Young adult novelist A.S. King has written a couple of great essays on her group blog that are must-read for all writers.
Find Part 1 Here
And Part 2 Here
Amy has traveled a long a difficult road to publication of her first book, The Dust of 100 Dogs, out in February: fourteen years and seven manuscripts before the sale. In part 2, she advises writers to embrace their "inner suck" and to keep pressing on, mindless of the rules that are intended to constrict our creativity.
Check it out! On the writing progress front, I'm still struggling to finish my 12th MS, Fatal Justice. This book is trying to kill me, so if you find my body, you'll know what to blame for my untimely death. It has challenged me and tested me and taken longer to write than it should have. The end result will be worth it, but the pain... Whoooo! Pain. I figure I am 7/8 of the way done. Of course TV has returned with new shows just as the finish line comes into view. So what's a girl who works all day supposed to do? Battle with recalcitrant manuscript or watch The Bachelor? Hmmm, well, that's a no brainer! LOL! Alright already, I will finish it this weekend. My office in Washington is closing for the Inauguration, so I have a whole day off with the kids in school next week (an extremely rare event in my world). I will finish the book. I promise. Stand by for updates. Speaking of new shows... Friday Night Lights returns this Friday. OMG, I can't wait! Our whole family LOVES that show and we've been counting down the days until it returns. If you haven't seen the first two seasons, run out and rent them. You will not be disappointed and no, it's not ALL about football. It's about so many other things. The show is dazzling. One of the best EVER. And Kyle Chandler? Yummmmmmm.
Now that we've covered writing (and TV), let's talk about reading. Something is happening to me. Something disturbing and worrisome... I think I might be becoming a fan of historical romance. Gasp, you say? Well, YES, me too! I blame my Casablanca friend Michele Ann Young for this. She wrote a great book that I absolutely loved called, "The Lady Flees Her Lord." If you haven't read this (or her earlier book, "No Regrets,") I'd suggest you check them out. One of the things I loved about both of Michele's books is that her heroines are "full figured," rather than the usual stick figures we see in romance. But after having read maybe four Lisa Kleypas historical romances over the years, I now seem to be unable to get enough of them.
In the last month, I've also read Eloisa James's book, "When the Duke Returns," which I loved. I met Eloisa at the New Jersey Romance Writer's Conference in October and heard her speak. I loved the malfunctioning water closet subplot in "When the Duke Returns." Eloisa is a very classy dame and to read her book about, well, crap, stinking up the manor, was simply hilarious. I just bought another of her Duchess books. I'm also reading Anna Campbell's "Tempt the Devil," which I really like, too. Anna is a member of the Romance Bandits with my friend Cindy McGary, so I had read about her books on the Bandit's blog. It's a fun book and very steamy!
So the died-in-the-wool contemporary girl is branching out. Don't worry too much, though. I can't imagine writing a historical romance. I'm in awe of all the research that must go into them, and it would take me the rest of my life to figure out how the aristocracy (also known as "the ton") worked in Regency England, my Lord. And I'm not going to totally lose my mind and start reading paranormals, unless of course they are written by a friend. Then I will gladly take one for the team.
On a final note, congratulations to Boston Red Sox alum Jim Rice who was voted into baseball's Hall of Fame yesterday on his 15th and final opportunity. When we were growing up in New England in the 70s and 80s, Rice was one of the best players in the game. His contentious relationship with the media, however, caused this long and protracted battle to get the recognition he deserves for outstanding numbers over his 16-year career with the Sox. He said yesterday that players should be judged solely on the numbers they post during their careers and not on whether or not they sucked up to the media. In a perfect world, that's how it would work. In the imperfect world we live in, an imperfect player gets paid back for being less than cordial to the people who hold his Hall of Fame entry ticket in their hot little hands. The debt has been paid, and a wrong has been righted.