This weekend I will be attending the annual Arizona Press Women’s Writer’s Retreat in the cool pines near Payson, Arizona. It is hot down here on the desert floor where I live, so this will be a welcome relief from the heat as well as a good time to relax, recharge, and reflect on my writing projects.
I will be coming back here each evening to write about the day and the activities I will be participating in.
UPDATE: Unfortunately there was no Internet access at the retreat. If you would like to read about the retreat, you can go to my blog post at the Center for Writing Excellence.
I have two works-in-progress: Book one of a planned 6-book murder mystery series based on the short story Alexis’ Aggravation. Both the original story and the novel are collaborative projects. My co-author and I have been really busy the past few months and have sorely neglected Alexis – we need to get back to her. The story was written as an experiment to see if we could collaborate on a project and it turned out very well, which is why we decided to go forward with the novel. We got the first three chapters done, and stopped. We have been thinking about setting the novel up as a subscription series – where readers can read the first chapter free, then subscribe to subsequent chapters. This would give us an incentive to get it done, with deadlines for each new chapter to meet the subscription requirements. We will discuss that plan next month when we meet to discuss our progress (or lack of) on the novel.
The second novel is one I started in NaNoWriMo Camp in April. I did not meet my goals there, but did get over 5,000 words down — a mere drop in the bucket for a novel. The working title is 100 Years from England. It is a fictionalized version of a murder that took place in London in in 1849. I found the story when I was researching London in November, 1849 – 100 years before I was born. I had discovered that my great, great, great grandmother was born on the same day as I was – exactly 100 years before me. My premise for this story is based in some fantasy/witchcraft idea about the woman who was hanged in London on November 13, 1849 being ‘re-born’ in a baby girl in rural Montana on November 13, 1949. I am stuck on making the transition. I have the London background and the current day girl (now experiencing her 18th birthday). I have established a tentative link by talking about odd dreams the girl has every year on her birthday – becoming more vivid as she gets older. And there I am.
I plan on updating this status within the next month – with good news!
I have been digging through my archives, finding some stories I wrote awhile ago, and resurrecting them. I found an article my dad asked me to write about his mother – she sent her six sons off to serve our country in World War II and the Korean War. There are only two of those sons left now, my dad went to join my mom in the spring of this year. Mom passed in 2004. It was good to read the article again, and I posted it here for you. It is called Six Sons in Service. The article was originally published in the Unita County Herald, the newspaper in my dad’s home town.
I also ran across a Western story I had written for a contest. It did not win anything, but it was fun to write. You might enjoy the Duplicate Saloon, if you like the rootin’ tootin’ bad guy looses and good guy wins kind of story. There are two personal essays in the collection on these pages so far. My First Date is all about my dad and Sir Randall… is a story about a tuxedo cat who graced us with his presence for several years. I am working on another story now, it will be fiction, but based on a true story my dad told me about a ring. Once I finish it, I will get it posted up here.
In the meantime, feel free to read my stories, articles and essays. Leave your comments and feedback. A writer always likes to know how her work is received. Thanks!
I once heard that all it takes to write is to start with some letters, form some words, then form some sentences. Put them all together in paragraphs and tell the story. Is that true? Possibly it is. I wanted to see if it worked, and have posted the results on the pages here.
Some are fiction, some are personal essays. Click the links above to read them and leave your comments at the end of them. Come back often. I will be posting more stories as I write them. Let me know what you think. They all started with letters, which then became words, then sentences, and finally stories.