I think I got lucky this time. I’ve spent so much time worrying about getting the elements right in a romance, I finally just sat down and wrote the first chapter. Then I played with it more the next day. I printed it out so that I could scribble in the margins, and my daughter came over for a visit. She picked it up and read it and liked it. That never happens. My first chapters are always a struggle for me. Then I took it to my writers’ club, Scribes, and read it, and THEY liked it, too. Miracles do happen:) Anyway, this is a perfect way to lead into 7 things about myself.
Number 1, my first chapters usually stink. I rewrite them, off and on, the entire time I write my books. The farther I get in my stories and the more I know my characters, the better handle I have on them. My opening hooks usually stay the same–they’re what made me excited about writing the stories in the first place, but the dance of introducing the main characters, the settings, and the books’ big questions get tweaked endlessly while I trudge through plot points.
Number 2, I make tons and tons of goals, and life never agrees with them. But I still cling to making my lists and crossing things off when I finish them. It gives an illusion of control that brings me comfort.
Number 3, I love to cook. I own more cookbooks than any person should have, and I get two cooking magazines delivered to our house each month. I get bored making the same things, so the magazines keep me inspired with fresh recipes and takes on ingredients. My daughter and grandsons lived with us for years, and the boys went through a Chinese phase. I have so many Chinese oils and flavorings on the top shelf of my cupboard, I’m lucky I didn’t need a new kitchen.
Number 4, I have a thing for British period pieces and stories. On our honeymoon, John and I had to stop whatever we were doing to watch The Wives of Henry VIII. John said he should have taken that as a sign. He was right.
Number 5, I take in strays. I only chose the first kitten we ever got. The rest have all found their way to our house. Our chihuahua is a stray. I have a gray kitten in my living room right now. The mother cat ditched him, and he’s looking pretty darned cute.
Number 6, I love bungalows. We live in one. There’s something about that period–the early 1900’s– that I like. The woodwork. The arches. The one-and-a-half storied ones. Cozy. I like cozy.
Number 7, I love people, but I need my alone time. I’m only social to a point. And I like small groups better than big groups. I get uptight and grumpy when I’m overwhelmed with too many people. But that might be typical of most writers. That’s why I like my keyboard time. It’s me, myself, and whatever characters I create:)