Still here

It would seem from the blog that I have utterly fallen off the face of the earth. This isn’t quite the case. 🙂

I can tell that I’m getting ready to go back to writing. The ideas are starting to flow again and as the weather warms my inclination to knit wool will taper off. I found myself thinking out conversations between Dominic and Joy as I drove across town the other day and I have started listening to a playlist again that I sort of reserved for writing hours.

It’s coming, slowly true, but it’s coming.

Meanwhile we are 24 days from the due date of our daughter. Where did the time go?

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. 😉

Chapter Seven is complete!

I just finished Chapter Seven moments ago. What a relief! Now I only have Chapter Eight and Nine and I should be able to continue rereading and editing. If you had asked me in January if I thought I would be doing this, working to complete a second novel, I would have laughed. Joy wasn’t even finished in January!

Meanwhile the weather here in my adopted state is feeling very much like a proper October, which it isn’t apt to do around this time of year. When my editor was reviewing Joy she amusedly pointed out that I had used the terms “crisp autumn air” three times in two pages. I hardly believed I’d overlooked that, so I went back to amend it. Sure enough, I had indeed overused that term, but I teasingly replied that it was the part of growing up in Indiana that I miss the most. I still feel a pang of jealousy whenever my parents or sister calls with news that they are in sweaters while we are in shorts, and they have a frost warning while my air conditioner is running (something very un-Octoberish about that), but then I get them back in March when my windows are open and my flowers are blooming and they still have dirty snow and slush on the roads. HA.

Random digression. I will now go make a cup of tea to celebrate the conclusion of a chapter.

Knitting and tweaking

Did you think I’d disappeared? It sure feels like September is going fast. My progress has slowed of late, although I’m still 1900 words farther into Chapter Seven than I was when last I posted. Part of this is due to the fact that two weeks ago I went on a late-night P. G. Wodehouse reading binge. I can’t help it; he’s one of my absolute favorites.  In order to enjoy the books without interruption, I’d stay up late finishing the story and oversleep into my writing time, so that I had to pick up and start my day without it. But back to Wodehouse for a second–if you’ve never read him, start with this gem, and see if you don’t get hooked. Once I start a Wodehouse I can hardly put it down, which becomes a problem if I’m reading during a personal tea time because I can easily gain ten pounds eating while absorbed in his stories. The same thing happens with Mansfield Park and Wives and Daughters. It’s a rummy thing, but I don’t have a huge amount of American literature on my shelves. I sat back one day and took a look at my reading material and figured that about 89% of it comes from British pens. This random insight has absolutely nothing to do with my sequel, incidentally.

Another excuse that kept me from writing is the fact that I’m knitting a sweater for my newest niece, who was born this very morning. Her Baptism is next month and as my husband and I are godparents, we want to come bearing gifts in hand, of course, and as I’ve taught myself to knit more since the birth of my last niece, this one gets the sweater. She won’t give a care, of course, at her age, but since I’ve been promising my sister a little handknit something or other ever since the 20 week ultrasound, I want to do it! 😉

Luckily while I’m knitting I’ve also been thinking of the sequel and how it’s going, and just as with Joy I’m finding I’m not going to end the book exactly where and how I’d planned. It will still end on a positive note, but the time and setting might just be shelved for a future work. The original ending of Joy became the basis for Chapter One of the current work, which was all to my advantage.  Still, the current story threads point in the new direction, so I’m going to go with the flow and see where we do end up. That’s the greatest fun of writing anyway. 🙂



Home Stretch

I loved the three-day weekend. The kids slept late every morning (we went to the 10:30a Mass on Sunday) so my husband graciously let me get some good writing in before everyone woke up. The result? Chapter Six was completed Tuesday morning!

I’ve found that lately my optimal writing time is not after the kids go to bed, as it has been in the past. Lately that results in me falling asleep in front of the computer, which is not good either for productivity or for the muscles in one’s neck and back. So I’ve been trying the novel idea of actually getting sleep at night and waking early to see my husband off and get some writing in while the house is still quiet and the coffee is still hot.

I’m over 2400 words into Chapter Seven. I’m planning 9 or 10–originally 10 but I could wrap at the end of 9 the way the plot is playing out. As my official word count is already over 60,000 words, I don’t think anyone will tell me it is too short!

So, folks, we’re in the home stretch!

Back in the saddle

1643 words tonight, and I’m only stopping now because I have to get up for the early Mass tomorrow. Thank goodness my girlies are on the mend, for its good to know they’re sleeping well, and it feels good to have had this writing time again.

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 children got a second round of summer colds as school started so my late nights have recently been spent rocking a sniffly baby and watching highlights of the Olympics. Tonight the baby slept easier, thank Heaven, so I was able to finally pound out a conversation in Chapter Six that had been in my thoughts. 1990 words tonight! Whew! Now I need to sleep…. 😉

However, I just wanted to check in and let you know we’re still making progress. Four chapters to go. I can hardly believe it myself.

Still trying

Well, I had hoped I could finish Chapter Five two weekends ago. I hoped I could finish it last weekend. It’s coming along slowly. Before my vacation I could do about 1500 words a day. Since coming home, I’m lucky to get 700 in. But still, it is progress. Before vacation it was summer break around here. Now we’re less than a week from school starting, our air conditioner blew, I’ve been sorting out lesson plans, and we’ve rearranged the upstairs family room to become more of a classroom setting. All these are poor excuses, but it’s not like I’ve been lying on a couch eating bonbons and reading novels! 😉

That’s a line from one of my college English professors who one day decided to tell his class of English & Literature Majors that we (being primarily female) would have to marry a man who would support us enough so that we could lay around eating bonbons and continue to read great books. The men in the class–all two–he said had no hope because they would have to find the jobs. I’m not sure what this had to do with the context of our classroom discussion on Literary Criticism, but it’s one of the tidbits of life information that has survived the ravages of time.

Nor am I sure what that paragraph has to do with my not having completed Chapter Five in the proposed time frame, but at least you know I’m still here and still working, and so I’m logging off now to do so.