TSS: The Sunday Salon

It wasn't a big week for reading. I'm not quite a quarter of the way through Nicole Quigley's YA novel, Like Moonlight at Low Tide, published by Zondervan. So far, it is incredible. I'm not going to have any trouble at all finishing this book!

On Monday, I had a pow-wow with my son-in-law, who remodels bathrooms for a living. He's already remodeled the main floor bathroom, and put a huge, two-person shower in the basement bathroom, which is really more of a farmer's wash-up room. Unless people are living in the basement. But in the 32 years since we built the house, we've never remodeled the third-floor bathroom, and so it is time. I had originally planned to leave in the oversized tub, but I'm afraid now that if we re-do everything else, the tub and tile surround will look like we forgot to update it. So we're going to gut the entire bathroom and begin fresh.

On Wednesday, I went to see the movie, The Life of Pi, with some friends. I found the tiger, and all that it symbolizes, to be absolutely terrifying.

Overall, the movie was not only entertaining (and terribly scary) to watch; it was also thought provoking in a way that movies seldom are.

There were only four people in the audience. I have read only one review. The reviewer liked it, but I am wondering if American audiences aren't warming to what is decidedly an Eastern way of creating stories, and an Eastern view of life in general. Among other things, the ending wasn't wrapped up in a tidy little package like we've come to expect from our books and movies. It was more like real life.

New this week: I bought a Treadmill Desk, or reasonable facsimile, for $50. I can get some exercise and write at the same time with it. But I decided after walking for two hours at a quarter of my normal pace, that this is NOT for me.

I can work on my writing, sure, but I suspect I would've gotten a lot more done, had I been sitting at my desk. AND I would've gotten a far better workout from my typical routine, which I did on Saturday. I propped my Kindle against the Treadmill Desk, bumped the speed to 4.0 and kept it there. That's high enough to keep my heart rate in the middle zone where I like to work out. I read happily for an hour.

On Saturday evening, Mike and I went out to celebrate a holiday dinner with what's left of my original writing group. It's a group I began around 1995. Throughout the years we met, numerous people came into, and later left, it. For a while, it was only group members who went out together at Christmas time.

About four of us were still meeting in 2002, but things fell apart around that time. One of our members got a divorce and left the area. I had started working full time at the library. But three of us carried on with a variation of our Christmas tradition, adding our husbands into the mix.

So that's what my week looked like, reading, socializing and otherwise.

As to my writing, I am plugging away at getting my manuscript ready to send off to the Golden Heart contest. I had turned it into a YA romance, third person, dual viewpoints, and had my critique group read it. Someone in the group thought so much voice got sacrificed when written in third-person, dual viewpoints, that it would be better to put it back into first person. She had read a first person, single viewpoint rendition of it nearly a year ago.

I checked some YA romances and discovered that they are almost always written in first person, single viewpoint, so I spent this week converting the boyfriend's scenes--one third of the book--back into the heroine's viewpoint. Doing that, I discovered they had a lot more to clear up in the end, which this perceptive critiquer had also noted. The "making up again" scene is much longer, much better.

I also dropped about 10,000 words of subplot back into the story, which I had removed when I streamlined it into an all-romance, basically no subplot, version of the story.

All of the critique group members missed the subplots, and thought the story was much fuller and richer with them. So I am adding about 50-75% of the wordage originally devoted to subplots, back into the story.

Originally, there were parts that dragged. I'm not adding those parts back in! :)  Nor the ghost, which just didn't work at all.

I would still like to try having a ghost as a character someday. The ghost was a projection of the heroine's ego, and I was able to find other ways to convey the same information using living characters and situations instead.

How was your week?



  1. You've been BUSY, friend! I'm glad to hear that so many good things are happening in your life and that you've had some time to get together with friends. That's so rejuvenating!

    I would love to see "Life of Pi." I loved the book and was totally surprised by the last quarter or so. Fascinating stuff!

    It sounds like you've done some incredible things to your story! I'd love to read it again with all these changes included. Best of luck in the contest!

  2. Sounds like a busy time.
    Time with friends is good.

    Hope ypu had a great holiday.

    M :)


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