🍸Friday Happy Hour, July 10, 2020

🍸Friday Happy Hour, July 10, 2020

Editing, red pen in hand, at my little desk. Photo by Danielle Burbank

Happy Friday Happy Hour, Peeps.

How has your week been? I’ve been okay, focusing on two things: rewriting LOVE & EAST MERCY and getting back into a healthy eating and exercise routine. This means tracking my calories on MyFitnessPal and pushing myself to add High Intensity Interval Training to my regular walking schedule. And not drinking. Still. I know. Eyeroll. 

The thing is, my body has been quick to respond to the more intense exercise, not visibly, but internally. I feel stronger already after just a week. It’s pretty amazing, and I’m grateful to my body despite its new, crone-ish aches and pains. Yes, I even found some hand and finger exercises in hopes of strengthening those tiny muscles and tendons. Why? Because…

Rewriting means lots of typing. 

I have this massive 150,000 word, 500-page manuscript to whip into shape. It was written 15 years ago. (Anyone else seeing the repetition of numbers? I’m not into numerology, but if any of you are, feel free to analyze.) Luckily, I finally made a breakthrough.

Here’s the thing–over the years I’ve known there was something wrong with my stories, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on where I was falling short. I worked on my style, and improved, yes. I worked on my character development. But something wasn’t clicking. Now I know it is a storytelling issue. I’m a meanderer. I have trouble sticking to a plotline and making sure everything is building to a satisfying climax and resolution. I get bogged down in the weeds. 

Now I’m learning how to get a grasp on what comes naturally to some writers who deep down are just good storytellers. Does that mean it’s easy for me to rewrite this beast of a tale? No. My mind gets all confused, and I forget where I’m at and what I’m trying to do, but at least I have knowledge. That’s the first step. The second step is application. The third step is practice. I’ll get there. Finally, hopefully, I’ll arrive at some sort of mastery. The writing life is never dull! I can see myself still learning and growing until my last day at the keyboard (or notebook or digital recorder or whatever tools necessary.) I have years and years of learning ahead of me, joy! 

So, anyway, I’m sitting on my balcony and enjoying my new potted snake plant and pink geranium and the basil I’ve nursed for a year which is bursting out with new, large, green leaves, so fragrant I could swoon. In a few minutes, I’ll wrap this up and get back to editing. And in a few hours it will be cocktail hour here on the west coast. 

LIBATIONS

I may have a real martini tonight, but I also discovered this wonderful tonic from Fever Tree. It has a nice bite to it, and with ice and a wedge of lime, quite divine. With a little slice of parmesan, a sliver of tender, pink, wild-caught, smoked salmon, and maybe a hard-boiled egg sprinkled lightly with salt and pepper, this non-boozy libation would satisfy. 

On the recommendation of my reader/friend, Sandra, I also got some Diet Dr. Pepper, and that’s what I’ve been enjoying all week. It’s fizzy, cherry-cola taste hits the spot while I’m watching GREEK on YouTubeTV. Peeps, I was so excited to discover I could watch GREEK again for free, I literally danced around the kitchen. 

INSPIRATIONS

Finally, I’m finding inspiration in Candace Bushnell’s TRADING UP once again. Click here to go to her website. This is a modern masterpiece of the society-novel variety in the vein of Jane Austen or William Thackeray or maybe even more aptly, Edith Wharton, who also wrote about well-heeled New York society. I’m also thrilled to discover The Chicks (once Dixie) have released a new album. (See video below!) I’ve loved these gals since their first album, and their grit and honesty inspire me. Suddenly, I’m feeling a little “country in the city” just in time for summer. 

And one more thing. I took some time to create the book cover for LOVE & EAST MERCY this week, and I’m thrilled with the result. It came out just about the way I envisioned. It’s cute…and green. Want a sneak peak? 

Those of you on my mailing list are all set. Those of you who aren’t…what are you waiting for? I will be sending out an email postcard with the pre-pub cover reveal next Friday, July 17. Sign up by July 16 to make sure you are on the list. It’s so easy. Just go to the sign up form at the top right side of this page. 

That’s it for today, peeps! Have a fab weekend and I’ll see you next week.

Cheers!

Shelley 

bottle and lime and cheese

What are you reading and listening to this week? I love comments, and I comment back!

 

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Your writing space looks so cramped, and yet you soldier on. Amazing. I’m looking forward to the cover reveal of your Love & East Mercy rewrite.

    I wish I could be as committed as you, about getting fitter and healthier. I’ve lost that drive somewhere along the COVID-way (hmmm, maybe I just use COVID as a convenient excuse for all and everything …?).

    I’m going to have to look up to see what watching GREEK is all about.
    Cheers🥂

    1. Hi Debbie: I seriously doubt you’d like GREEK. It’s not your kind of thing at all. For me, it is total fluff and takes me back to less stressful times because I remember watching it previously. It was something our family enjoyed together. Yes, my space looks cramped, but I’m pretty cozy and comfy here. I’ve been attempting to see how little space I need, in general. I mean, someday I might want to live in a tiny house or RV. This is good practice. It’s pretty efficient with the drawers on the computer stand. Maybe I’ll do a blog post/tour of my writing space one of these days. This is definitely a student-sized desk. I barely fit, lol. I’m pretty proud of my set-up, though I do have desk envy when I see beautiful writing desks in magazines.

  2. SO excited for your cover reveal!!! It’s good to see you excited about writing again. I think I’m almost ready to start my new project as well. I’ve been writing little snippets by way of my weekly assignments to get to know my characters and work out some kinks. I’ve been searching for a plot and I think I finally had a break through. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of Pandora’s Box… Happy writing and let’s catch up soon!!!

    1. I LOVE that Pandora’s Box idea. I recently watched an episode on Greek mythology and realized there is a whole other aspect to the “opening of the box” myth that seems to correlate with Eve taking a bite of that knowledge apple. I can’t wait to see what you do with this. Today’s blog post is about “starting” as I’m having trouble getting started, even though I’m sitting right here at my keyboard. Get thee to the computer, MA! You can do it.

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