Two weeks before Joy went to editing I had a eureka moment with the plot.  Ironically, my husband’s homebrewing hobby ended up influencing me a lot more than I ever thought it would, and I don’t mean that I drink and write. That’s not how I work (I drink afterward, trying to get formats arranged for all the different self-publishing types.  Just teasing).  In any event, I found myself in that downtime when the kids’ school is done and before I had to start making dinner  researching the difference between nanobreweries and microbreweries and texting my husband regarding the same.

The next day my husband comes home from work with an article about a nanobrewery opening in our town.  As I was still revolving most of the ideas regarding that part of the story in my head at that moment, I nearly turned on him and asked him what in the world was TAKING him so long? Competition is already creeping into town–why doesn’t my husband get a MOVE on and open his dang brewery?!

Then I remembered which reality I’m truly in, and we had a huge laugh about it.

But it’s scary when that happens.


A nice surprise

I knew it was coming, just not when.  Tonight I happened to check Amazon and lo and behold, Joy in the Ordinary is now available in paperback through Amazon!  I feel rather celebratory.  After all, about 60% of my non-grocery shopping is done on Amazon so I feel like it’s an old friend.  And now, when someone goes to buy their $5.99 item and needs only $19.01 to get Free Super Saver Shipping, they can buy my book! Yay!

What, you’ve never done something like that to get free shipping?




Building ideas (a musing, not a tutorial)

The first idea I ever had about  Joy in the Ordinary was the hero’s name.  I thought of it about fifteen years ago, actually.  I was in the midst of typing up my incredibly long, poorly researched Civil War novel (later banished to an attic) and the name just came to mind.  I began a vague idea about the fellow, only one part of which survived the passage of time–what kind of girl he would eventually marry.  Back then I had no thought of writing a novel set in present-day.  I was an awkward teenager who felt out of touch with the fad items of the time, and I thought that one had to be “in” with all that in order to succeed in writing.  When I set out to write Joy, I figured adding too many fad items would quickly date the book, rather like watching the 1995 remake of Sabrina and seeing what was then the “hot” technological items–Harrison Ford’s car phone with antennae?   Oh, and that fads are for the most part ridiculous. So I gave it a shot.

Probably the most fun part of writing, for me at least, is finding out where your characters go.  What motivates them?  Where are they going to end up?  Who do they meet along the way?  Sometimes its maddening when they don’t do what you want them to do–when the plot veers off in a new direction but then eventually you come to terms with it and it ends up being better than your original thought (or worse, and then you scrap it and go back to the crossroads).  I literally had to rethink the end of my story two weeks before it went to editing!  One character was added four months before I finished the book, and he became so essential to the plot I had to rework four chapters!  At times like that I think of Tolkien and something he said about his hero Aragorn.  Apparently he had no idea he was going to include Aragorn until he “ran into him” in the chapter of the Fellowship regarding the Inn of the Prancing Pony (or something like that)! Amazing.

I do my best planning for writing while doing the chores.  Folding laundry, loading the dishwasher, vacuuming, watering the garden, that sort of thing.  Usually if I have time to do the chores, the children are safely occupied. 😉  Sometimes I write these ideas down, but mostly I mentally shelve them until the moment comes up in the plot when I can use them–then I write a lot faster and longer that evening, as the idea’s had time to take shape and I’ve already pictured how it’s going to play out.  I’m not sure which is best or easiest come to think on it, but then, is there really a hard and fast method that works for every writer?

Besides caffeine?



Kindling a Mess

Kindle hates my Mac — of this I am convinced. 😉

We tried umpteen times to load the book to Kindle properly, and until last night things just kept messing up. Mind you, everything would look perfect in the initial preview (turns out that’s buggy–go figure), except for the time the Table of Contents disappeared. Then somehow we lost all the italics in the book. My heroine tells the story and her thoughts were in italics, so there was 30% of the book now in “normal” font that should not have been. Once that was fixed, the uploader decided it didn’t like when I tried to center things. Everything to the left!

And all the while I’m sitting at the computer desk, head in hands, repeating to myself that I have done enough papers in my lifetime to be able to understand how to format a Word document…except of course that Word doesn’t exist on my Mac, and I had to work around that.

Not to mention that the best time for me to write is while the children are asleep. So there I was at 1:37am this morning trying desperately to load the book one last time, and lo, third time was the charm.

The Table of Contents linked. The italics were back! Things were centered! Birds sang and the sky brightened. This afternoon the updated book went live. I sent it to my phone’s Kindle reader and to my relief, everything was as it should be.

The funny thing is, I don’t read books on my computer anyway! I’m old school–I prefer actual printed books. If pressed, I say I like the iBooks version of my novel better in any case. Nicer background and layout. And I didn’t have to go through nearly as much folderol.

So there’s my two cents on the subject.


Hello world!

Welcome to Joy’s Ordinary.  This is the launchpad for my musings and everything else to do with my writings, which right now consists of one novel and the first page of its sequel.  However, we all start somewhere, and here we are.