Friday, October 29, 2010

The Hard Way by Lee Child

Today I read The Hard Way by Lee Child.  NaNoWriMo starts on Monday, November 1st and this is probably the only novel I will get to read for a month.  What a delight it was. 

It was my first time to read a Lee Child novel.  And, of course, my first time to meet Jack Reacher.  My curiosity had been tweaked by a segment on last Sunday's CBS Sunday Morning program.  I thought if the Reacher character stirs up this much interest I'd better look into it.

Well, I can see why.  He is a fantastic character.  I want to read more of his adventures.  And, I found Child's use of dialog to carry the story to be unlike anything I have read.  I thought to myself, 'he just doesn't use any narrative.'  Maybe I can copy some of that style for Bon Secour and emphasize dialogue.

My secret desire is to read all of the Reacher novels immediately.  But I will be strong and resist the temptation.  And instead write like crazy during NaNoWriMo.  But look for me to be reading a Reacher novel beginning December 1st.

A good read.  Heartily recommended!

Monday, October 25, 2010


I signed up as a participant in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) today. 

Beginning November 1st, I will begin writing my novel Bon Secour with the goal of completing 50,000 words before November 30th.  (1,667 words per day / about 7 pages per day)

NaNoWriMo will break my procrastination deadlock.

A recent post to the blog Fiction After 50 really spoke to me.

Sadly, wanting to write fiction and actually producing a novel are two completely different things. One of the most important HUSFS is to manage your writing time. You don’t need a Day Planner — or a PDA — but you do have to set aside quality time for writing fiction. And actually use it to write a novel.

This is not a plea to avoid procrastination. As one of the world’s most dedicated players of Spider Solitaire, I can say with authority that straightforward procrastination is not the most serious time waster for late-blooming novelists. “Worthwhile activities” will squander even more potential writing time.

One of the worst of these is “learning” when you should be writing.

All writers face the tricky challenge of balancing writing against activities intended to develop one’s craft. It’s vital that new novelists master the essentials of writing publishable fiction — but it’s all too easy to push away from the computer and read one more book about writing novels, take one more on-line seminar, attend one more fiction workshop at Community College, travel to one more writers’ conference, join one more fiction-related discussion group, Internet “loop,” or social networking site.

Although first-time novelists of any age can fall victim to the trap of studying the art of fiction to the exclusion of actually writing a novel, late-bloomers are especially vulnerable because we appreciate the value of learning from others — and seek out appropriate books, courses, workshops, and writing communities.

The key word here is “balance.” Make certain your schedule has adequate time set aside for actual writing and sufficient rewriting....  Bottom line: if you want to be a novelist, you must finish a book-length manuscript. So use your writing time … to write.

I have been paralyzed by the fear that my actual writing would not be good enough. 
I had my story outlined, and character studies completed since early June.  
I pitched my story to thriller readers and got a good response. 
But I couldn't make the leap to writing.  I wanted to spend more time learning how to write - studying the art of how to write.
Well, now I'm committed.  50,000 words in November or bust.  Going NaNoWriMo!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gunman's Rhapsody by Robert B. Parker

Finished reading Gunman's Rhapsody by Robert B. Parker.

Learn to Write by Reading Project.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Chatham School Affair by Thomas H. Cook

Finished reading The Chatham School Affair by Thomas H. Cook.  An Edgar Award winning novel.

Learn to Write by Reading Project.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Author Photo For Book Jacket

If your going to write a book, you need a book jacket photo. 

So I went and got one and earned a merit badge.

Thought about one of those poses in a leather jacket looking all tough-like.  But I didn't have a leather jacket.

Looked in the closet.  Forty tropical shirts looked back at me.  Picked out one and here I am.  Live at the coast.  Write about the coast.  Dress like the coast.  I guess.

Ten years ago I started wearing tropical shirts while fighting stage 4 cancer.  They made me feel good.  They still do.

Thanks to for the merit badge.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke

Finished reading Glass Rainbow by James Lee Burke

Learn to Write by Reading Project.