Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Until my book is written

Dearest Blog Friends,

I'm a year late on getting my new book finished. For all the obvious reasons, I have to concentrate on it now and until it's completed. I'm finally doing good work on it, but I have to buckle down a lot more now.

I hate closing down the blog until this period is over, but I think I have to do it for my own sanity. It's true that I could probably just post a daily nothing and leave the cafe open for everybody else to chat, but that doesn't feel right to me. I'd rather put up a "Temporarily Closed" sign.

This doesn't change anything else, by the way, in regard to getting to see some of you. Beth is coming soon, and I can't wait! That will be such a wonderful visit. Maybe I'll drag her to a coffee shop and force her to do "tandem writing" with me. And I'll see her and Andi and Kimberly and maybe others when I "do" Writers Retreat Workshop this spring.

Do NOT hesitate to email me at any time. I'm not going incommunicado, I'm just going incommuniblogo.

I love you guys. I don't like having the blog open for extended periods when I can't interact with you. I originally thought that this current semi-absence of mine would last only for a week or so, but I can see now that I need a lot more time. I won't be gone forever. It will probably be a few months, and then I'll re-open. You'll know when it happens, because you'll hear the great sigh of relief coming from the midwest.

Let's stay open for the rest of today and tonight, and then I'll turn the lights low.

I'm coming back. Count on that!

Much love,

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Can Has Blog?

This is Katiebird's handiwork. She knows us well.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Writing Lesson, Repetition #316

There are writing lessons I have to relearn with every book or story.

One of them is: Sometimes, if I catch one of my characters telling another character about something dramatic that happened, I have to delete that scene and actually write the scene WHERE THE THING HAPPENED! I learned it again last week when I wrote a little scene where one cowboy tells another that some fence has been cut. But where was the action? Where was the emotion? T'warn't none. So I deleted all that and wrote the scene in which the cut fence is actually discovered by the woman who lives on the ranch . MUCH better. There's surprise happening right there in the moment, and there's the emotion of first-person experience instead of the second-person telling a third person. And because there's true action in that scene, it leads naturally to action and emotion in the next scene.

Sometimes characters have to tell each other things; you can't literally *show* everything, but whenever there's a choice, readers want showing, not telling. And I'll tell you a secret: you're not really a fiction writer untill you can write those scenes--the ones where things happen-- as they happen.

Dear Nancy, Show, don't tell. Duh. Yours truly, Nancy.