Story sample and Women who do what they want

Since we last met, I’ve bumped up to 512 total and 66 on the year. Shew! Some good, some bad, and some just so-so. Being sick in the summertime sucks, but it also means no one bothers your extended reading time. One of the books I read actually inspired me to rewrite a character in one of my stories. If you’ve been following along, I have a fully written novel draft in revision, and 2 others that are in various stages of writing at any given time. I find it difficult to focus on just one, so when inspiration hits, I pick up any of them. The main character I chose to re-write started out as college student, then a fresh college grad. I mapped out the story (which I never do), but I was really struggling with how to fit her in. Enter: last night. I decided to age her up to 30, give her an actual career/life in crisis before I sent her on the road. Magic. 6 pages poured out and I think it now makes much more sense why she’s there. I want to use a good bit of what I already had, so I just need to update the tone in parts of it to finally be able to continue. What do we think of this sample?

Emily Lang’s life used to be perfect. Ok, maybe not perfect, but it was perfect to her. She had a best-selling book on her resume by the time she was thirty, a very handsome and successful fiancé, and a big, fat advance on her next book. She was living out her every dream. The problem was, apparently someone else was living her dream too. Someone else who was younger, blonder, and now sleeping with her ex-fiancé for the past six months. Everyone had warned her not to get involved with her publicist, mixing work with pleasure was only going to come back and bite her. For two years she had been blissfully happy, and then the bite came. It snuck up on her one day when she ran home to grab lunch. The red pumps in the hallway really sunk their teeth in. 

Who doesn’t love a good cliché breakup? At least now she has a better reason to be stand-offish and snarky. My favorite dialogue to write. We’ll also be saving a library y’all. So yes,  I’m quite happy with this one at the moment. So stay tuned if happy endings are your thing.

Here’s some info on a few other stories I’ve been diving into. A trio of women making their own way:

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

I’ve been dying to reading this for awhile because I loved Rebecca! It wasn’t widely available, but now Rachel Weisz is bringing her to the big screen so I was able to snag a copy at BAM! I believe it was Book Riot that published the article (ok yes, I’m a bit obsessed with Book Riot. You should be too) about if you’ve seen Wonder Woman, you need to read My Cousin Rachel if you want a strong central female. The main characters are Rachel and Philip. Philip was raised by his uncle Ambrose, who takes a trip one day and never makes it back because he dies. While he was away, he met and married this mysterious ‘Cousin Rachel’. There are questions about whether his death was natural or not. Rachel is a fascinating character because you never quite figure her out. She does what she wants, when she wants. Is she impulsive, or is she just that brilliantly calculating? Philip gets caught up in her ‘charm’ and must battle his own feelings and paranoia. In true du Maurier fashion, you will really be questioning what you’re seeing. I usually refuse to see a movie of a book I enjoyed, but I’m interested to see how they play out the subtleties here because their entire point is to be open to interpretation. Besides, who doesn’t love Rachel Weisz?

Speaking of women who do what they want: check out The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

Nina is a librarian that has been made redundant when her small library closes and is blended into a new multi-media center. Not able to give up her love of book recommendations, she takes life by the horns and buys a van. Her plan is to sell used books from her new roaming bookstore. Because she can’t park the van in her hometown of Birmingham, she makes the move to Scotland where the van originated and the community is in need of books. There is love, there is heartache, there is redemption and of course there is the love of books! What could be better? I’m a sucker for a book about books, what can I say? The best part of this read, was the audiobook syncing so I could hear the voice-actor’s lovely scottish accent, and still read when I couldn’t use headphones.

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë brings up the rear as the least favorite of our trio. I love the Brontë sisters, truly, but Agnes just fell a little flat for me. Although, if you really enjoyed Mansfield Park, then you should check this one out. It’s along the same lines of our long suffering heroine who inexplicably finds love in the end. These are classics so I don’t think that counts as a spoiler alert. It just never really got there for me, though Mansfield was also my least favorite Austen so it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

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Now on the big screen …

One of these days I will learn. Sadly, that day is NOT today. I just finished listening to the third audiobook from the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children trilogy. Individually, the first book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs introduces some interesting characters. I like the idea of the time loop but the time in Florida feels like it drags on a bit to get things started. Once they hit the time loop things get interesting.

Individually, the books can drag a bit as the kids do a lot of running around, but taken as a whole, the story is very clever! Once I got the halfway point of the 2nd book Hollow City, I was hooked. I knew there was a movie based on the books and though I knew better, I was tempted to watch it because I kept seeing the characters in my head as the movie poster for some reason. I figured I would watch it and get an idea of whatever would look like. I know. Stupid. We’ll call it a lapse in sanity. I finished up The Library of Souls (very satisfying ending!)  and turned the movie on. It went downhill from there.

I should have know because Tim Burton is hit or miss for me, but he’s the right bit of strange to make this work. Well he could have been. Let’s just say (for those who read the story) Emma flies. And controls air to lift a sunken ship. And Bronwyn is like 6. And there’s a place like Coney Island where the final battle takes place in Blackpool. Yes I’m serious. Claire has fire. And wears big black rubber gloves the whole time. Oh and she’s a teenager too who dates Enoch. Enoch’s still a jerk though so they got that much right.

Seriously. It hurts. So, so bad.

So overall,  I would definitely recommend the trilogy if you read them all together. Very clever story. The movie, however, was terrible. F -.

42. and the wait will soon be over

If you don’t know what the meaning of life is by now then I suggest you go buy Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy. Speaking of animals I need, where can I get a babel fish?? Hubs and I started watching Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency on BBC America (because I LOVE all things British) and while he’s over here saying “wait what? WTF. What is going on?!” the whole time and finally walking out mid-episode today, I am thoroughly intrigued. It’s too complicated to describe other than Dirk follows Fate around to solve (maybe?) crimes and his unwilling sidekick is played by Elijah Wood. There’s an assassin the Universe won’t let be harmed. Oh yeah, and it’s based on a book by the same guy who wrote Hitchhiker’s Guide. So yeah. Super weird but I dig it.

My husband was then making fun of my writing soundtrack today. It was Ernie Halter’s Acoustic Throwback – 90s Rhythm and Blues with such classics as “No Diggity”, “Pony”, “Poison” and best of all “Waterfalls”. I, myself, love this album, he not so much. I’m clearly the fun one guys so you should take my advice and check him out. You will not be disappointed.

Wins: I can’t really pinpoint one today BUT once I get beyond this bump in the story (probably in the next few days I believe) I will give you an insight into what I’m actually writing about. I’m almost to the point in the story where I got frustrated the first time round, hence the rewrite. A bit of reward for all 2 of you long suffering readers.

Struggles: focus was awful today. I tweaked my knee yesterday so I didn’t get much sleep last night from the discomfort. In fact I fell asleep midday for several hours so I will admit I cheated more than usual today. Since I’m doing a rewrite, there are some scenes I like (albeit I am reworking them, *promise*). So I switched back and forth to get a sentence or two here and there but mostly lifted the entire scene idea to redo it. Up to this point I’ve done very little of that as I’m trying to expand my male character and give him more life in the beginning but I am at the point where the story really turns so I don’t want to mess with what I started there. To be fair, I still hit the mark without the copy +paste though so I won’t be too hard on myself

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November 28, 2016
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