Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back to Work

Took some time off to haul the youngest and all her stuff to college last week, then decided on a lovely drive up to Chicago. Had some fun, enjoyed new scenery, met old friends. Came home feeling like tackling the rewrites again, only this time, I realized I needed a major plot shift. Upping the ante will require research. If the government is tracking my computer, they're probably getting the handcuffs ready. I hereby declare my family doesn't know anything about this book but the title, LOL.

My husband is the one who mentioned government snooping into computers used by civilians. While I'm not normally paranoid, he probably has a point. I wonder how many writers delve into Internet realms the government doesn't want us to see, much less understand? We have vivid imaginations, but reality helps tone us down unless we're into science fiction or fantasy. Of course SF and fantasy could easily dive into a reality we don't know about right now, but it's in the sphere of possibility.

How afraid do we have to be of where we find our research? Interesting to even think of it as an issue.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Time and all those Cliches

Can you believe summer is almost over? My youngest heads back for the dorm this week, and we're going to be sorry to wave goodbye. Next summer, she has plans to study Mayan architecture in Mexico and Guatemala for three months, so we won't be seeing much of her. Sigh. I guess that's what happens when they grow up, they don't come home much. Does that sound like a cliche? Guess so, but there's a truth in the core of every cliche.

Speaking of cliches, I've come to admire them. Yes, I know they're considered anathema in the writing community, but I like the way they're a universal shorthand. Everyone knows what a cliche means. (And I do know there's an accent at the end of cliche, but this program won't add it automatically, and if I do, it looks weird.) Take a Cinderella story, for example. No matter how complex I write it, or the twists I add, or if I make the hero a Cinderfella instead of an Ella, everyone knows what to expect from the core of the story. True love triumphs over trickery no matter what. I like being able to label my stories with myths, to cull themes from the classics (and I'm including the Bible here). That way, I know the heart of the story won't stray.

Straying far from home, we're headed for Chicago this weekend, so no Bristol race for me. Darn. Love Bristol. Will get it on Tivo and enjoy it when I get home. Hope A.J. and David Ragan have a good run. Still rootin' for the kids!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot

David Ragan, A.J. Allemendinger - go for it, guys! They're both young men on a mission, and driving the wheels off their cars is working well these days. It'd be fun to see some new faces in the Chase, and although A.J. isn't even in the top 35 yet, Ragan has a real shot at the top 12. It's fun to see the Old Guard getting nipped on its heels by the whippersnappers.

It seems that everything around my house takes longer and longer in this awful heat. We should make it a law that during August everyone must kick back on the porch swing, fill up the lemonade pitcher, and pile the good books on the table to share with anyone who drops by for a fresh icy glass and a chat. I've been reading the huge stack I stockpiled after Thrillerwriters in July in NYC. They're fun reads, and I'm stunned at the depth of talent out there that I never knew existed. Been working on my own stuff but it's slow going. I'm not terribly motivated when I'm sticky and the air conditioner hasn't shut off in two weeks straight.

Interesting problem: I'm converting a manuscript from first person, present tense, to third person, past tense. The first person POV gave me a very deep character, something I like. But it slows the action in the story. So far, I've compressed thirty pages into eleven. Hope I'm not cutting the soul out of the story, but I don't think so.

So much for work. Who's up for lemonade and sugar cookies?