Thorny Problems

This week has been a bit of roller coaster ride for my writing.  I received some very excellent news which them prompted me to move up several items on my to-do list, which further caused me to do the thing that I had been dreading… Call Apple Support to fix a problem with my Apple ID.  I have had three different people on my “case” and have now been bumped up to a “Senior Advisor.”  In short, my problem has been deemed an actual problem (hmm… like I said at the beginning?) and I have been moved away from the people that tell me to do things like “spell out North, instead of putting N.” and “try clicking ‘add’ 4 times really fast.”  Which is probably good because I was starting to make notes for killing off a customer support specialist in my next novel.

But all of this has left me feeling more than a little bit blocked.  I want to do one simple thing, but suddenly the simple thing spawned multiple problems and multiple frustrations.  Usually when I’m feeling frustrated I can dive into one of my writing projects to escape, but unfortunately I’m feeling blocked on many of those as well!  Book #4 of the San Juan Island series is holding until I can figure out who finds the body.  I’ve got it narrowed down, but I’m not sure who would be the best person.  My sci-fi version of Beauty & the Beast for the Galactic Dreams Anthology series is with my co-writers and I don’t want to write the next section without their input. And The Lost Heir, my Deveraux Legacy novella is with my beta readers.  So what’s the solution to this thorny issue?  Here’s what I came up with…

Step 1: Go blackberry picking

Step 2: Make pie.

Step 3: Eat pie.

It may be the long way around for pie, but it is a solution to a very thorny problem.

Supposed to be…

I’m not supposed to be writing this.  I have a pretty stiff yearly schedule on what I intend to write.  And while blogs are on my schedule, I have currently abandoned all sanity and schedules and have started committing time to a project that is NOT on the calendar.  I should currently be writing my San Juan Islands #3.  Unfortunately, while I had a fantastic idea for the opening, my idea pretty much stopped there. And an inciting incident does not a plot make.  But after I stared and stared at the screen and then stared some more, nothing was coming to me. So I started doing a writing exercise to get the creative juices flowing and now… I can’t stop. 

I think I’ve fallen in love with my own characters.  They keep popping up with more things for themselves to do.   And I keep thinking, “What a great idea!  I’m sure that will only take me twenty minutes to jot that down.”  Note to self: nothing you want to write takes twenty minutes.  And now my cushion of time for making my deadline is whittling down and I’m actually starting to worry.  So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to stop writing this and stare at my screen and try and figure out why Tobias is in jail.

A Typo Honesty

Recently, I was going over the edits from a beta reader on my forthcoming mystery novel – Against the Undertow (sequel to An Unseen Current). I was excited to read over the notes because the reader had been pretty enthusiastic verbally about the book and I was looking forward to easy edits (for once).  Beta readers usually give critiques on story elements, spot plot holes, and generally let an author know if something is working or not. They can do line edits and spot typos, but frequently that’s a separate gig because the mental focus for each job is quite different. Because of that, I usually tell my beta readers to treat typos like terrorists on the train in New York – if you see something, say something – but don’t go looking for them. Which is why I laughed when I got to this note:

I didn’t take note of typos except for one I thought I’d mention: on p. 76 you meant perennial and instead wrote perineal.

That is indeed a typo worth mentioning and I promptly laughed and shared it with about eight people. But it got me to thinking about some of my other slips of the fingers. Here’s a couple that I thought worth noting.

He knew he would get some carp for it. Yes, because fish are often given as a sign of disapproval.

Stalking feet. Because he has those feet that just will not stop violating restraining orders.

I’m going as troll. Many problems here. Including missing the word “for” and a misplaced space around the S. But if you want to go for a stroll as a troll, apparently I will let you. Gotta look out for those trolls.

Desserted is not, repeat not, the same as deserted. I wish it was. I wish I could be desserted ALL the time. But cake is not a healthy breakfast choice.

As I continue to write, I’m sure I will make many more typos. I hope that at least a few are as good these ones.