Sunday, December 27, 2020

The Revolution Comes to an End

 In January, the final book in my Revolutionary Women series will be released and the series will come to an end. A British Governess in America has been proofed, a cover produced, and it's nearly ready for its debut. We had to change the gown my governess wears on the cover, but it was essential she look like a working governess and not Cinderella at the ball. Took some doing to get it right, and my thanks go out to Prairie Rose for their willingness to work with me on it. Here's the cover; 

With all the turmoil of the latest election in America, it's given me great pleasure to be visiting our founding fathers in the midst of this chaos, and to see that their vision had a solid foundation but may need some tweaking. Just as we changed the amount of time needed to install a new head of government when the advent of a speedier form of getting the word out to the country was developed (remember the telegraph?), so should we now be taking a hard look at our way of handling elections. I loved rubbing imaginary shoulders with the Sons of Liberty and experiencing life in our earliest times. They had no way of knowing the type of America we would have now, but they gave us a solid foundation. All we have to do now is keep it.

But the series, as will all good things, must come to an end, and it's time to carve out another era to live in for the next little while. What that will be is still up in the air, but it'll be fun, regardless. 

I heard someone say the other day that 2020 will be used as a measurement for a bad time for years to come. Someone can say they had a bad day or week, and the other will say Was it a 2020 kind of day or week, or just the usual? Regardless of how you spin it, we're all glad to kick the year to the curb and move into 2021. Happy New Year, and happy new beginnings.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Time To Reflect

Family traditions come into play big time, this time of year. In my family, Christmas was never a big production like it is for so many. We never cut down a tree and brought it indoors. We had one of those silver things with a light that spun around, tinting it red or blue.

We never had much money for presents, so our gifts were meager. I remember having a day after the holiday when we got to take our favorite gift to school, and I was always embarrassed by what I had to choose from. Not too much to be excited about. So, instead of celebrating Christmas, we make a big deal of Thanksgiving. A time to eat all you want, spend the day in the kitchen with each other, and telling stories about how hard it was to find a turkey at the grocers in July when we celebrated Thanksgiving in the past, etc. Since my siblings are spread from the east coast to the west coast, we tend to put on the whole lavish food frenzy whenever three or more of us are in the same place at the same time. Rarely does our Thanksgiving happen in November. But the sentiment is the same. 

My best friend's family is a polar opposite when it comes to celebrating Christmas. They pull out all the stops, and I have a lot of fun celebrating along with them. But this year is different, and it's not wise for them to get together. I tried to convince them that the day didn't matter as much as the people you were with, and they could hold off on celebrating until we have the vaccine. But such sacrilege did not go over so well with them. Family traditions are not something to fool around with. 

I usually take December to reflect on the past year. Like most of us, I won't be sorry to close the book on 2020. Hopefully, the next chapter will be filled with love, laughter, and the ability to hug my siblings again. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

How Much Is Too Much?

 I've taken many courses over the years and had many mentors try to explain the fine points of writing romance. Every writer knows you must keep the reader interested and turning the pages by way of plot points and amping up the conflict. But how much is too much? 

I'm in the process of plotting out a new story. I've been told I write older heroines well, so I'm focusing on that. Not a geriatric heroine, but someone in their mid-to late 40s, maybe. And with age comes baggage. In this case, she's a wealthy Southern woman who is running from a public humiliation by her no-good hubby. Maybe there's a college-age child involved. Don't know yet. What else? Maybe give her a calling, one she put on hold to help her husband climb the political ladder? Hmmm. 

And then there's my hero. He's a former pro football player, but not your typical sports-romance kind of guy. He's a field goal kicker, the kind of guy no one remembers unless he misses the shot. Field goal kickers don't make as much as the marquee quarterbacks or receivers, don't get to revel in the glory of the wins, unless the game comes down to the wire and they kick the winning points. So, he's an obscure player who quits playing when he finds out his wife has turned to drugs for solace while he's on the road, and thereby endangers their darling little girl. Too much? How about if he returns home so his mother can help raise his child and begins a new career? And in his spare time, he serves as a mentor to his old high school football team? What if he gets a call from another pro team in desperate need of a kicker? So many threads...

Am I stacking the deck too high? Will I be able to get my h/h to the finish line without dropping a story line? Will I be able to get them to a happy ever after? Time will tell if I can do this. 

Sunday, December 6, 2020

The Pause That Refreshes

Many years ago, Coca-Cola developed that slogan for its signature drink, encouraging people to take time out of their busy lives and enjoy a Coke. When you consider the year we've all been through, as we get to the end of the calendar, it's a good time to follow the advice of the marketing experts and take time to pause and become refreshed.
In that vein, I'm going to take the month of December to pause my daily routine and refresh myself. Reflect on the year to come and where I'd like my journey to take me in the next twelve months. Think about new ideas for stories and see if any of the ideas grab me by the throat and make it impossible to sleep because the characters are yelling at me to write their story. Or not. Maybe it's time to hang up the pen.

I may need more than one bottle of Coke.