The fall is my favorite time of the year. I think that is because October is my birthday month. I love the autumn colors and foliage. I don’t necessarily like the days getting shorter but that is something we all have to live with until the days start getting longer again in December! I love pumpkin, spice, witches and goblins. I recall one birthday I spent in the Napa Valley and waking up to the frost on the vines – what a gorgeous site – crisp fall air and clear blue skies!
Last month I attended the Historical Writer’s of America Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the beautiful Hyatt Tamayo Resort and Spa. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to take advantage of the spa and horseback riding since I was involved with attending great workshops practically every waking minute. But they were extremely worthwhile and I got acquainted with some fantastic people!
It has been too long since I posted here and for that I have no excuse except I have busy with writing and attending conferences. The last one – the Historical Novel Society was held in Portland, Oregon June 22-24 at the beautiful Hilton Hotel in downtown Portland.
There were many workshops – I had to carefully pick and chose as I couldn’t attend all of them. One of those I attended was – Battle Tested: Women in the Two World Wars with panel members Jennifer Robson and Kate Quinn. Another one Recent Historical Fiction on the “War to End All Wars” was presented by Glen Craney, Jennifer Robson, and Mary Tod. In addition I took in a panel talking about Historical Romance Writers. In addition, Come With Me to the Land Faraway was beautifully presented by Janie Chang, Elsa Hart, Weina Dai Randel and moderated by Kevan Lyon. I participated in the Blue Pencil Cafe which allowed me to have a mentor review 10 pages of my manuscript. I was fortunate that I drew Jennifer Robson who is a prolific historical writer of tomes set during WWI and WWII so we had a lot in common. She gave me wonderful feedback on Sophie’s War for which I am grateful. Our luncheon speakers were top-notch – the wonderful Geraldine Brooks author of People of the Book and one of my favs Nine Parts of Desire – The Hidden World of Islamic Women. On Saturday, we were thrilled to have David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and Pasadena. Coincidentally, David is a native of Pasadena as I am and in conversation we talked about our love for our beautiful city. The Historical Novel Society did not disappoint and brought to us top notch luncheon speakers. The conference was over before we knew it and we all brought home lovely memories and information that we can using writing our manuscripts. I am back to the keyboard working hard on a couple of things; primarily Starting Over and Sophie’s War. It is such fun to do what I love to do – putting words on paper for others to someday enjoy!
As usual, I am late in posting but for a good reason. I have been seriously busy writing my latest novel, Starting Over. Since my last posting, I managed another run through of Cache Under the Stacks and set a goal of finding an editor to look it over before handing it off to beta readers. Finally, I intend to shop it to agents and if no one takes a nibble, will probably go the self-publishing route by year’s end. I have hoped to traditionally publish Cache, but I am well aware of the marketplace. It puzzles me when I hear of what publishers are looking for. Most of which are not in my genre. But I know there are readers out there for Cache: I just have to find them.
This writing business is much harder than I had ever expected. It is so much more than just sitting down to write. There are many steps to writing a book that leads a writer to the pinnacle of completion. Putting it all together to make your work shine is hard but doable but not for the impatient. I tell myself to have patience and take it one day at a time, and I know the outcome is worth working towards.
Somewhere but certainly not here in Pasadena. Oh, we had a couple of warm days but it is back to cloudy, chilly weather with a prediction of rain for this week.
I have been remiss – a long time between posts – in fact too long. I must do better in the future.
But I have moving forward with editing my manuscript Cache Under the Stacks. My goal is to have it done done by late summer or early fall and have it in the hands of a publisher. If that doesn’t work then I will try my hand at self-publishing. I have to see how it goes. Often I have times of thinking it isn’t good enough to be published but have to shake that loose and move on.
Writing is a lot of hard work and I have learned a lot. I think that with the one I am working on now – it won’t take me as long and I can put to good use what I learned when writing Cache. and working on a new one, Starting Over. This new one is fun for me as I am using a lot of what I experienced when we were on Kauai in December. The book may be longer than I anticipated but I will have to see how it goes. Every time I reminisce with one of the pictures I took on Kauai like the one below I get excited to proceed with Starting Over!
Until next time – Aloha!
Happy New Year!
Oh my! The month of January is 1/2 over and a busy month so far. My apologies for this late posting.
2016 ended happily on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Kauai. My third visit and even though I was there 6 six years ago was surprised that I still knew my way around. We didn’t do a lot of touristy things – mainly relaxed, ate some delicious foods and plenty of Papaya which is my favorite fruit to indulge in when in Hawaii. We were there from December 23rd and departed for home on January 1st. By the time we had to leave we felt ensconced in island living and hated to go back home. The following picture was taken from our hotel room at the Hilton Garden Inn.
I was even able to do some research at a library in Princeville and kudos must be given to the powers that be. They have done a fine job! Beautiful building that is staffed by great people and so helpful! My hubby was patient and didn’t mind me sitting and researching but then, of course, he had his laptop as well and was as happy as a clam to do his thing.
Perhaps the best new find this trip was locating a bookstore on the island. I Googled and found The Bookstore “The Western-Most Bookstore in the United States.” The owners Cynthia and Ed Justis were gracious and helpful. I, of course, walked out with some books for my reading and research pleasure. A little hint: my next book takes place in Kauai so I am busy working on it before I forget all that I saw and want to use in my story. More next time on this work in progress!
I am going to conclude this posting with a picture of one of the island residents. Chickens and roosters are protected on the island. As one of the results of Hurricane Iniki they were displaced and now roam the island as protected residents. I love them personally – except when the roosters crow at 5 am every morning! Perfect alarm!
This week will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I write novels set during the World War II era and am particularly interested in Pearl Harbor. I had a father and a step-father who served in World War II, the first being in the Marine Corps and the latter in the Navy and stationed in Pearl. December 7th is “a day that will live on in infamy” as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared and it certainly has. Every year on this day my focus is on all who lost their life serving our country. Let us not forget those brave men who served and the women who did as well whether in the military or as workers in plants, taking the place of husbands, fathers, boyfriends who had gone off to serve their country. December 7th is a day I will always remember.
Today is the 4th day of Nanowrimo (National Writing Month) and of my second favorite month of the year, November. I have been trying to sort through what I have going which has not been making it easy to keep writing 1,600+ words a day. I have several projects to choose from that are in process and also going through edits provided to me by an editor who offered a 50-page edit in a raffle I won at WFWA. To compound things, I am also changing point of view from the third person to the first person in Cache Under the Stacks since this story is based on my personal experience at the beginning and evolves into the novel. It is a lot of work but if I am intending on switching this over to a cozy mystery and trying to follow cozy guidelines. Stay tuned.
November is also time to reflect back on all we should be thankful for. I know I have many things to be thankful for and grateful for each and every one.