Saturday, November 11, 2017

revision as healing

I've been emailing back and forth with an unofficial beta-reader. Unofficial, but she's willing to read and comment and for that, I'm deeply grateful. She's a reader, not a writer. Bonus!

She was sad to report that, at the end of part one, she did not like my female main character one bit.
I was glad to hear it because that was my intention. I starting thinking back over how hard it's been for me to make her as fully faceted a character as the male MC. Then something the beta wrote about when she stopped liking Anna made me realize that, because of a very violent experience, Anna is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder which was not recognized, particularly for crime vicitms, unitl the 80's, the decade after this story takes place.

I did a little quick google and she has many of the long list of criteria found in the DSM. Although she spent a short time in a mental facility, the stay was adjudicated and she resisted what little treatment there was.

Now I have to go back and do more to show how this incident affected her and the decisions she made about her life going forward. Write about a crippling psychological disorder without using the jargon and without any notion of treatment or recovery is going to be challenging.

Bless the Betas for they shall make us better writers. If anyone is interested, please email me! 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

giving it away

My FB feed is flooded with ads where authors (or maybe it's their publishers) are giving away books for free. Nada. Nothing.  After writing several books worth over the past three years, all I can think is this.


The entire "me too" thing has given me some pause about my female main character. Have I given her enough agency? Is she weak?

  I let the question sit for a few days. I'm not touching it. The story is set in the mid 70's. Nobody even knew what it meant. She's not weak, but the price is steep. I'm not writing a comic book and I'm not going to pander to any current social trends.

Friday, October 6, 2017

a good day and rescue

I spent the better part of six hours rewriting a scene that was basically legless. It finished out strong and then I did something dufuss with the laptop. When I went looking for the scene later I couldn't find it. Somehow it looked like Scrivener had eaten it whole.

I dug around and found the previous, shitty iteration and started jotting down what I could dredge from memory about the changes/improvements.

Then I started doing stupid stuff in Scrivener, like remove and then place chapter headings. Do people do that anymore. Were they too clever? Annoying to the reader?

...and there it was, the chapter I thought had evaporated. Intact, just not in the sequence I thought it had been. whew. I'm going to bed before I fuck something else up.

the slog

The wheels come off my cart with only the slightest provocation these days. I'd rather be driving my car, blasting music or fooling around with the much-neglected house and garden.

Ass in chair, fingers on the keyboard and chances are one in four that I'm spewing toxic invectives on FB about that carnival freak masquerading as our president.

I should sue him for all the anxiety he's caused me.

Then again, I've cooked up a few new inventive ways to dispose of bodies.

Revision is equal parts wading through molasses in January and opening your veins until you faint.

Friday, September 22, 2017

hold my beer

What are they going to do? Kill me?

Today I packed off the first draft of Prophet's Tango, book 1 to a couple of readers.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


         For the lucky living, the night was ripe with all the degrees and possibilities of true love or common lust; anything might happen. It was the year of the Tiger—Nixon was running scared, Ted Bundy was just getting started, and the tallest buildings in the world opened down on Wall Street. 
        All the doors of the Stateline bar were open wide to the night, and the place was packed. Everyone who was underage in Connecticut was welcome in New York. The smoke-laden air inside pulsed out into the heat and humidity of the fecund darkness and sucked back inside with a tinge of marijuana. There was a furtively urgent commotion in a dark corner of the parking lot. Fighting or fucking, it didn’t matter. April was in a hot hurry to be July. 
        The amplified sounds of a rock band complete with horns hushed all the night creatures around the ramshackle country bar for a hundred yards in every direction. The music held sway over all, from the worn, holey denim to the spandex and polyester crowd up from the city. Payoffs kept the cops busy elsewhere. The band, consummate crowd-pleasers, smoothly moved from rock to disco with occasional stops at country and doo-wop along the way. A jukebox loaded with the top forty was on standby and no one could resist the urge to move to the beat.
        Tonight, the revelers would include a woman with no heart and a man with no soul.