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I'm most recently a writer.  In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot.  As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades.  An unwilling transplant from the South,  twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US.  Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect.  When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do.  Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Work in Progress?

Yes!  Shannon's Daughter is earning its stripes as a work in progress.  The work is slow, but progressing.  At times the writing feels like trudging uphill battling a strong headwind, but still it progresses.  The plot has thickened and I'm pretty sure my hair has thinned (not quite tearing it out yet, but definitely running my hands through it regularly, punctuated by groans of frustration.)  The word count goes up and down as I add and delete, then add again.  I've stopped handing off chapters to my "team" because the changes are too many to make sense of at this point.  Am I ready to cry "Uncle!"  No!  But I am ready to admit this one is a completely different experience from any I've had before.  Maybe my characters are slower to show themselves, or maybe I'm still grappling with those self-imposed comfort zones; but for whatever reasons, this one is a new kind of challenge.  I'm committed to giving it as much time and effort as it needs to become the best it can be.  I'm determined to let it evolve into the book it's meant to be.  And I've given myself permission to have brief periods of discouragement and anxiety, followed, of course, by rolling my sleeves higher and digging right back in.  If I didn't believe in this story, if I didn't think it has something important to say, I might give myself permission to admit defeat at some point.  But I do, and I won't!

A welcome ray of sunshine beamed on the scene a few days ago when the cover arrived.  Now by "arrived," you must understand the process by which "we" design the covers for my books.  My son, Chris, is my designer, but we work together in order to avoid too many wasted hours of his time doing what I told him to do, only to have me decide it needs changing.  I basically stand over his shoulder while he works, suggesting, rejecting, suggesting again, and so on until I see on his computer screen the cover I want to see on my book.  He's tolerant if not precisely patient, I'm admittedly obsessive, and we make a good team if the end results are any indication.

So here it is--the image which will represent Shannon's Daughter when it goes to publication.  I think its simple elegance says much of what I'm trying to say in the story about Peg Shannon as seen through the eyes of the man who loves her.  I'd love to hear what it says to you!

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