The One About the Time I Forgot to Save my Edits

I had big plans for yesterday. Before I settled down to continue working on writing the sequel to Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, I was going to tidy up the most recent edits for chapters 21-30 in that original manuscript.

It had taken me two painstaking days to get the chapters fleshed out and whittled down and, in some cases, exorcised, and I planned to spend some time looking at spacing between paragraphs and sentences. Making sure there were no orphans or widows lurking about—even though those really won’t be a concern until it’s time to publish.

It wouldn’t take me long, I thought, and soon I could be delving into the continued stories of my characters in and around Happy Valley.

But, if you read the title you’ll understand that instead of tidying up, I was redoing all the editing I’d already done because I didn’t save any of it! Grrr. Thankfully, it went faster this time. I remembered most of the changes I’d made using my editor’s guidelines. And now it’s triple saved, just in case.

Some days I think I’ve wasted too much time on this novel writing enterprise. What if my debut novel is awful and nobody wants to read it? That’s a looming possibility. But then I think, “Goofball, what else would you have done with your life these past few months?” and I shrug and keep working,

Almost irrelevant photo.

Peace, people!

What If?

A writer friend says he comes up with story ideas by asking “what if?” questions. Now I can’t stop thinking about this method. When I get in bed at night now, what ifs keep me company, and when I wake up, they’re the first thing on my mind.

Here are some of my thoughts:

What if one day dogs developed the ability to speak to their humans in standard English, or French, or whatever language their humans speak? What if cats could do advanced mathematics? What if they were deemed a menace to society and hunted for their abilities?

What if someone discovered a cure for stupidity, but the powers that be had him/her murdered?

What if some humans suddenly developed the ability to fly, but only during a full moon?

What if no one ever died?

What if the cure for cancer was a single word, and the scientist who discovered it was in a coma?

What if no one ever took their own child home from the hospital—instead, they were assigned a child at random?

What if life actually didn’t begin until one was forty?

What if we, after death, had to answer for the lives of all the creatures we’d ever inadvertently killed in front of a committee of animals?

What if only women were allowed to run for public office?

Okay, I’ve probably bored you all, but I can’t help thinking about this stuff. Tomorrow maybe I’ll write about something more exciting. Like, watching grass grow.

What if there really was peace, people?

Do I Need You Now?

When I was writing my little romance novel I compiled a playlist to set a certain mood. A sexy, steamy mood. But now I’m writing a sequel to my first book, and this story needs a totally different vibe. Except that my mind hasn’t compartmentalized enough to make the switch, and I’m still thinking about sex. Don’t tell Studly Doright; he might get the wrong idea.

Having said all that, the characters in the sequel to Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort are grownups, and a romance could very well develop as the story progresses. Who am I to get in the way of love?

I am doing my best, though, to develop a non-romance playlist, but the first song I’ve added is the very hot, “Need You Now” by Lady A. So, maybe my playlist is trying to tell me something. I’m just not sure yet what it is, but I like the song.

Lady A, the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum

https://youtu.be/eM213aMKTHg

Peace, people!

Update on the Book: It’s Complicated

Maybe some of you were hoping I’d never mention my book again. Ha! No chance of that happening.

My first book, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, is still in the process of being edited, but Rachel, my editor, believes there’s a good chance it’ll be ready to publish by Christmas. That would be cool, right? And by publish, I mean I intend to self-publish, even though I believe Mayhem could be worthy of traditional publishing.

So, why will I self publish? Because I’m 63.90 years old and don’t want to spend years shopping my book around. And with the number of folks submitting the books they’ve written during the pandemic, the chances of a publisher picking it up would seem to be slim. If I had connections in the field it might be different, but I don’t.

As Rachel sends back chapters for my consideration, I look over her suggestions and decide between my original words, her suggested words, or a combination of both. Often it’s the latter. I get very excited when she leaves my words as they are. That occurs rarely, but I’m learning a great deal.

While waiting for Rachel to send me chapters I wrote a short romance novel. 50,000+ words of fun (for me, anyway.) I’m not sure what I’ll do with it. I’ve had several folks read it, and none of them seem to think it’s awful, but it is totally different from Mayhem. It was a hoot to write.

Once I finished writing the romance I started on a sequel for Mayhem: Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, I’m about 12,000 words in. I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed those characters until I engaged with them again. You know, they are totally dependent on me, and I felt guilty for leaving them idle for so long, It’s tough being a deity.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I’m hoping the next time I mention my book it’s a plea to purchase it. I’ll try not to be obnoxious about it, but it is ME we’re talking about.

Peace, people!

My Co-Author

Scout’s dreaming up new ideas. Every now and then I read a paragraph to her, and she provides feedback. She’s not big on the mushy stuff, but she adores the nude jugglers.

In case you wondered, the towel was heated in the dryer for Scout’s comfort. She often sits in front of the dryer, requesting a warm towel, and I always acquiesce. I’m a well-trained human.

Peace, people.

My Writing Playlist

On a writing day I get the music started early and crank it up loud. I’ll bet my neighbors are glad our homes aren’t all that close together.

Here are my go-to songs for the romance I’m writing. I’m not sure there’s a theme here, but these songs speak to my characters.

“Lay, Lady, Lay,” by Bob Dylan

“Tomorrow,” by Chris Young (link below)

https://youtu.be/ETVjll5eR88

“Give Me One Reason,” by Tracy Chapman (link below)

https://youtu.be/V6hQ9HSKlIE

“Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress,” by the Hollies

“Shameless,“ the Garth Brooks version; although, I really like Billy Joel’s, as well. He did write it after all.

“Cross My Heart,” by George Strait

“Girl Crush,” by Little Big Town

“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” by Aerosmith

“I’ll Make Love to You,” by Boyz II Men (link below)

https://youtu.be/fV8vB1BB2qc

“As She’s Walking Away,” by Zac Brown Band

“Cowboy Take Me Away,” by The Chicks

Peace, people.

A Journey

In the first sentence our boat leaves the dock, into an ocean of words.

As captain and navigator I decide: East or west? North or south?

Who will dine with me at the captain’s table this night? Who will tumble over the rail?

Will there be secrets and intrigue, murder and mayhem? Or an affair to remember?

How turbulent will the seas grow? How contrary the winds?

I’ll brook no mutiny; my crew fears, no, respects me even as they mutter behind my back:

She has no idea how to bring this boat into port. We’re doomed to wander through eternity.

I fear they’re right, but still I hold the course and dance when the band starts to play.

Want to See a Grown Woman Cry?

I’m roughly three paragraphs from completing my second novel. The groove is right, the words are flowing, and bam! My keyboard stops communicating with my laptop. I started pushing buttons. Nothing happened.

I’ve tried all of the easy suggestions:

Now I’m going to bring in the experts:

Thank goodness I’ve backed all but the last 500 or so words up on a thumb drive, but I’m still frantic to get my computer up and running again.

Peace, and HELP, People.