Monday, August 26, 2019

Plodding Along on WIP

As mentioned in a previous post, I'm working on the fourth book in my "John Ross Boomer Lit" series.

So let me give you a quick update: It hasn't been easy.

I sat on the first draft for about six months before going back to it on Aug. 1. I wanted to view it with fresh eyes. That has happened, for the most part. It's also made for some tired eyes during the rewrite.

I've rediscovered forgotten words, like reading something for the first time by another author, except that the author is me. I'm having to relearn some of the plotlines and new characters. 

It's been an adventure as each page seems to contain something new to me. There are thoughts and words that were locked in the recesses of my brain several months ago. And now they're beginning to re-emerge on the computer screen.

One thing I've had to do is provide more backstory so readers have an idea what John and Sally Ross, as well as other characters such as Brody and Geraldine, have been through in the previous three novels. It also reopens my memory bank.  

A reason for that is because this yet unnamed novel was part of the third novel, "New Horizons," but I decided to divide the draft when it began to spiral in different directions. I like coherence in my books; I certainly didn't want to write a sprawling novel of 250,000 words or more.

So that's where I am at this point in time. I'm still cautiously optimistic that I will be able to hand it over to my editor at Wings ePress by the end of September. 

Until the next time . . .

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Regarding "The Novel"

I just finished reading James A. Michener's "The Novel," a multi-layered book about publishing, rural life, diverse characters, and writing.

While the novel has its shortcomings—it's a slow read—it provides insights into the book-publishing industry, even though it was released in 1991, before the digital age and the advent of ebooks. 

Michener, a prolific author of more than 40 books (including a Pulitzer Prize in 1948 for "Tales of the South Pacific"), writes about what happens after a manuscript is sent to a publisher. And unless the author is a Stephen King, Danielle Steel,  or John Grisham (you get the idea), the book goes through several steps (slush pile, editing, rewriting, marketing, and promotion) before it sees the light of day. 

James A. Michener
Michener approached this 400-plus page novel with four points of view (author, editor, critic, and reader), with each confronting their own personal and professional challenges. He even throws in a murder near the end that takes the story off track. 

For those who want to understand the publishing process, "The Novel" fills that need. The book was recommended to me by an avid reader who found the publishing aspect fascinating. And as a published author, I found it interesting as well. 

Another aspect about Michener that caught my attention was that he was 84 when "The Novel" was published, and he went on to write four more books before he died in 1997 ("Matecumbe" was published posthumously in 2007).

Until the next time . . . 

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Story Songs: Tired of Toein' the Line

Back in 1980, Rocky Burnette scored a big rockabilly hit with "Tired of Toein' the Line." It's one of my all-time favorites, so full of energy and drive, especially Burnette's expressive voice. 
Rocky Burnette

It's basically a breakup song, from the guy's point of view:

"I know it's o-ooh-over, cause I've seen the signs
Don't let me waste your precious time.
Baby, I'm tired of toein' the line."

Here are a few vids of the song: 

The song reached No. 8 on the U.S. charts, No. 1 in Australia, and No. 3 in New Zealand and South Africa. It was co-written by Burnette and Ron Coleman.

 It was released on his "The Son of Rock and Roll" album in 1979.  By the way, the Memphis, Tenn., musician was a son of rock and roll: Jonathan "Rocky" Burnette's father was early rocker Johnny Burnette (1934-64), who had hits "Dreamin' and "You're Sixteen" in the early '60s.

While researching the song, I was surprised by how many covers through the years by a variety of artists (Rick Nelson, Shakin' Stevens, and Andreas Silver) and dancers (yes, dancers).  

Here's a few if you've got the time:

Rocky still performs and reportedly will have a new album released later this year. 

Until the next time . . .