Apologies for my enforced absence…

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So the new job, as all new jobs do, had a bit of a learning curve. Throw in the hellish commute and the nasty winter weather, and you’ll see why I haven’t been doing much over the last three months but working and coming home to collapse.

Pre-Christmas brought a case of the creeping crud cold/flu that everyone has been fighting. And just when I’d gotten over it and finally felt better, I suffered a relapse, and feared I had pneumonia (again).

Fear not! It’s not pneumonia, just really wussy lungs, evidently. I don’t even smoke. How unfair is that? In the meantime, I’ve received two batches of edits for Love Lies Bleeding. The first have been turned in. The second I’m still trying to finish.

I got a very excited reply from an agent several weeks back who was interested in reading more of The Forgotten Flapper, and requested the full. I’ve never had an agent respond with so many exclamation points. So that really got my juices pumping. It would be nice to see something besides a rejection for a change. Her “I love Olive and want to read more! Your story intrigues!” gave me enough encouragement to devote more time to my current WIP, which is still tiny, undeveloped, and needing more research.

Don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before. I’m a terrible writer. That may cause you to stop reading this blog right now, but I just wanted to get it out there. I’m a terrible writer, but I’m a kickass REWRITER.

You’ve probably heard the old saying that first drafts are shit. In my case, its quadruply true. For me, a first draft is a couple suggestions of scenes, with utterly horrible dialogue and the merest suggestion of what I want to happen there.

Then, once my research has kicked into high gear, I have to tweak timeline issues and re-arrange things. When I know more about my (real) characters, I develop their voices more. If I’m having problems with things I need them to say, I watch 20s/30s movies or movies relating to the time period, and I listen closely for speech patterns, expressions, and slang. I read my Cassell’s Slang Dictionary, and I finally begin carving David out of that block of marble.

It’s awful, but it takes me a super long time to get going on a story just because the first draft is so freaking painful to write. It’s bad, and I know it’s bad, but I can see some potential there. Now I just have to work up my speed. Agents and editors won’t let you take two or three years to finish a book.

I’m back, with a wheeze only slight less annoying than Darth Vader. Stand over there if you’re nervous about me still being contagious.