Sheltering in Place – Day 68

I am a crazy writer. I admit it freely. Even though I try to write every day, I got thrown off my stride by the silliness of trying to write a romance novel, which was a kiss of death for me. I fell behind on my self-imposed deadlines and have yet to catch up. Christmas Trifle was the culprit. Once I turned it into a romantic suspense novel it came out all right, but it took me 18-months to do it. I used to pride myself on turning out a new book every year or so. I’m still trying to catch up. It’s been 2 years since my last Alvarez book, and my fans, the ones who are still with me, are chomping at the bit for me to finish the new book in the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries. Okay, maybe not quite chomping at the bit. But one or two have inquired about it. This series is my bread and butter. So I am breaking my neck to get Casting Call for a Corpse finished. Frankly, writing a novel is hard. I keep expecting each one to get a little easier. After all, this is my 14th some such endeavor. But they are never easy. Let’s face it, eating is easy. Writing is hard. Furthermore, I promised myself a deadline of June 1st to get it to the editor. I am writing frantically trying to live up to that. Every waking moment I can, I devote myself to this stupid book. I have neglected my friends, my cat, my hubby. Hubby has even taken up the slack in the housework department (the one bright spot in all of this). And still, I don’t know if I am going to meet this self-imposed deadline. I could just let it go.…

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Changing Horses Midstream

Picture it: There are two horses standing in a stream. We’re not sure why; reasoning cloudy. Sitting astride one horse is a woman who doesn’t want to be there. Possibly, she has been whispering into the horse’s ear something like ‘let’s get a move on, sport,’ but to no avail. Said horse seems to like having his tootsies in the cool water. She looks over at the other horse just lollygagging around, and decides that’s the saddle to be in. Several minutes later she is either swept downstream or trampled to death by two horses having had enough of her silliness. Which brings to mind another wise old saw: They died with their boots on. So there I was, soggy boots and all, writing a romance and wanting to jump into the saddle of suspense. My reasoning wasn’t cloudy. I suck at writing pure romance. I didn’t know it then, but I sure know it now. Frankly, If I hadn’t been so stubborn, I’d have changed genres within the first three months instead of waiting so long. I was turning out the most boring drivel I’d ever written in my life and I have been known to drivel with the best. There was no longer any joy in writing. My bliss had done a bunk. Of course, this particular book had a deadline that could not be overlooked. Christmas Trifle was holiday-bound. But at the rate I was going, not in my lifetime. Desperate, I threw in a murder even though I was already half-way through the book. And glory be! Suddenly scenes had a little zing, characters a bounce to their step. They used snappier dialog. A readable plot was developing. So I went with it. Not that it was easy going. It was a nightmare, actually. Stuff like,…

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