Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Writer's Ramblings

I'm happy to report today that I'm making good progress on the revisions for Death By Library, the 4th book in my Pismawallops PTA mystery series. I had encouraging feedback from my editor (as in, no major plot issues!), and very helpful input from several beta readers on making the writing tighter and keeping the reader engaged in the story. So, after spending several weeks avoiding looking at the feedback I'd begged for, I finally got started and now am enjoying the process of polishing the words, trying to take the writing to another level.

For a bit of inspiration, I have been listening to books by Richard Peck and Ivan Doig, two masters in the art of making language stand up and perform. I'm asking something different of my words, and have neither the desire nor the ability to emulate those masters, but I do take inspiration from the recognition of what can be done, just how perfectly each word can be chosen so that it sounds inevitable.

That makes me think about the times when I'm reading and find myself re-writing a sentence or even a paragraph in a book. I hope that's something that mostly only writers are subject to, because it definitely disrupts the reading experience and isn't what a writer is hoping for! It does give me a goal: to prevent even my most word-loving readers from doing the same.

Wish me luck :)

On the moving front, progress has been made, but since we've reached the point of reasonably comfortable living with it, progress has also slowed pretty badly. I'm not sure when we'll get to hanging pictures, and the last few boxes of books and memories are waiting for me to know what to do with them.

On the up side, driven by the need to clear the garage for the installation of a new door yesterday, I did get at the tools. Even a rough semblance of order in my tools helps me feel more at home. Sorting through the sudden abundance of tools, not just the duplication of my collection and my father-in-law's, but added to that the decades of redundancy in his collection (okay, and mine), has been an absorbing task. The hardest thing for me there is when I see that something from my father-in-law is a better choice than something I inherited from my own father. I don't like giving up Dad's tools, but I'll admit some of those were his discards and probably date to the 1970s, and should be put kindly out to pasture!

Late-summer and fall travels start soon, but we may be doing less than planned. Unfortunately, that's because I've had a severe flare-up of my chronic plantar fasciitis, and at the moment can hardly walk, which makes it hard to train for backpacking trips (let alone actually take them). Time will tell how long I'm down, and in the meantime, I'm doing a lot of biking and swimming, which are better suited to the weather just now anyway.

Apologies for the long and rambling post!  I'll leave you with a couple of photos of warning signs I found entertaining!

I'm pretty sure this means you should avoid doing Zumba on mountaintops.
This one, on the other hand, cautions against just standing there while the world crumbles around you.


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