years, people.)
I haven’t had one of these in probably nine years, the last time I had to up my medication to control the damned things.
Thankfully, there was a different reason for this setback. A stupid reason. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
I forgot to take my medicine yesterday morning… for the first time in 18 years.
Needless to say that won’t happen again.
But what really has freaked me out is the stark realization that even after all these years of relatively panic-maintained living, I am still so, so close to losing myself to the illness again.
One missed handful of pills and I’m back to that horrible place that scarred me so terribly.
So, yes. I hesitated even to write this.
Admitting to the world that you are still one sick puppy is daunting and a little stomach-turning.
But it’s cowardice well-deserved.
Jamaica Pass, Brooklyn, New York.
August 26, 1776.
That’s where the Six Brothers begins.
That’s where I’m trying to go.
Anybody got a time machine I can borrow?
I wouldn’t need to stop and visit. Just a little flyby so I can snap a few pictures of the lay of the land, and I’d be good.
With all the research I’ve done these last six months on the late colonial period, I’m pretty ok with the customs, dress, talk and overall flavor of the era. (Note the awe-inspiring confidence held in that “pretty ok” word choice.)
However, a bygone landscape when Polaroid snapshots were few and far between is a little trickier to reimagine.
So, I’ve been scouring over old maps and drawings of the area, reading eye witness accounts to events, trying to capture something I can sink my imagination’s teeth into.
Little by little, bit by tee-tiny bit, it is working.
But I’m still thumbing for a ride on a kitted out Delorean.
Pardon the clinking and clanking.
The occasional “Crash!” and “Oh, damnation!” should also be ignored.
Nothing alarming going on here. I’m just rooting around in the china cabinet, trying to dig out a table setting for twelve.
With the Six Brothers project moving in for an extended stay (shooting for 100K words here), I’m struggling to make room for twelve major players taking up residence in my head.
Six brothers. Six significant others. All of varying heft in the storyline I have successfully pitched to my literary agent…. That’s a couple of minivans worth of personalities. And when a girl is used to driving a sports car for two, with an occasional antagonist crowded into the backseat, the change is daunting to say the least.
So, today is “Let’s move your asses in and I’ll figure out all the messy particulars later” day.
Messy particulars include how I’m going to feed these people.
I just hope nobody minds sharing forks.
Quiver behind me. The Six Brothers project ahead. I’m taking a day to just relax.
Isn’t that very adult of me?
Yep, professional here.
*clock ticks slowly by as everybody waits for the…*
I’m just itching to jump into the Six Brothers, anxious as all heck to jump into the mainstream romance waters and see what this crazy girl can do!
*sighs, as the whole “adult” and “professional” things swirl noisily down the drain*
I guess my engine doesn’t idle well.
Foolhardy but excited.
My normally, gently buzzing beehive of nerves (the “gently” part thanks to a fist-load of Prozac every morning) is currently nearing the angry-mob-with-pickaxes stage.
SIDE NOTE: Bees with pickaxes are always bad.
Why has the buzzing turned to shouts of rage, you might ask?
*admits, while hiding face in hands…*
The Halloween party for my 4 yr. old nephew is today.
Occasionally I forget how screwed up the old brain-wires are. Not today.
So, I’m using my daily blog this morning to get all my utter, bang-head-against-the-wall frustration with my stupid self out. Hopefully, I can then concentrate on giving my favorite little guy in all the universe a Halloween party he will never forget!
If the hatchet-toting bees will let me.
For the very first time in the whole of 2014, I am free!
I have completed my contract with Ravenous Romance, have no other deadlines awaiting me and am essentially a free agent author with a fantastic literary agent as my wingman.
Of course, cast in a slightly darker light, I am now unemployed with no assurance whatsoever that I will ever be published again.
Big, stinky bummer with toe fungus, actually.
But, I am choosing to dance in the bright, bright sunshine of “Wow!” instead of cowering in the shadows with “Bummer.”
A foolish strategy, some will say.
A brilliant stratagem, my four-legged muse and I maintain.
And with this newly found freedom, my dog and I have set our sights on the mainstream, where the only real (i.e. the “Look! I can afford toe polish without skipping two meals!”) money is.
It’s a shame that a writer can’t survive in the smaller streams of genre fiction. I’ve put 5 years and 17 novels into the m/m romance genre and now I’ve got to walk away from it all just so my career can keep growing.
Now that, ladies and gents, is the true “Bummer” of this picture.
With my normal post-novel hangover no doubt lurking in the shadows somewhere real, real close, I am a little hesitant to revel too much in my Quiver-ing achievement.
(Get it? Quiver-ing and the book’s name was Quiver?… yes, pretty pathetic, I’ll admit. Any and all good stuff, I’m afraid, got squeezed out yesterday into the book. Apologies.)
Anyhow, as you can tell, I’m working at about a 14 percent clip this morning.
At least I am here and it is still morning. Got to give me some credit there, right?
(Last night’s late, late post was a little weird. I felt like I should have had Kenny G playing in the background and the whole blog cast in “Let’s Get It On” mood lighting. *shudders*)
I’ve still got to finish up the sell copy this morning and get the cover design form into the publishing house, but after that I am putting to bed both Samuel and Brevyn and leaving them to their own wanton desires for a bit.
The American Revolution and mainstream historic romance calls!
And I am so excited to answer that it’s really, really silly… as evidenced by the really, really silly grin currently plastered to my face.
Alright, off to your day! I’ve got a hangover to host.
Have a marvelous Thursday, my friends.