Fun Research

The first few chapters of the book I’ll be writing this fall take place practically in my back yard: rural Alberta (albeit, 80 years ago), so I took a day this week to visit the Bar U Ranch Historical Site, the fort at Fort McLeod, and the Nanton Bomber Command Museum. About 200-300 kilometers of driving. Because it was mid-week the crowds were low (hot weather might have kept some away, too), so I got to talk to the docents 1:1 and ask my questions.

The down side was: they wanted to talk about rural Alberta in the previous century (1800s), which I guess is what most people are interested in and what they’ve been prepped for. But with patience and the right questions, I got stories about the docent’s uncle who grew up in that era. A little clue, like: “they didn’t like to be called ‘cowboys.’ They were ‘range hands'” is a perfect detail to add to my book!

But one of the best parts was being able to climb inside a Lancaster bomber. It was a new plane in 1942, when my book is set, and ferry crews were flying them from Toronto to Derry via Gander and Iceland. My character is not going to get to the war by becoming a nurse (all heroines do that!!). She’s going to hitch a ride on a Lancaster!

Jumping back in

The week off was great, but I am going on a trip another week from now, so it’s time to review what is written in my current WIP, where the plan says I should go, and what my research says I should change. Then I can make use of my time away, when I’ll be dictating from the back of a motorcycle rather than typing on a computer.

Taking Time Off

I love writing, but I am taking a brief break/holiday. My work got to my publisher, and I have more projects, but I am doing a bit of catch-up with housework and gardening, and I am taking a few days to paint nudes. Fun. I can listen to the radio at the same time and it is creative but uses the other half of my brain, so is very relaxing. I’ll probably be back at work on the next novel (or maybe a short story) in another week or so.

Grant Application In!

So, now that the novel is gone, I was able to catch up on some emails, house cleaning, gardening–all the thinks I’ve been neglecting. And, I sent in a grant application for my research trip in the fall. Catching up!

Publisher meeting

Met with my publisher yesterday, and things are going well. I hand the book in, in two weeks (no sweat) and have to do a bit of work on blurb and website content; he is checking on the cover and website, which should be up by September, at which time we announce the first book. We have tentative launch months for the first three books. Yay!

Nebula Awards Conference

Got to see all kinds of good friends this weekend at the Nebula Awards Conference, and met some new people as well. Arly Sorg was so kind to introduce me to some cool folks: he has an incredible memory and said some nice things (about everyone!) in his introductions. SFWA is doing amazing work, and the Board is super-organized and active. Touched base with Mary Robinette Kowal, who met Heather at the workshop they both attended this spring. Lots of great panels.

Critique was inspiring

So I finally finished going through the line edits and critique suggestions for my novel, and there are some suggested tweaks that are really going to make this book AWESOME! Thanks so much to Sandy, Jeff and Adria for a super-professional and supportive critique!

Excellent writing retreat

Thanks, Randy McCharles for your thrice-annual Writers in the House: this is the first one I have been able to make in about a year, but it was super-productive. I finished the outline for my third novel in the Addicted to Heaven series, including a scene list (each with a “because” or “why now” attached), timeline and information. Lots of back-and-forthing to make connections among different plot threads and characters. It’s ready to use!