Can you believe we're halfway through the summer already? I can't. As quickly as the time has flown by, I'm sure the rest will go with the same speed.
I kicked off my summer with a visit to Long Island. In addition to a fun Friends of Mine reading at Innersleeve Records in Amagansett (and you haven't lived until you've listened to the Rio album on a good sound system!), I spent the week with my brother Mike at his recording studio conducting research for a new novel. I think I've had this one in me for quite some time, and the inspiration finally came. Mike and I have always had a mutual respect for each other's work and creative process, and I've learned an awful lot. He's also been extremely patient with me, especially when I text him stupid questions. My research continues in other ways, including listening to a lot of records. (A writer's life is so hard!)
As excited as I am about this story and these characters, I'm also intimidated as hell by them. I'm always anxious to "get it right" with every book, but I feel like I'm even more desperate to master this one. It's the challenge I've been needing. Already it's kicked my ass in several ways -- for one thing, the first half of the story already needs an overhaul. It's also more technical and detailed, neither of which are my strengths. I completed a much rougher draft at this stage, with a lower word count than usual. On the other hand, I've also completed some other pre-writing activities that I also don't normally do at this stage, including an outline and a character bio. I think it's ready for marinating, although just this morning I rushed out of the shower just to make some additional notes...
As for the NaNoWriMo novel that I submitted to my publisher back in April... well, I'm still waiting to find out whether it's been accepted. This is the business of publishing. Sometimes you wait a while. Thing is, I still don't know the manuscript's fate. I'm hoping for an answer very soon, and I'm hoping it's good news. I've also got two other books in the works, one fiction and one non. I find it very difficult to work on multiple projects at once. So my practice has been to let one rest and pick up another one, send one to beta readers and then go back to the first, or pick up something new, and so on. I've never had this many open projects at once -- then again, this has been an unusual year for me all around in terms of writing practice. Of course I want to get the next thing to you as soon as possible, but I also want to make sure each one is in its best form so your wait will have been worthwhile. None are there yet, but I know they will be.
Some big news to share on the personal front: I'm moving again! After spending two years in a rather ideal location in southeastern Massachusetts, literally around the corner from the water, it's time for me to go back to my native Long Island. I think it's where I'd wanted to be all along, and I'm finally ready to take that leap. Equal parts scary and exciting, as has been the case with every move.
So what does that mean for the rest of the summer? PACKING! But I hope to have some fun along the way, keep in touch with you all, and unleash even more havoc in the fall.
Happy Summer, folks! Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep pickin' up those good vibrations.
I'm an author of commercial women's fiction and a writing instructor. My claim to fame: I can say the alphabet backwards.