This week in the news …

This week I spent a harrowing forty-eight hours while my blog did its own thing and I sat back in horror believing one entire year’s work was trashed. At 4am on Saturday I found a solution by accident and thank the blog Gods for directing my hand. Problem solved.

The up-date on my personal NaNo challenge to rewrite one of my books in the same thirty days others will be pounding the keys to produce a minimum of 50K words. Half way to heaven, I realized that the premise of two of my antagonists was not working for me.

My ego will not allow me to work in a vacuum. So I doubled-checked all my research and came up with a solution … change the entire focus of who and what the antag is and what impact this will have on poor, unsuspecting Lizzie.

I would like to add a small addendum here. Never and I use this word deliberately … never underestimate the value of research. Of course we write fiction and have poetic license to create new worlds and wild plots … BUT … the more reality based the premise and plots are, the more fascinating the new worlds and wild plots become.

Yes, your mother knew what she was talking about girls. Do your homework.

I have resisted “joining” things since the girl scout incident. It smacked to me of the nuns herding thirty sleepy third-grade girls into a 6am mass every week during lent so we could repent for our sins. What sins? I was eight and hadn’t discovered yet the joys of real sin. Oh, in case I haven’t told you, I was a parochial school failure … a precursor to my many other failures.

Where does  a rebel, ex-hippie from Brooklyn fit into the mold of the Romance Writers of America? This past February, I hadn’t the vaguest idea, but I was about to find out.

I joined RWA. I saw they had a nifty network of resources, blogs, web sites and chapters that could teach me to listen to someone else for a change and perhaps in the bargain learn a few things about passive verbs or hyperboles, information dumping and exaggerated prose. I maintain that no one can teach us how to tell a story, but there are volumes we can learn about how to write our stories well.

I searched for several months, visiting many chapters and quite by accident, like the solution to my blog disaster, I found a chapter I thought might be the right fit for a misfit. I joined the RWA-Women’s Fiction Chapter and began reading about their members.

Until I began to rewrite this last book, the story of a young girl who finds she is trapped in Brooklyn with the ghost of her Aunt Annie, I didn’t know how I would get that rebel from behind the computer screen to the written page.

Today, with the holiday season nipping at our heels, I think about her and how much I have learned in my first year of the blog, and more, how much I have learned from my fellow writers. Both in groups and individually, they are a hearty, determined and feisty group who, regardless of whether they came from Iowa or Kansas, could make it with the best of Brooklyn and The Big Apple. Thanks guys.

fOIS In The City




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4 responses to “This week in the news …

  1. That’s the spirit! So nice to seee your floating head on my blog. :p

    I stumbled onto a cozy mystery blog and small press today and thought of you. I’ll find the address again for you if you’re interested.

    I love the research part of writing a novel. Makes me feel all cheeky and smart. 😉


  2. It’s okay to get “cheeky” … and smart too.

    Yes, by all means send me the link for the cozy mystery blog. I love some of these for their humor and off-centered way of presenting crime. One cozy writer uses farm animals to solve her mysteries.


  3. christicorbett

    I love research and all it entails: dusty library books, meeting odd museum directors, and poring over journals for hours on end.

    Then, I come to a spot in my novel and figure I need to do a little bit more to make it complete…that’s a great day!

    Christi Corbett


    • I have had a love affair with libraries and librarians since I was five and my big brother brought me to “Story Book Hour” at our local library.

      There is something wonderful that happens to us when we get lost in the research, the sleuth, the magic of the hunt for that morsel of information that sparks our imaginations.

      Thanks 🙂


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