I don't know about Santa, but I'm feeling a little better. I was so tired last week, all I wanted to do was pull a blanket over my head and sleep. I didn't get to do this, sadly, but I summoned enough energy to help a beloved relative, completed some other chores, and returned home (again, in rain) this weekend. Glynn and I made Sunday our fun day, with frozen pizza, a handful of boxed chocolates (no Circus Peanuts in sight), and cuddling on the sofa for a mid-day movie: Justice League Dark.
Did we enjoy the flick? Yes, we did. The cover of the JLD DVD features Batman prominently, because Bats sells movies, but this is a Constantine movie from start to finish. Batman's in it, as are some other heroes, but he wasn't the draw in this house. We're Constantine-fans here (Gotham fans, too, which is Batman without Batman) and if you like Matt Ryan's version of the character, you should make an effort to see it. Fair warning: JLD is a cartoon, but it's not for the little ones. It's rated "R" for all kinds of violence.
You may be wondering why I've posted a rounded backside as the blog photo this time. A couple of weeks ago, I posted the front view of my first (and likely last) attempt at a Santa gourd. Since a couple of people were nice enough to write and ask if they could see the rear view of my Santa gourd, here it is.
Where were we? Oh, yes: I was out of town and road-weary, but also a little concerned that my 30-day novel project wouldn't be completed in the 60-days I was now allotting. It's currently going into, I'm not sure, day 46?, so I needed to get my speed up. After all, Nora Roberts wouldn't have allowed a little thing like a road trip to keep her from working on her next opus. Heck, she'd probably complete a 75,000 word novel during the same eight hour drive.
So, while Glynn worked on the beloved relative's taxes, I was working on a chapter that's all dialogue and reflection. I tell you now, it wasn't going swimmingly. No matter how I approached it, the sequence wasn't coming together as I'd hoped. It needed some action. Kisses needed to be kissed, or fists needed to be thrown, or SOMETHING needed to spark up the passage. Feeling weary was part of it, I'm certain, but another part was wrestling over the words without my writing partner. Usually, when one of us gets stuck, the other lifts the load. Even though Glynn is free at the moment, writing-wise, I didn't want to ask for his help. I wanted to push forward and complete this novel on my own.
I did mention it's a novel now, didn't I? If I didn't, it is. The word count keeps increasing. I realized that kind of thing happened when Glynn and I wrote together, but I'd intended to keep a strict hand on the story's length. So much for good intentions.
Setting the chapter aside, I went looking for something to read. I'd meant to bring my e-reader, had forgotten to do so, and didn't want to read a story on my phone. My reddened eyes weren't in the mood for a tiny screen. Instead, I picked up a book at my host's house: Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley, just because it was a mystery. It's written in the first person and the story engaged me quickly. I soon came to a chapter where Easy Rawlins, the hero, is reflecting deeply over an early dilemma. There's dialogue, too, when he talks to himself. Yes, an inner voice speaks to him, quotation marks and all, but here's the thing: the sentences flowed beautifully. Devil was Mosley's first novel, and he already had chops.
I was so depressed. Why wasn't I this good?
I finished my chapter, lumpy and non-engaging beast that it is. Once we were home again, I sent the pages to my friend, Sue. She's a romance writer, usually working on contract for her favored publisher, and I asked her to read this one chapter, plucked out of the middle of my tale, and tell me what she thought. I didn't have to ask her for her honest opinion because she's very pleasantly shared some strong opinions in the past. It took her a few days to get to my pages, as I knew it would.
Yesterday, she sent me a text: Liked it. What happens next? That's all I needed. If I can get a "what happens next?" from a reader, I feel golden.
Onto the next chapter!