Saturday, January 29, 2011

Welcome Back, Andie

The first draft of my new manuscript is almost finished. It has taken almost five years for me to be able to write that, so I'm pretty stoked. Unlike Andie Ross and crew, the characters in this manuscript are not very co-operative. What started as a thriller was hijacked and turned into a suspense. A romantic one at that...

I have spent fourteen years getting to know Andie, and all her strange (and foreign) little quirks. I am pretty excited about mapping out her next adventure, which I started to do last night. She does not seem nearly as happy as she did in 'Unclean' - I am getting the impression that she is upset with me for trying to kill her off in her last adventure.

Trying to convince someone like Andie that she was never in any *real* danger is like trying to convince the grass to grow down. She is really not happy with me for this incident, and for making her sit back in a cast since 2004, waiting for me to decide that I'm ready to re-focus on her and have it removed. She's also been pregnant the whole time, and let me tell you, the area of my head where she lives was not that large to start with. I think it may be getting crowded in there...

Hopefully in the coming weeks she will mellow out and stop yelling at me. If not, accidents always happen...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Outlander", the Winter War, and a Traveling Couch

So I've been going back and forth between reading a quite epic tale of love and brutality (Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series) and deeply historical (read: yawnfest) books on the Winter War.

Reading, I've been told, is very "writerly".  Bribing myself to get through another million pages of monotonous dribble that is definitely NOT meant to entertain? Probably not "writerly".

Here I will stop making jokes about the various tomes and be honest. After initially forcing myself to churn through the first two or three chapters of "White Death", I actually found that I grew accustomed to the style and began to enjoy it very much. I cheered when the Finns were making headway (in my head, of course, thus causing my characters to look at me as though I was crazy). I found myself rooting for the little guys, and wondering what the outcome was going to be - even though it IS history, and I already knew how it ended. (At this point, it is, I believe, important to mention, that some of my more "sane" characters rudely suggested I seek psychiatric help, in the form of one Dr. Lauren Shipley, who is, you guessed it, another character in my head.)

The "Outlander" series, on the other hand, is proving to be quite a treat. Love, war, torture, time travel; all taking place in the Scottish Highlands... Something I didn't think I could get into has proven to be a series that I am unable to put down. Like the Harry Potter books, I am finding myself whisked into the story and feel like  I am intruding on the characters who have, so nicely, decided to let me tag along for the time being. Many thanks to them - and Ms. Gabaldon - for taking me on a journey to Scotland from the comfort of the bus, the couch and my desk.