Reporting In on Stuff in General

The Next Historical is picking up steam, which is awesomeness in the nick of time. I’m liking my hero a lot. League play for my son’s soccer team is over (they won league!) which means I have my weekends free again. Less sitting in the car to write. I need them. Now it’s just practices and the occasional scrimmage until the big tournament in January.

Scandal is officially on sale February 3, 2009. And I’ve seem some preliminary indications of good opinions. ARCs arrived Thursday and I’ve started reading through to make sure there’s nothing terribly amiss with the copy. Wow. I was surprised by how strong the story seemed. Lord Ruin has a special place in my heart for being the book where I learned how important it is for me to write from a state of instinct. I am, I’ve come to realize, almost frighteningly analytical. (Stop laughing!!) But I cannot analyze myself into the kind of emotion a story requires. Lord Ruin was the book where I learned to let go.

Interestingly enough, there have been other times in my life when I have been under enormous pressure — the kind where there was not time to analyze. I could only let go. The first time involved geometry. I needed under some rather dire circumstances to calculate an angle so as to end up with a precisely drawn triangle of a certain shape. And I stared at this bit poster board (this was for a court hearing the next day — if I failed I’d probably be fired) and for a moment thought Carolyn, you got a D in geometry in High School. (The only grade I ever got below a B) How in heck are you going to get this triangle correctly drawn? I took a breath and had to let go of my fear and doubt and I swear that I suddenly knew EXACTLY how the formula worked. I got to work and holy heck if it didn’t come out exactly and precisely the way Pythagoras said it did.

The second time also involved a court hearing, with the added bonus that the messenger was waiting for the exhibits which the copy service had just brought to the office incorrectly bound. Miss your filing and you notify the company’s malpractice carrier, and of course we were right at the edge of maybe not enough time for the messenger to get to the courthouse. I looked at the copy guy and said, that’s not how I asked for them to be bound. (All the exhibits had to be bound in one HUGE insanely thick stack, and they had divided them up according to the height of the two-hope top prongs.) And he says I didn’t know how! Well heck, me neither because that was his job. A legal copy service is supposed to know all the tricks. So with my job and the company’s future flashing before my eyes, I let go of the panic, looked at the exhibits and the little fasteners and just knew how to fix it. And did. In the nick of time.

The same thing happened with Lord Ruin I was sitting there knowing that the book currently had spots that were just dry and boring, and I was feeling kind of panicky about that. So I just let go. I just started writing, without caring about what was coming next. I fixed what I was looking at right then.

Oh, long digression there. I need to get cracking! Off to work.


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