A Novel Idea

As you may or may not have known, I haven’t been working at the antique market since before Christmas. I didn’t really specify why—it was mostly because I haven’t had much time to write, and I had a new novel idea brewing in my head that I really needed to get done. So I took a six week leave. Well, I asked for a leave and they told me I’d have to just quit, so I did, but then a couple of weeks ago, I was asked to come back. And I am. On Monday. And not a moment too soon, because on Friday, I finished the book. I initially felt like I powered through this one, but I worked on the last novel pretty much once a week until it was done. So technically, this one probably took me the same amount of hours, except that I wrote about 2000 words almost every day since January 2. It’s called Charybdis—yes, like the whirlpool monster from Greek mythology and it’s a gothic thriller.  I’m super happy with it. I like to finish a chapter or two and let Ken read it first for feedback, but this time, as I got close to the end and started explaining to him what was going to happen, he said, “Stop. Don’t tell me. I want to read the rest of it in one chunk and find it for myself. I want to be surprised.” And that was fine, but then the other day, I was driving on the highway and the weather was shitty, and it suddenly occurred to me that if I crashed my car and died, he would NEVER KNOW. And it would haunt him for the rest of his life. So I started trying to summarize the rest of the book in my head VERY succinctly, so that I could whisper it to him as they were loading me into an ambulance or whatnot.

But then, after I had finally come up with a pretty good synopsis of the ending for him, I started struggling with the plot a little, trying to make it both suspenseful, twisty, but logical. I literally lay awake in bed for hours, trying to put all the pieces together in a way that made sense, and once that happened, I completely changed what I’d thought I was going to do (because I’m a pantsing plotter), and then I had to re-summarize the whole ending AGAIN just in case I got hit by a forklift or something. So as you can see, I’m exhausted. If only there was a place where I could sit and rest…

Seriously. Was there no thought AT ALL put into this sign? If I’m sedated, why would I BE DRIVING?!

And here’s something really weird that happened last week. I looked out the window at my balcony, and I yelled for Ken. He came slowly ambling in (because no matter how much I yell, he never runs), and I pointed at several small pieces of blue and green paper:

Me: How did that paper get up here? It wasn’t there yesterday.
Ken: That stuff is all over the neighbourhood. It’s like someone shot off a confetti cannon. There’s a gold paper star right in the middle of our back yard.
Me: AWW. That’s kind of nice. But strange.
Ken: Maybe they all flew out of a recycling truck that drove by very fast.
Me: I think you’re reaching. Let’s just call it magic.

In other news, I just found out that my first novel Smile is under contract with my Canadian publisher to be translated and published in Georgia. And every time I tell people that, they say “Great, y’all!” No, not Georgia the state, Georgia the country. And what language do they speak in Georgia? Georgian, of course. It’s due to be released this summer. Maybe I should buy a confetti cannon. Now that I’m going back to work, I can afford one.

45 thoughts on “A Novel Idea

  1. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you post a picture of a silly sign that reads Sedated Patient Parking Only. We have strange signs here in the USA as well. For example, I took this picture at a Pizza Hut that has since gone viral: Pizza Hut

    I’m enjoying your blog as usual. Thanks again for the laughs. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Just the title of Charybdis made me loudly and unironically yell “Shut up and take my money!” Well, that and I knew your other work. And it’s fun to learn you worried about having it turn into The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, especially since that most certainly did not happen. What I like best, though, is your description of yourself as a “pantsing plotter”. In my writing group people will often ask each other “Are you a pantser or a plotter?” Some of us always push back, too, saying you don’t have to be one or the other. But I think you’re so idiosyncratic you’re more of a plottering pantser.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is a ridiculous sign, but I guess there are sedated patients who may not be able to find their cars after their procedures without a specific spot in the lot. We want all those woozy people to get behind the wheel with the utmost efficiency.

    Congrats on the new book! Your other one comes out in two days. Yay. (I can’t wait). You’re a writing machine, Suzanne. And congrats on getting your book published in Georgia. They’re going to love it down there in Atlanta and thereabouts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So, more broken clocks to follow, I take it. No, I know why you went back — you needed photo-fodder for your DWL images.
    Gothic-thriller… Is that a mashup genre? Which is cool, you know, as it seems like “genre” is such a pigeonhole way of classification, anyway.
    Oh, here’s a title I think you’d like “Midwinterblood” – Marcus Sedgwick. I’ve been listening to it and his set of short stories seem eerily familiar.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can’t be I’ve how much you can write in a day!! I want to be like you when I grow up 😁. Oh that Ken, he cracks me up how calm he is around you, because you need stuff ASAP. wow, so your gong back to work at the antique mall, maybe you’ll find some inspiration for some of your stories there. I know I would, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was in Georgia once, in a restaurant. I couldn’t understand my waitress was saying. It sounded like “gree itz.” I just nodded and was brought a bowl of something that looked like sawdust mixed with library paste. Actually, it was pretty tasty.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s funny how what’s perfect in your head doesn’t always work on the page, huh? I have that experience all the time, and I am a fanatical plotter! But I think part of being a good author is serving the story, rather than forcing the story to serve our creative preconceptions. It’s the same way you can plan for a play on the field or the court, but once the game is in motion, we have be fluid.

    Congrats on Smile being published in Georgia! I’d raise a glass of ‘shine to ya at the Boar’s Nest, only that would be geographically inappropriate!

    Liked by 1 person

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