Friday, October 14, 2016

What a writer does . . .

Some of you know that my first historical romance novel, An Unsuitable Duchess, was recently accepted by The Wild Rose Press.

After completing it, I started on another romance, also set in the mid-18th century, because there’s no point in waiting to hear if something you’ve written is accepted. Better to keep writing. It takes your mind off. I’m about halfway through my current project (working title, Cargo of Muskets) but suspended work to do the first edit on Duchess, fill out the paperwork for the blurb, suggestions for cover art, and the like.

I thought, while it’s in process, I’d take a look at two earlier novels which never went anyplace, and see if I could do something with them. One was . . . well, I don’t know what you’d call it. Getting By was the story of a dumpster-diving young loner and how he turned out with a little help from friends. No agent wanted to handle it so I eventually published it on Smashwords. I finished the second, Career Criminal, and wasn’t quite happy with it. It had funny moments, some screwball romance, action . . . but it didn’t quite come together. Or I thought it didn’t. A preliminary glance a few days ago made me wonder if I’d been mistaken.

So I have plenty of writing-related things to do. What am I doing instead? Why, helping to plan an Italian Renaissance feast for 150. Doesn’t everyone?

The menu is set. That was the easy part.

The hard part is converting a recipe for 6 to 8 people to one for 150. If the ingredients are given in pounds or cups, it’s not bad but how many apples do you need for a quart of sliced apples? But if I can find the drill for loading a Model 1717 Charleville musket on Google, I can find a cook’s site, or an apple producer’s site or a catering site with a quantity conversion chart.

At about 10 p.m. on November 5, the feast will be over and cleanup complete. Then I’m going to get a good long night’s sleep. Then, after de-compressing for a couple of days, I’ll pick up  Cargo of Muskets again.  Because writing is an addiction for some of us, and we write whether we get published or not, no matter what else we may be doing: holding down a full-time job, remodeling the house, or planning a bake sale or banquet. And even if we stop temporarily because we've had no success, or we're overwhelmed by a family crisis or crazy work schedule, at the back of our minds, we're still thinking about writing. 

Thinking, That abandoned mink jacket could be the clue in a murder mystery. Or If you were on the run from the mob, how would you disappear? Because writing, and thinking about writing, and yes, occasionally reading, is what we do.

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