Yup. I had one. A forty-year-old mother of one went absolutely freaking nuts last month, some of which I documented in my last AAR journal entry – I turned in the copy edits, by the way. And it was easy, once I stopped obsessing. I wasn’t sure how to structure the writing of my new book, a switch in genre (historical to mommy-lit), POV (third person to first) and heroine (twenty-something insecure widow to forty-something insecure divorcée). So I did what any normal writing newbie would do: I panicked. I drank way too much coffee. I panicked some more.
Somehow, though, I got through it. I sent the first draft of my first three chapters to various friends and readers. I received some great feedback, including an in-depth analysis of my synopsis from my most picky of friends (I mean that in the nicest possible way, Claire). I began to plot out scenes, actual scenes, in my head, not just characters (have I mentioned enough times my inability to plot?). I even set up an Excel spreadsheet where I listed critical scenes and the point of those scenes.
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In other words, I am learning how to write.
In the meantime, I sent the revised chapters to my agent, who told me I was heading in the right direction. Today, as I write this, I’ve eschewed my normal stay-at-home mom wear of jeans and random shirt in favor of black jeans and a slim-cut black sweater. I’ve even topped it off with a leopard print scarf (my favorite pattern). I’m more confident in what I’m doing, and trying to act – and dress – as if that confidence is bone-deep. Of course, I know it’s not, but my writing doesn’t have to know that. I have a plan to finish this book by the time I head out to Reno for the annual Romance Writers of America conference (where I will also not be wearing blue jeans).
One excellent, and completely unexpected, benefit of writing this journal has been making friends with my fellow journal-ist,Myretta Robens. It’s been great to talk to another brand-new author and share our respective experiences, as well as our senses of humor. Myretta’s first book comes out in the beginning of May, so I’m anticipating having a dress rehearsal of what it might be like when my book comes out. And she and I will both be attending the New Jersey RWA’s conference in October, so we’ll actually get to meet in person then. I never thought I’d be making new, and close, friends when I was so settled in my life, but writing has blown the doors off that supposition, too.
And on top of all that, A Singular Lady is listed on Amazon! It was one of the biggest thrills of my life when I discovered that. There’s no cover yet, but I have an ISBN number and a page count. And a release date of October 4, 2005. Here, go look if you want.
Now I’m waiting for the galleys of A Singular Lady so I can do a final proof. I’m not sure when they’ll be coming, it could be awhile. Those are the pages that actually look like the real book. That’ll be fun. I don’t know what’s up with the cover, but I hope I get one like some of the traditional Signet regencies I’ve seen lately, ones where the hero and heroine are missing their heads, Liz Carlyle-style.
So when I’m not obsessing about my inability to plot, and finding time to write, and including enough action, and will my son actually eat carrots with dinner, I’m feeling like a writer. With writer friends. That’s cool.