Interrupted Plans will be released NEXT MONTH! I am so excited to finally be able to share this full-length novel with you all. I love this story. It’s got snow storms, carriage accidents, new rivals, and a touch of scandal. Plus, lots of zinging, romantic scenes between my all-time favorite couple, Darcy and Elizabeth.
You might remember me writing about Guardians sometime last year. It’s my latest WIP, and so far I’ve really enjoyed crafting the story. It’s got guardian angel-like beings, magical overlords, and romance. Or at least, I thought it had romance.
My two main characters were supposed to fall in love and save each other. But they’re just not cooperating. Their romance is so…meh. I can’t seem to make their attraction believable or rewarding to read about. It’s a mess.
Meanwhile, two sets of other characters are hellbent on making their romances the center of the story. This is a new problem for me. Usually, I dream up an interaction between two characters and the rest comes from there.
So I’m more than 30,000 words into a story that I’m starting to not care about. It’s a roadblock, to say the least. I think my creative juices have just stalled a bit. Can juices stall? It’s January in the middle of a pandemic and some people just mobbed the Capital Building (yep, I went there), so maybe creative mind is just feeling a bit stifled.
For now, I’m putting it aside. Just like that wonderful scene in Kiki’s Delivery Service when Ursula says, “Stop trying. Take long walks. Look at the scenery. Doze off at noon. Don’t even think about [writing].”
And so, I’ll practice yoga and martial arts, take my kids to the park when the sun comes out, use my new watercolor pens, and stop trying to make Ella and Robbie work things out.
In-between grappling with Halloween Covid choices (treat or treating? pumpkin patches?) and costume creation, I have been working on a brand new story. For those of you who are keeping track, yes, I am still in edits for my latest publication, Interrupted Plans.
This work, which I’m calling Guardians for now, is a young adult fantasy romance. I guess. Genres aren’t really my thing. I had the initial spark of an idea about three years ago, but suddenly it’s taken off in my brain and I can’t brainstorm anything else but this.
Guardians is, like all my work, a romantic tale. There are star-crossed lovers, there are magical beings, and there is a big evil dude bent on the acquisition of power. There may be two interwoven plot lines. There are definitely angel wings.
Those of you who have followed me for a while will know that whenever I begin a new project, I begin a new playlist. (Insert rant about Google’s new changes to Play Music here).
Today I want to share a few of my new musical discoveries. First up, Atlas: Hearing by Sleeping at Last:
Is that not a magical piece of music? It screams for writing. My fingers itch just listening to it. Another new favorite is Run by Ludovico Einaudi:
It is so good! Poetic and sweeping and just darn lovely. It fits one of my characters perfectly. It’s sort of become her theme song.
I hope your October is full of joy. Take care and stay well.
Hello, dear readers. I’m back to share with you my latest additions to my writing playlist. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that music is essential for my writing mojo. When I start a new work, I create a new playlist. It’ll usually be filled with instrumental pieces, but occasionally songs with words get in there too.
I have a favorite playlist that I continually add to, which I’ve called “Historical Romance.” I’m creative like that. This is what I listened to while writing Interrupted Plans.
The first piece I’m sharing today is called “The Northbound Train” from the BBC adaptation of North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell. It’s composed by Martin Phipps, a favorite of mine. Take a listen:
It’s just so good! The next piece is from a soundtrack near and dear to my heart. “Leaving London,” from Patrick Doyle’s Sense and Sensibility soundtrack. This track is particularly relevant to the story line of Interrupted Plans!
If you have never listened to much Patrick Doyle or Martin Phipps, please, please, please check them out. So much loveliness! Take care, dear readers. Stay well.
P.S. If you’re interested, check out more of my Music to Write By series, click the Music to Write By tag below.
I thought I had a pretty good handle on how to address a lady or gentleman of the Regency Period. In the midst of editing my latest novel, however, I’ve learned so much about the intricacies of this seemingly simple occurance. A man walks in, he says hello, the lady responds. That’s it, right?
Oh, no. There is so much more to it.
One of the things I learned through reading various blog posts was that a gentleman must ask to be introduced to a lady. And the lady may decline! She could just say, no and walk away. I find it fascinating how behaviors change over time. I feel like you couldn’t pull that off today without being called rude. Back in the Regency period, it was considered a way that a lady could protect herself from unwanted acquaintances.
Also, a person of higher rank must acknowledge you first. If they do not ask for an introduction, you cannot. Think Mr Collins embarrassing Elizabeth by going up and introducing himself to Mr Darcy, a man of superior rank. Gasp!
This knowledge has been incredibly helpful to me while crafting my stories. If you’re interested in learning more, check out these blog posts:
I am pleased to announce that my next novel, Interrupted Plans, will be published this year with Meryton Press! I’m currently in the middle of the editing process. I’ll be sharing information about publication timelines, editing quirks, and blog tours soon, So stay tuned!
Let’s just take a minute to bask in the beauty of this fairy tale castle. Culzean Castle is located on the Ayrshire Cliffs of Maybole, which is on the Eastern coast of Scotland. After a little research, I picked this castle as the home of one of my characters in my current work in progress. His name is Mr Wessex, and he inherited this place from his mother’s family. Lucky guy, huh?
Mr Wessex moves from the South of England to Scotland upon his inheritance. He refuses to give up on the castle, which is my story is in need of repair and fresh funds. In actuality, this castle was built in late 18th century, maybe 30 years or so before Mr Wessex comes to own it.
I love writing fiction. Need a problem? Invent one! Need a solution? Create it!
The real Culzean Castle was designed by a gentleman named Robert Adam. Though he grew up in Scotland, Robert Adam traveled to mainland Europe to take in as much architectural knowledge as possible. When he returned to England in 1758, he and his brother John began to work hard to establish themselves. Eventually, their style came to be known as the Adam style. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “The Adam style was marked by a new lightness and freedom in the use of the classical elements of architecture—a fresh combination of many architectural elements.” Check out the full article here for more fascinating info about Robert Adam.
The kids and I have been on the struggle bus lately. No one seems to be able to focus. I struggle to focus on writing, and they struggle to focus on schoolwork. When we start arguing during lessons, I know it’s time to take a break from homeschooling and recharge. We typically do this by stopping table time (read: books lessons) and going on outings. We’d hit up the Cincinnati Zoo, the Cincinnati Museum Center, and ALL the playgrounds.
For obvious reasons, we can’t do that right now. The weather has been challenging, too. It’s been very rainy and unseasonably cool here. In short, we’re all feeling like you probably are: a bit out of sorts.
A solution presents itself
Last week while numbing out on my phone, I was trolling the Petfinder app and stumbled upon the Ohio Alleycat Resource & Spay/Neuter Clinic. Their website said they needed fosters for various cats and kittens. My mind started working…
I signed us up to foster cats and/or kittens. We’ve been approved and are awaiting our first fosters right now. You can imagine how often the kids ask me if OAR has texted me yet. I was feeling pretty good. We’d be helping animals, while giving ourselves new purpose and fuzzy goodness. Even my husband, though not an animal person, was okay with the plan.
And yet more weirdness for 2020
Then one night while watching Frozen II (this is relevant because Frozen II is amazing and Anna is my hero), my daughter noticed the parakeets doing something a little strange. Yep, they were mating. Dang it.
A bit of background. When we first got our parakeets, we had two males. George sadly passed away a week or two after we brought him home. We went back and got Tonks, who I thought was a boy. Nope. Turns out Tonks is female. So Fred and Tonks were together in the cage, but I wasn’t worried. They weren’t very friendly with each other (parakeet females won’t mate if they don’t approve of the male) and I was doing all the things to decrease the odds of mating (changing their cage setup regularly, not providing nesting boxes, covering their cage earlier at night).
Well it turns out that Ian Malcolm was right. Life finds a way. So now I’m scrambling to learn all I can about brooding parakeets and raising ‘keet chicks. It seems doable…I think. If all goes well, we’ll have some very cute and tame young parakeets in about two months. Gulp.
It goes without saying that we are living through a crazy time. I am lucky in that I can work from anywhere. I homeschool my kids, so that hasn’t changed. I always work from home when I act as the bookkeeper for my husband’s small business. I usually go to my favorite writing place, White Oak Coffee House, to work on my writing. I can’t go there right now, but surely I can write from home.
Yeah….my creative spark seems to have dimmed. My anxiety has spiked. My mind is so full of the harrowing facts of the present and the ‘what if’s’ of the future that there seems to be little room for sweeping romance.
Does this block sound familiar to anyone else? You’re definitely not alone.
Thursday is my writing day, and for the past three or four Thursdays I’ve just sat there, staring at a blinking cursor. So I decided to focus on other pursuits for a while. I finished a sweater for my daughter that I began back in December. I knit myself a cowl. And I’ve even started teaching myself how to sew, something I’ve always wanted to do.
Today I took some time and wrote out a scene that I had dreamed up (literally). I only wrote about three pages, but it still felt great.
As Mr Darcy would say, I hope you and your families are all in good health. Take very good care.
Remember back in October when I shared my plan to create The Basic Coop from The Garden Coop? Well four months later, the thing is finished! It languished in our garage for many months while I procrastinated–intimidated as I was by the size of the project.
Then one Sunday a few weeks ago, it was 60 degrees outside and I decided it was go time. Kev had already helped me measure and cut all the plywood, which was the hardest part in my opinion. And I had already treated each piece of wood with a nice sealer to keep the moisture out. It was time to assemble.
I spent the whole day working, and the kids pitched in too. They mostly helped with the painting. I love my little Irish coop, and have already bought plans for a run. It was a huge confidence builder, creating this thing from scratch. It helped me channel my inner Captain America.
And like this scene when Cap tosses Black Widow up into the air with his shield, I used the momentum I got from this completed project to complete another: Fidelity.
That’s right folks, Fidelity has been edited, beta read, re-edited, and submitted.
It will be three long months before I hear back from the particular publisher that I submitted it to, but I’m still so excited about it!