Archive for February, 2016



Fire trucks on our street must be important. It wasn’t.


Someone very wise once wrote that, “the first draft of anything is a nightmare quest through a dark forest filled with monsters.”   Bearing that in mind, I have started a new fiction project, about which I am happy to share irrelevant details.

First, a recap: I have two novels that are either in a series or just about the same group of people, and the new project is another one.  (If I have the name the series, I have thought of calling it The Mississippians,  and if you think that’s a terrible title for a series of novels, you may be right!)  The first two, A Perfect Wife and The Widow’s Mite, are in the can to varying degrees.  My tentative plan is to self-publish APW as an e-book later this year, and to follow up with TWM a few months later (almost certainly in 2017).

[To describe them in a sentence: They are about Nadine Lee, a young woman in 1970s Mississippi who marries a man who is superficially perfect but secretly flawed, and the aftermath.  I’ve had trouble hanging a genre on them.  I’m not comfortable calling them “literary.”  Are they women’s fiction?  Family Drama?  Definitely Southern, but I don’t even know if that is a genre.]

This new thing is not a brand-new project, but a manuscript that I worked on for a while as long ago as 2012 and then put aside to work on other things.   I picked it up last year and declared that I would work on it until I had 20,000 pretty good words in a Word file, and then I would put it aside in favor of a genre project which I pursued to mixed results.  (My books so far have been in the 75,000-80,000 word range, so that gives you some idea of where I am.)

I pulled that file out of mothballs a couple of weeks ago and read it and . . . hmm. There’s some good things, some terrible things.  The whole project needs some reordering and restructuring (flashbacks withing flashbacks, when I have a rule about putting things in chronological order).

But the BEST PART, seriously and unironically, was that I found in the same folder as that file, ANOTHER Word file that was from the same project, that had 10,000 words in it!  Were they good words?  I don’t know!  But they exist!  That’s 1/8 of the way further through the forest!

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