BRAVE NEW WORLD (January 25, 2022)

The dam has burst, the block has broken, and all is sunshine and rainbows! I’m back to writing – in fact, I haven’t missed a day since the new year.(That is, not a day in my weekly five day work week. When I miss a work day I catch upon the weekend).

It Takes a Thief is finally taking shape. I’d worked last year between bouts of frustration and block and managed to squeeze out about 200 pages, most of which I despised, but i sent it to two trusted friends, Lynda Ward and Jenny Crusie, to find out whether I should toss the sucker or try to save it. Both of them said, SAVE IT, so I’ve been working on that for the last three weeks. First I had to go through it, toss it the last 14,000 words (Oh, the pain), and then go and rewrite the first 30,000 words, which I’ve had to do twice already and which will definitely need another go-round. First I changed the wishy-washy, mouse-like heroine. Then I changed the confusing villain (I’m still a bit confused about him but he’s coming together). Then I had to put my hero on the page a whole lot more. Then I had to clean up everything else.

But now I’m finally moving forward, writing more stuff and feeling normal again. For some reason I never feel quite right when I’m not writing, but nothing I could do would make it work last year. It just felt stagnant, dead in the water, utterly miserable.

I blame Covid. I was languishing, as so many people have been.

I’ve been really frustrated with Audible because there haven’t been enough new books by writers I love coming out, and then I realized they’re languishing too! (The favorite writers, not Audible. Audible is flourishing, thank God. I have something like 1,300 audio books in my library and I’m hungry for more).

But languish is no longer in my vocabulary. Not only am I moving steadily forward on this, but the follow-up, To Catch a Thief, is already fully formed in my head and I can’t wait to get to it. So as Crusie would say, nothing but good times ahead.

In the meantime, during the doldrums, I’ve been working on reprints. Coming out soon are THE FALL OF MAGGIE BROWN, which was surprisingly delightful (I’d thought of it as a sort of throwaway work since way back when it was internet only) and A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT, which is deliciously gothic and has a marvelous manga available at Amazon. I’ve also been reading and revising all my novellas, some of which are really good (some of which are meh) and now I need to figure out how to print them.

And then there’ll be the new one, sometime in March, I hope.

Ah, when I’m writing life is glorious.
Anything glorious happening for you? If you’re a writer, how’s the writing going? If you’re a reader, have you had trouble with languishing authors and finding enough of the good stuff to read?

11 thoughts on “BRAVE NEW WORLD (January 25, 2022)

  1. So good to see you back here, excited about how your newest book is shaping up!

    I always visit the blog to see whether any new books are coming out – as you can see, I am an ardent fan.

    Too few books from authors that I love – that has been reality; but like you said, all too understandable when life has come to a standstill of sorts due to COVID for the past two years.

    Best of luck! Can’t wait to read It Takes a Thief!!

  2. First I changed the wishy-washy, mouse-like heroine

    I find it hard to believe you actually wrote a mouse like heroine. Glad you changed her.

    And…….welcome back !~

  3. I’m in awe that you wrote 200 pages while suffering the dreaded block. How did you manage to steamroller through it to get the words down?

    Have you thought of using the 14K words you ditched as fodder for your newsletter readers? I know that I’d love to read those “deleted scenes.”

    The idea isn’t new, but it popped into my head when I had the genius idea of changing my opening. The scenes were good, and I’d had good feedback on them, so I thought they’d work for my newsletter–when I get around to dealing with that.

    How’s the writing going? I’m 82K into my book, but I’ve had to take a detour to re-block all my scenes due to the above genius idea’s ripple effects becoming waves. Oh, and on the glorious happenings, I’ve got two interviews lined up–one conducted by a teddy bear.

    Oh, yeah, I can’t wait to read It Takes a Thief!

  4. You know, there are reviewers on Goodreads that hate me (some, but there are a LOT of them that love me, I give good rec’s) lol. Why? Because I love me a gamma hero. Did you coin that phrase? Gamma Hero? I digress, I’ve read all your stuff that I have been able to get my greedy eyes on. So when there’s a slump, I re-read your books. But yes, Covid has a lot to answer for. Especially for people in the arts. We need social interaction. We need to see new places to be inspired. We need each other. I just wish people could see that as a good thing.

  5. Glad your back!!! Always looking for new authors to love..ones who take chances like yourself! Kerrigan Byrne has been a great new find..some of her words make my stomach hurt(in a good way!) like yours!

  6. I was hoping you were almost done with the new book and I’m delighted that you’re feeling more energized. (I’ve been your reader so long that I could tell when you were stuck with watching The Muppets and the original Magnum PI.) I used the first page of Housebound to teach the concept of personification in English IA at the university and my writer daughter (Lila Dubois) had one of her publishers get your autograph for me in one of the Ice books. You have sustained me through much over the years. When I cruised the aisle of the grocery store with my young children in tow, to see one of your books in the new paperbacks was like a friend saying, “buck up, dear. Feed the children some boxed Mac and cheese, swish them through a bath and send them to bed and then you can read.” I have toasted you with wine and double rainbow ice cream over all the years of our long association. But I’m languishing here ,Chrissy. Don’t forget my birthday is in March and the new Thief book would be a rousingly good gift. Covid has dampened everyone and I hope spring is fighting through in Vermont. Edit less, publish more. Socially distanced and masked hugs.

  7. I actually discovered you while looking for books to fill the Mary Stewart shaped hole in my life. I am so so so excited about this book. I would pre-order it now if I could.

  8. Thank goodness you are back, I’ve been waiting and worrying about you. I wrote months ago to say you were personally responsible for getting me through Covid. I determined to buy every book you had written. I almost got there, only missing the last of the Commitee series. I can’t find it for less than almost 50 bucks. Out of my price range but hope springs eternal. Can’t wait for your new books and want to tell you how important you have been to my mental health and how happy you are to be out of your doldrums.

  9. Trying to find your newest book but am consumed with dread that it’s only available on line…. why have you forsaken me? Please tell me it will be out in a print edition! Please!

  10. I completely agree with you re:: Covid. I got into the habit of binging on Netflix. Part of that had to do with not enough new Audible books out (even though I discovered a few new authors) by my favorite authors.

    P.S. I have about 1300 books on Audible and not sure how many from my public library I’ve downloaded.

    So glad to see some of your older books being done for Audible. I’ve been on the lookout for one of my favorites – “Now You See Him”, to be added to Audible. Any chance of this happening?

    I just saw a novella on Amazon – Risk the Night. Is that the Black Ice sequel?

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