Monday, September 20, 2010

I Killed Someone Today...

Her name was Nancy and she was pretty important at first. As the plot developed, she became extraneous. Hard as it was, she had to go.

Talking about one of my characters, of course, and she was central to the plot of Reese's Leap as it was first conceived. But much time and many chapters later, I realized she was just bogging things down. Sometimes it's like that. But plowing through 300 pages of copy in order to get rid of her was no easy task. Took days and days. A lot like surgery. Some of her lines--those I wanted to keep--and the plot elements she was involved with handed off to someone else. Some of the others now had to do double duty. They're not happy with me, I can tell you that. Now on to yet more tweaking to get the first draft ready for readers!

This shot was taken on one of the island trails that are part of the setting for the book on the fictional Mistake Island--in reality a lovely place off Brunswick, Maine.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Upcoming Events

Always tough settling back in after vacation. Upside is the wonderful flow of creative energy that follows a break from routine. I've got my ending to Reese's Leap now, along with a final plot twist. I'll get all that in place next week and then begin a very thorough tweaking, shifting and editing of the first draft. I'm even considering dropping one of the characters I originally felt was central to the plot but now seems quite superfluous. If you're new to my work, this book is the sequel to my manusript of Matinicus, a few chapters of which you can find on my web site:

I've also been busy scheduling some fall and winter readings/signings as well as a few book club appearances. Monday night, September 20th at 7:00, I'll be reading at RiverRun Bookstore in downtown Portsmouth. That Saturday, the 25th, I've been invited to "Skype in" to a book club meeting outside Chicago. What fun! Hoping that one works out, cause it would be a great way to "appear" without the cost of flight. Friday evening, October 15th, I'll attend a book club meeting up in Kennebunk ,Maine, and Wednesday, October 27th at 7:00, I'll be reading at the Barrington Town Library. That's it for the fall, so far. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Of Books and Blueberries

To me, vacations mean lots of time for reading, and I sure do a lot of it when we sail. The last few weeks, for example. So here's what I'm into these days. Lots of Charlie Huston--really loved the three books in his Hank Thompson series. Last week I read The Mystic Arts of Erasing all Signs of Death--his dark, quirky book about a twenty-something guy who takes a job with a company that cleans up after people die violent deaths. Why he chooses to do this has a lot to do with a traumatic event he lived through a while back--something that's slowly and rather deliciously revealed near the end of the book. Despite the subject matter, or maybe because of it, it's one of the funniest books I've ever read.

I'm also a big Dennis Lehane fan and just finished reading Coronado--a book of short stories he published a while back. The book is named for one of the stories therein and what I found really interesting (besides his just plain excellent writing) is that he also includes a short play that's an expanded version of that story. The juxtaposition allows for a revealing window into the mind of this amazing writer.

I also plowed through all three books of the Stieg Larsson trilogy this summer--loving all but the last one which I felt suffered for the absence of its heroine's antics until the very end of the novel. Finally, a lovely surprise was found in Julia Glass's story of two sisters, "I See you Everywhere." I've been a big fan since reading her debut novel, Three Junes (which won the National Book Award). Amazing writing. Puts the rest of us to shame...

But hey, lest you think I did nothing more than bury myself in the pages of novels for two weeks, here's a shot of me cleaning the blueberries I'd just picked from a huge field in Bucks Harbor Maine!