And it’s going to get worse. We’re looking a minus double digits this weekend. Bundle up campers, it’s cold out there!
I went to sleep last night mentally whistling something I heard while working. I woke up with it still there, and when it was on the radio again this morning before the sun came up, I hit the “heart” button on my SiriusXM to save it. I save stuff maybe once a week, which isn’t much considering I have the thing on every hour I’m in my office. I even went and looked up the lyrics, sort of a 50/50 proposition in itself because most of the stuff on Chill is new or ah, not popular/marketable. The lyrics I found are a mess so I’m going to do a deeper search today.
But the point I’m not so successfully making here is that I’m connecting to music again.
I used to connect music a lot, but it tapered off right about book seven or eight in the Hollows. It worried me until I started working on Peri and again the music began connecting–and I figured out another one of my creative quirks.
When I’m busy learning about a character or world, when I’m in the gritty trenches of creating something from nothing and making the rules that I’ll work in for the next five years or so, I’m constantly searching for connections between everything on the page–the front, the back, the middle. The characters, their world, our world. Issues to text, plot to issues. The mental gymnastics spill over, not so much in the day-to-day stuff, but it will fasten upon music, ever present, ever changing–and a connection is made to a beat, a lyric, a feel or sound. It’s only when I feel I have the world down and the characters are so real that I can write them in my sleep that the music connection seems to die. Don’t get me wrong. I still listen and enjoy, but they don’t connect. And I missed it.
When I found one that connected to Peri, it was a great relief.
Here are the two latest:
La Roux/Skream In For The Kill
DJ Assad/Greg Parys We Are One
But the best for Peri so far has got to be Banks Before I Ever Met You
If you’ve been lurking on my blog much, you’ve probably seen some of my knitting. Oh, don’t roll your eyes at me, you disbelievers of the power of the needles. Us yarn weavers know. Knitting engages almost all parts of your brain from creativity, to problem solving, to spacial relations. The gentle movement keeps arthritis at bay and imparts an almost zen like state of meditation once you figure out the knits and purls. It’s been linked to mental fitness in lots of studies, but I just like it.
After a month of many gauges, experimentation with decreases and increases to get the slant lines, and a few nights with colored pencils and graph paper, I finished my Frank Lloyd Wright scarf, made from scratch and my own pattern. This was knitted on double pointed needles just for ease of holding, but was knitted back and forth, not in the round, and seamed up the side as I went. I would have rather knitted it in the round, but with the bobbins, that would have been impossible.
Now that I’m done with it, I think I’m going to do another that is narrower and longer–right after I finish with my Frank Lloyd Wright tea cozy, which would be funny if it wasn’t true. (More on that later. I’m about half way through.)
And yes. I do believe I’m going to try to put some of these patterns into a book. The monarch is slowly killing me with the desire to share. I just need one more piece that connects my work to the three-nation effort going on right now to save their flyway. Timing . . . is everything.
We have a name! We have a name. I am absolutely thrilled to introduce to you the first of the Peri Reed Chronicles, THE DRAFTER. (I know I said I’ve seen the cover, but this isn’t it. It’s just a place holder.)
Peri Reed takes her name from Master Commandant Perry who fought in the war of 1812 to hold Lake Erie from the British. He is the man who is credited with saying, “We have met the enemy and they are ours,” and his victory there got him promoted to captain as well as allowing Detroit to be retaken by U.S. troops.
Why name my main character after an often frustrated military captain, you might ask? I spent several summers at Put-in-Bay, a small island in Lake Erie, where they have a tall monument to the battle. The climb to the top is claustrophobic and wearying, but when you gain the summit, and the wind lifts through you, and you can see farther than you’ve ever have before . . . you feel free. At least you do when you’re twelve. And that is Peri Reed’s story.
Every so often I get a day that I feel like an author, a day where the usual grind of sit-at-desk, bang-head-on-keyboard opens up and something in this sometimes agonizingly slow profession moves forward in a big way. Writing “The End” is one of those days. Publication day is another, but as odd as it sounds, publication day doesn’t have much to say for itself until a week later when you know how publication day went. Turning in a manuscript is a big relief, and then the editorial rewritten one. Hearing from the marketing people is always a big boost, with news of cities and such. (Slow down. Long time to go yet for that.)
But Friday, it was a double whammy with my day spent getting my new back cover photo taken, (sans the red hair, mind you) and then coming home, exhausted and ready to wash off the make-up to find a most precious email had been smoldering in my inbox most of the day.
I have seen the preliminary cover, and it is gorgeous! Absolutely wonderful. You’re going to look at it and go Huh? but trust me, it’s perfect in so many ways.
And if the cover is being prepped, then it’s high time to release the title, eh?
Come back tomorrow. I don’t want to jump any guns and feel the need to check with my publisher first, but hey, It’s time. :-) I can’t wait for you all to read it this late August/early September.
This morning I heard the first cardinal singing from the top of a paper birch, calling for an end to winter. It’s hard to believe him right now with a foot of snow in the yard and piles as high as I’m tall, but the heat of the sun making icicles is hard to ignore, and he probably feels it pretty good up at the top of that birch. He’s a lone voice right now, but more will follow, chasing winter away for another spin of the wheel.
It’s four today as I toddle off to work and crank up the space heater. Four, as in the number of fish I have in my office, the number of gargoyles tucked in secret places, and the number of sharpened pencils I have in my cup. I generally like the number four, but in this case, I don’t think four is a good number to be hanging about on my thermometer outside my window.
Oh, but now it’s five. The trend is good.