Writing Update, 1/10


How’s It Going?
I’ve been thinking about the thing that people do as an alternative to new year resolutions: picking a word or phrase to be a mantra for the year.

Other than setting ridiculous reading goals, I haven’t really done resolutions per se in a while. If I contemplate changes for the new year, I usually start around my birthday (mid-December) and try things out before we hit January. This December, I started doing three pages of journaling every morning followed by an hour of work—all before I fire up the internet. I’ve kept this up for the most part. So, my early favorite for 2018’s mantra has been “Steady.” I want to work steadily.

But this morning I was thinking about my relationship with Eric. When I graduated from college, I asked Eric to keep me honest with me writing efforts. We decided that I’d “turn in” pages every week. Those first pages became my first novel. While it’s never been easy to have someone read my pages, it feels like it used to be a lot more simple. I would just have him read; not a lot of choice in the matter. One of the things I learned in 2017 is that I had let my relationship with writing get unnecessarily complicated. (Complicated is different from complex. Complexity is fine. Complicated implies…complications.) I’m still letting it be that way, but it doesn’t need to be that way. So, I think my mantra for the year (if I should so desire to have one) will be “Steady & Simple.”

Excerpt

“And you, miss?” He pointed at Charlotte.

Her face flushed, to Billy’s surprise. He had been fairly certain that there was nothing that could embarrass Charlotte.

“Seven of diamonds,” she said loud enough to be heard on stage.

Joseffy raised his eyebrows. “A very rich card. Beware, sir,” he said to Billy, “your lady might know some magic as well, namely how to make wallets disappear.”

The audience laughed.

“You don’t know the half of it,” Billy said, and even the magician chuckled.

“The lady chose the seven of diamonds,” Joseffy reiterated.

He pulled the silk handkerchief off the card holder. It had disappeared and in its stead was a small vase with a brilliant red rose in it. The magician frowned. A fake frown, he had known absolutely that the rose would be there, but the audience hadn’t known. They were dutifully amazed and tittered at the conjurer’s discomfort. Making the best of it, Joseffy plucked the rose from the vase. He walked up the aisle and presented it to Charlotte.

“My apologies, miss, your card seemed to have gone astray.”

The rose appeared real, fresh, and only recently cut. Charlotte practically buried her nose in it.

“Ah, there it is.” Joseffy reached toward Charlotte’s hair and seemed to pluck the card from behind the pins that supported her curls.

About This WIP
One Ahead is a series of mystery novellas focusing on David P. Abbott, a magician who lived in Omaha, NE at the beginning of the 20th century. Aside from being an accomplished magician, David Abbott was a debunker of fraudulent mediumistic practices. I’ll be delving into the history of Omaha in 1915 as well as visiting some of the magicians, mediums, and skeptics that lived in that era.

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Writing Update, 12/13


What Am I Working On?
Spent time last week going back over my research notes and realized that an event occurred much earlier in 1915 than I remembered. Therefore, One Ahead #3 needs to be rejiggered. That’s okay; I haven’t been super happy with it anyway. I plan on having a conversation with Eric about it tomorrow.

Excerpt

The Reverend Franklin A. Thomas was a tall man, but he reminded Abbott of Harry Houdini. Both were athletic men, well-built, and extreme in their habits. Rev. Thomas, like Houdini, was an affirmed teetotaler. Lenore Post, Thomas’s secretary, always kept a pot of coffee simmering, but not a drop was taken by her employer. Thomas was even moderate when it came to tobacco.

The differences between the magician and the clergyman were striking as well, beyond the five inches of height. Houdini had given up on Spiritualism years ago and with very good reason. There was scant evidence that mediums were anything but frauds. Rev. Thomas, on the other hand, believed that there was truth in his flavor of the spiritualist religion. But it was in manner, mostly, that Abbott saw the similarity between Rev. Thomas and the world’s most popular doubting magician. They were both zealous men, never shy with their views and tenacious in their aims.

About This WIP
One Ahead is a series of mystery novellas focusing on David P. Abbott, a magician who lived in Omaha, NE at the beginning of the 20th century. Aside from being an accomplished magician, David Abbott was a debunker of fraudulent mediumistic practices. I’ll be delving into the history of Omaha in 1915 as well as visiting some of the magicians, mediums, and skeptics that lived in that era.

 

Writing Update, 10/11


Wicked Witch, Retired
Ended up spending all of last week on rewrites. Didn’t really intend for it to take that long, but that’s how it fell out between the last of the hard drive drama and not feeling well. This week, I’ve added words. The manuscript is over the 60K mark.

Abbott stories
Had a few days off of PHYSIC work and started reading through the first of the One Ahead stories, “The Case of the Sorrowful Seamstress.” Still haven’t decided whether I’m going to do anything special for NaNoWriMo. I’m firmly on the fence, but I *have* added my info to the NaNo page. Surprised that my first stab at Abbott was five years ago. What have I been doing with myself? (Don’t answer that…)

Writing Update, 9/27


Poking along with Wicked Witch, Retired. Lately, I’ve been splitting my time between writing WWR and doing a format and editing pass on Eric’s PHYSIC series. Surprisingly, I’ve found that I like working on two projects at once, though I don’t think I’d like *writing* on two separate projects. My intention was to finish the first draft  WWR in October and then switch over to work on the Abbott stories for “NaNoWriMo.”  But, my part in the reading/editing for PHYSIC is winding down, so maybe I’ll start some Abbott reading/editing in October instead of holding off.

For the rest of this week though, along with WWR, I’m going to work on a new cover for Lucinda in the Window and take a look at the formatting with the intention of maybe releasing a new paperback version by mid-October. At very least, I’ll be doing a promo then.

(Pst. If you’re interested getting an email about when I release stuff, I have a very infrequent newsletter for that:)

Writing Update, 9/13

Progress (and other stuff)
Awww, two tweets from Wicked Witch, Retired about Hanna and Kelvaro. Who are not romantically entangled. Actually, this is something I’ve gone back and forth on. I don’t really want these two together. Hanna had a crush on Kelvaro, but that’s faded into friendship. Kelvaro isn’t interested, but appreciates Hanna as the generally smart, independent woman she is. But the writer/publisher part of me says, “Katherine, wouldn’t some romance in this book make it more marketable?” I suppose it might, but I’ve never been one to make things easy on myself.

Manuscript is back over 50K words. Our heroes are in the middle of a daring rescue.

What is This?
Wicked Witch, Retired is my current writing project. It is the sort-of sequel to a flash story I wrote, “Wicked Witch for Hire,” which is currently available in the anthology Bounded in a Nutshell.

#sunscribbles is a Twitter event hosted by @DragonspireUK . Every Sunday writers share a line of their current work-in-progress based on a theme.

#1lineWed is a Twitter event hosted by @RWAKissofDeath. Every Wednesday writers share a line of their current work-in-progress based on a theme.

Writing Update, 9/6

Progress
The above is actually not from Wicked Witch, Retired, but from one of the David Abbott mysteries that are currently on my back burner. The #TerraTues theme was “magic,” but I haven’t yet used the word in WWR even though its genre is fantasy. Instead, the magical force in that universe is called “wunder.” A user of wunder like Agatha, my “wicked witch,” would be called a wunder worker. Progress-wise, I’m done with this half-draft’s rewrite and ready to add story again.

As for Mr. Abbott, I plan to set aside WWR in November and give the in-progress stories a NaNoWriMo treatment. But that’s the carrot urging me on finish a full WWR draft by then.

What is This?
Wicked Witch, Retired is my current writing project. It is the sort-of sequel to a flash story I wrote, “Wicked Witch for Hire,” which is currently available in the anthology Bounded in a Nutshell.

#TerraTues is a Twitter event hosted by @leighmlorien and @summerhwrites. Every Tuesday writers share a line of their current work-in-progress based on a theme.

Writing Update, 8/30

I kind of fizzled out on everything last week. Summer is…hard. Even after living in Arizona for nearly 18 years, “back to school” and Halloween candy appearing in the stores just seems like a cruel joke when the forecast is a consistent 106+F for the foreseeable forever. I hate summer.

I’ve passed the one year mark on Wicked Witch, Retired. It doesn’t seem like I started this project that long ago. I’d like to have a full draft done by November. I’m going to have to work hard for that.