Monday, October 22, 2007

Butt in the Seat or Ear to (Someone Else's) Phone?

I'm a disciple of the butt-in-the-seat writing school, though kind of a lapsed disciple at the moment. A long weekend in New York for a family wedding, and I didn't even crack open my outline for MAMA RIDES SHOTGUN.

It's so much easier to pick up the thread of your story when it looks and feels familiar. Too many days out of the seat, and you're like, "Is this my thread? I thought my thread was blue. All I see here are a bunch of red and yellow threads. ''

Granted, the eyesight's not what it was. But I should at least be able to FIND the thread, no?

So, I'm in the seat, yet I'm wasting time here at the public library . . . blogging, checking emails, listening in on people's cell phone conversations. (Note to self: Start a campaign to ban cell phones from public libraries.)

The outline's sitting there at my right elbow. And I'm SO close to the end of the book: Chapter 39 out of 45.

But this woman next to me is fighting with her boyfriend on her cell. I have to keep eavesdropping to find out how it turns out. Who knows? Maybe she'll end up murdering him, and I'll have the first thread of my next mystery!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cracker Gal Musings

I'm deep into writing my second mystery novel, Mama Rides Shotgun, set on the Florida Cracker Trail.

The best part of being a writer is getting the chance to live through your characters. I'm a city girl (with country overtones), but my tomboyish main character, Mace Bauer, is all country.

In recent months, I've embraced Mace's (and my) redneck side: taking shooting lessons, riding the cross-state Cracker Trail on horseback, going to the rodeo in Okeechobee, Fla.

Here's a photo of a painting by an artist who specializes in Florida Cracker scenes. His pictures were on exhibit at the rodeo on National Cowboy Day. (In Florida, they were always called "cow hunters'' or "cowmen,'' but that's a story for another day).