April 25 Part III
You might as well spread me with butter and serve me on a plate, because I am toast.
On the upside, the rental Taurus drives like a dream. It has just over 100 miles on it – a brand-new, 2005 model! I don’t think I’ve ever driven a car with such low mileage – even cars I’ve bought new! It drives beautifully and it accelerates just the way I like it on the highway. The downside? Horrible blind spots on both sides and the way the steering wheel is positioned, I can’t read the speedometer. I have to either scrunch way down in the seat and peer through it, or stretch up and peer over and down.
Took my mom to the doctor; picked her up and she rode along to deliver the basket to Connecticut. Of course, being directionally challenged and, today, map-less, I made a wrong turn, but I found the place anyway. I’m looking forward to helping them set up the event on Friday:
To White Plains – hated all the lamps in stock – they looked better in the photos than in life. Grabbed lunch at Atlanta Bread Company – yum! Over to Port Chester, to Linens ‘N Things – lousy lamps there, too. Over to Home Depot—no luck there, either. But, finally, I remembered to buy the bulbs I needed!
To the beach, for a short walk until it started sprinkling. It’s been raining on and off all day. But when it’s not raining, the sky’s a lovely shade of blue.
Wrote the new blurbs for the serials and got the info about them out for the artists. My request to keep the current artwork for Cutthroat Charlotte was granted – thanks, Michelle – I like the logo you created and we get to keep it as cover art!
Asked my editor some questions about the novella tie-ins – mostly to do with word counts and rights. I can do several tied to Widow’s Chamber – something with Cletus and Elwood; one with one of Daisy’s experiences as an actress (working as an actress at that time was TOUGH); some of Daniel’s back story – there are plenty of tangents. I just have to figure out what’s worth doing. For Charlotte, I can do the section I skipped – where Charlotte decides between suitors. I didn’t detail it in the actual serial because I wanted to jump ahead, although Anne refers to it in a flashback. I don’t know if I’ll do anything for Tapestry, but will probably do a ghost story for Angel Hunt.
Maybe I can work on some first drafts while I’m on the road over the next few weeks.
Cletus and Elwood, the drunks from the Nashville jail sequence in Widow’s Chamber, have such a loyal following! It would be fun to do something with them.
A lot of this will depend on the rights.
I’m pleased and surprised at what a wonderful response “Impressions” is getting at Emerging Women Writers. Sometimes I worry because, since 9/11, my writing is more about the way I want the world to be than pointing out what’s wrong with it. I did my time with the Angry Young Woman work and the cycle of plays we jokingly refer to as “The Suicide Plays”. It’s almost as though 9/11 made me talk less about what’s wrong with the world, but both actually myself and in my fiction do more about it.
I can’t tell you how many discussions I’ve had with editors of lit mags who say, “I want fiction that hurts. I want to see the pain.”
Well, you know what? Life hurts a damn lot, and I’m much more interested in the people who find a way to move beyond it and create positive futures for themselves and the world around them.
“Impressions”, “Dogs on Beach”, the Congress Corners stories – there’s a gentleness to them, but the characters don’t have perfect lives, they know it . . .and they’re doing something about it. They had their pity party and their wallow before we meet them, and now they’re taking action. They’re not paralyzed by pain – they use pain as a catalyst, not an excuse.
I’m glad that readers are connecting to that and responding as positively as they are. So, somewhere, there’s a connection forged between writer and reader, and isn’t that why we do this?