Christmas break

I wanted to update you that I shall in all likelihood be taking a writing break until the holidays are over. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (sniff–rest in peace, Andy Williams), but for a lot of us it is the Most Gloriously Hectic Time of the Year. We are hosting family for both Christmas dinner and again around the New Year. We have family driving through who may stop in and we have our own traditions to cultivate, update, or maintain. I may be in and out on this blog and I may even squeeze in a few hundred words now and again, but I refuse to pressure myself to finish by Christmas. You who have encouraged me to continue Joy’s story do not need something that has been rushed through. I promise to return to writing in January when the New Year brings with it a clean slate and plenty of time to concentrate on my projects (instead of baking lists, Christmas cards, wrapping paper, etc). I am always more ready for projects in January. In fact, it was only this past January that I picked up Joy again and finished the first story, and I’m much closer to finishing the sequel so I could almost safely promise that the sequel will be full ready for Easter baskets. But that depends on the leniency of editors. I do want the sequel finished by the time my new baby girl arrives in March. “So let it be written, so let it be done.”

But after Christmas. 😉

Sleep Required

Greetings to all and sundry!

Well it doesn’t rain but it pours. No sooner does one batch of colds end but the baby cuts molars and the big girl starts up with a fever again. All of this to say that my writing time is theirs right now, for they are obviously more important. Fortunately, unlike the bronchitis outbreak in June, I’ve managed to stay well and all I’m out of is sleep. 😉 But soon, very soon, we’ll come out of this and I’ll be writing again. The words are there. They’ll be told.

All things considered I’m doubting my self-imposed deadline of September 8th. The beauty of self-publishing is that you make your own deadlines, and no one is going to be down on you if you have to adjust. I will do what I can to get there, for a dear friend of mine is entering the convent that day and I want her to know “what happens next” before she leaves. If I have to sit down at the phone and tell her everything I will. And then you can read it later. I definitely want to have both books ready by November 10th to sell at a charity fundraiser for church, and also to get ready for Christmas advertising, so rest assured I’m not just sitting back cooling my heels.  Even when I’m pacing the hall with a clingy baby on my shoulder, I can still work out scenes in my head.

It’s much more productive than it otherwise could be.


The Problem of Classification

My sister and I were having a conversation today, and I mentioned I was hoping to offer Joy and her sequel at a church bazaar this autumn. As the discussion continued, we talked about how difficult it is sometimes to peg a label on a novel like Joy. For example, being a work of Catholic fiction, there wasn’t much choice but to put it under Inspirational Fiction. Being a love story, Christian Romance also applied. But it seemed to me a little banal to put Joy there, as if the product of my sweat, time and heart suddenly got put on the shelf of the Pink Sugar Department. All sweet and no substance (note: not all Christian Romance or Inspirational Fiction belongs on this shelf, either). It was my hope that I could write a decent story but avoid the Pink Sugar.  My sister summed it up for me a bit.

SHE: “Yeah, it’s hard talking about your book because once you say ‘oh, it’s Inspirational Fiction,’ I always feel like I need to add, ‘But it’s real, it’s not Hallmark.'”

ME: [thinking of the Romance label] “Nor is it a Harlequin.”

SHE: “Totally. Nothing starting with H need apply.”

I love sisters. Mine makes me laugh when I need it.

So why did I write Catholic Fiction in the first place? Because I’m Catholic, for one. Because we Catholics need books to read, and the realm of Catholic fiction is sparse. I’m not saying that Joy is the solution to that; please God, don’t let me be that naive. Are my books going to be for Catholics only? No. I already know of some non-Catholics who were gracious enough to give Joy a try and enjoyed the read. I do not separate my faith from my writing because I believe one’s faith should permeate their life. So my characters are Catholic, but they are also human characters. The hero has a human fault. He’s not the tormented demon lover that mainstream fiction seems to relish at the moment (and don’t get me on the subject of Vampires, please), and the things Joy faces in her life are the sort of things that meet up with you or me in everyday life. That is precisely my intent. You won’t find me writing, I hope, anything that couldn’t feasibly occur out there. Some Catholics write harrowing apocalyptical novels, others great and amusing fairy-tale adaptations. I know; I’ve read them. There are Catholic thrillers, Catholic whodunnits, and even apparently a new Catholic novel about philosophy. My niche is the Everyday. I just only wish there was a category label for that.


Coupon, anyone?

Here’s a Lulu coupon if you’re interested. I’ve looked at copies of the books printed by Lulu and those by Amazon and I have to say that Lulu does a better job. The print is darker and the pages feel thicker. Just thought I’d put my two cents on the barrel!

Chapter four began this morning. VERY excited about this chapter! I’ll keep you posted!

Yes, I can write with bronchitis, by the way. What else can you do when coughing fits keep you up at 3am? At least I feel like I’m getting something done! 😉