January 2016 –
This time last year, after months of planning, character sketches, plotting – and when I ran out of anything else to do – writing, I was 67,000 words into my novel, Squatter’s Rights. I had several short stories in print, others awaiting publication dates and I was testing a segment of Squatter’s on the (very) patient members of my writing group. At this point in a fictional tale, the author should shake the storyline up a bit. Right on cue Susan Reiss, author of the Silver Mystery series, generously offered me the opportunity to co-author a weekly mystery serial for Attraction Magazine.
By March, Susan and I were racing toward our first weekly deadline and for 33 weeks we produced an episode of Whispers each Tuesday. The project seemed to go on forever. I often refer to it (with a smile, Susan, I promise) as writing boot camp. Susan taught me a lot and we both learned how to write with a partner – something neither of us had done before. Many weeks the only downtime between episodes was a few hours of sleep. Then, just as Christmas decorations went up, Whispers ended. The first morning without a hard deadline found me staring at a blank computer screen and wondering why I’d never noticed how irritating a little blinking cursor can be.
I still had my book to finish, of course. I have a notebook for each project I’m working on and Squatter’s book is filled with ideas that came to me at odd times over the nine months I spent with Susan on Whispers. I kicked off the resurrection of the project by moving it onto Scrivener software, no small task, which I’ll write about in later posts. I changed the title to Adverse Possession and I’ve committed to a 2016 publication date. I added the new title and publication projection to my author bio months ago, but back then, 2016 was ‘next year’.
Now 2016 is here. Once again I have a deadline and am a little wobbly on how I’m going to meet it. I took a break over the holidays, but it is time to get back to work. Finishing and publishing Adverse Possession will be different from the weekly schedule of Whispers. No partner, no editor, no reader feedback, no cocktail parties hosted by generous sponsors. I feel like Cinderella after the ball; I still have this one slipper…
I’ll let you know how it goes, but in the meantime, anyone who wants to throw a cocktail party or produce a glass slipper, send me an email – I’m in!
I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to leave me a message below. And please check back as I continue to post about writing, editing and publishing my next book, “Adverse Possession”. Thanks for reading!