Monday, April 12, 2010

A six percent chance and the definition of insanity

My entry to a contest for a spot in an anthology has a six percent (6 %) chance of winning.  That is actually better than the odds of being published as a novelist.

At the end of the month, I travel to the Big Apple from Beantown for Edgar's Week.  This year I'll be pushing my suspense novel (hopefully finished by then), the last of my crime fiction writing.  It's been an interesting eighteen (18) years.  This last book wasn't supposed to be, as I had intended to write my Southern California in the late twenties novel, but the damn character came to me, sat on my shoulder and started telling her story.  Of course, she didn't tell all of it, and I had to fill in a lot of blanks.  I have no feeling for how good it is.  My writing group has gone from enthusiasm to neutrality, shall we say.  Significant Other like my earlier novels, but is not all that enthusiastic about this one.  Actually, he liked Promiscuous Mode and the Shadow Warriors.  

I don't know why I stuck with crime fiction for so long. Some time ago I realized that the parts of my novels I enjoyed writing most were not the cop scenes, the action scenes or the crime scenes, but more the stuff of everyday life.  By then I had so much energy tied up in Mystery and Suspense that I kept at it. 

"They" say the definition of insanity is to keep repeating the same act, expecting different results.  That's me and my so-called writing career.  So onward, to finish In Flight and then to Such Stuff As Dreams.  

I have some short stories to write, and a decision to make about the last crime fiction story I had to truncate to keep the word count down to the contest level.  I spent 3 weeks cutting words. Should I write the story to its "proper" length?  Dunno.   Looking forward to penning the short stories, some of which are about animals.

Speaking of which, we have a huge red-shouldered hawk in the woods by the slough, stalking the birds.  I shudder for my poor little terrorized gold-finches, titmice and chickadees, to say nothing of the doves, the robins and the sparrows!  And all the other feathered friends.   I know.  I know.  Hawks gotta eat, but they can go to another yard, and  not treat ours as a smorgasbord table.

Loved watching the Masters this week and am still so happy that Phil Mickelson won.  And how about them Red Sox?  Now if Big Papi could just hit a few out of the park. One can waste so much time watching sports.  Still, the drama and conflict and effort remind me of writing fiction.

Wish me luck in my new non-crime writing career.  I can go where my whimsy takes me, and have learned good rules about suspense and conflict and plotting which will serve me  in other genres.  

Sucking it up, as per usual.  Yup. Yup.


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