Monday, August 01, 2011

I'm still here

I'm still here. Still enjoying a semi-break from blogging while I concentrate on the end game of my novel in progress, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn. It's another late 18th century-set story. Here's a note I just published on FB, about where I am in the glorious and maddening process of novel writing:
This is a brain-stretching day and no mistake. Plotting in detail the last section of the WIP, which not only needs to be satisfying and entertaining on a story/character level, but (more than any story I've yet written) must fit what actually happened in this moment of history. I can't make this part up!

Interweaving my characters and their story with the historical narrative of the mid-1780s frontier is like hunting for the pieces of a challenging puzzle. At least there's a picture on the box cover. It's coming together, slowly, with many note-stuffed and highlighted reference books spread across my desk. Too much coffee. Spinning brain cells!

And as inspirational timing would have it, another story, the one I may write next, is nudging in the wings today so I have a file open for that one too to let all that new material pour out. I'm editing something for my hubby as well. And on the back burner (to be brought up front later today as time allows) are thoughts for my crit partner's exciting novel in progress too.

Did I ever think I couldn't multi-task when it comes to writing?

Is it lunch time yet? :)
So I'm hiding away inside my writing cave, very thankful for the air-conditioning, while the temps outside soar into the 90s (we haven't hit 100 yet this summer, which is very odd, and very welcome by me). Thoughts of green huckleberries starting to ripen in the mountains play at the back of my mind. It's a late crop this year. We had a long spring. I eagerly await our bucket-toting treks to our favorite patches. We've been up to inspect them already and it looks to be a better crop than last year. God and the weather willing!

In honor of huckleberries, here's an excerpt from a children's book I wrote many years ago, called Bear Country. Palister is a teddy bear, discovering a bear's delight for the very first time.

Angus... stood on his hind legs, looking around and sniffing. “Ah! There’s something nearby I think you’ll find to your liking, youngster. Follow me.”

Palister followed the badger into a leafy thicket that spread up the mountain side. Most of the shrubs grew higher than Palister’s head.

A delightful scent caught Palister’s nose. He bent close to one of the shrubs. Peering under a leaf, he saw a shiny purple berry.

“Huckleberries,” said Angus. “A bear’s delight. Give ‘em a try.”

“I already tried grass,” said Palister. “I didn’t like it.”

“Grass?” Angus snorted. “Grass is no good for eating unless you’re sick. Or a rabbit. Trust me, you’ll like these better.”

Palister doubted it, but knew better than to argue with the badger. He plucked the huckleberry from its stem and put it in his mouth. His eyes grew wide.

“Sweet!” he said.

Angus looked both smug and wise. “What did I tell you?”

Palister found three berries on the next stem. He ate those, too. When that shrub was picked over he headed for the next one.

“Looks like a bumper crop this year,” said Angus. “You’ll feel better about things with a full belly, so eat your fill while I take a quick nap.”

The badger curled up in a patch of sunlight. Palister barely noticed. He even forgot to worry about meeting a bear. His mouth and paws grew purple with berry juice. He ate and ate, moving from one bush to the next. He’d gone quite far from Angus, who snored in the sunlight.

“Do badger’s eat huckleberries?” Palister wondered out loud.

I hope your summer is going well, or winter, if you're in the Southern Hemisphere. I'm enjoying mine, and the company of the current cast of characters. Blessings!


  1. You always entertain, even when you are sharing your ordinary writing day, which are not so ordinary are they? You are quite the multi-tasker indeed!

    I really like it when you share your writing excerpts and enjoyed reading about Palister and Angus and the huckleberries! You must try to get that published some day!

    Blessings, Lori, as you write and do writerly things.

  2. Lori, I hope you never stop with this as it's so wonderful and appealing!!

  3. Lori, good luck with the rest of Tamsen's story! I've enjoyed reading the snips you've posted on the forum and the bits and pieces here, too. The Bear Country snip was delightful.

    Here's hoping the temperatures stay cool and the huckleberries are numerous. :-)

  4. Carla, I tried to get it published years ago, but got only rejections (about 15 I think). And since I didn't think I wanted to continue writing children's books, I finally set it aside. I'll always love it though it is probably too long for it's chapter book format at 20K. It was the first story I completed after chemotherapy, so for that, too, it will have a place in my heart always.

    This writing journey is long and bendy and not for the faint of heart. I would have despaired unless I had believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!

  5. Laura, thank you! I love this little story and hope some day, maybe, it will find a home. But it's so different from the novels I'm writing now. But then, they haven't found homes yet either so who knows how God will lead? To green pastures, I'm sure.

  6. Jill,

    "Here's hoping the temperatures stay cool and the huckleberries are numerous." That describes my idea of a perfect summer! Thanks for the good wishes. Tamsen's story has some of the most painstaking weaving of historical fact with fiction I've ever attempted, and it doesn't come close to what Diana G. does.

  7. You said it well with that quote from Ps. 27, which I've held on to many times in this life. I have a children's story, too, that I never submitted that I wrote when very ill and going through many surgeries. I have learned so much and after I have a little publishing experience in my fav genre of hist. fict. I might rewrite it and submit it. Maybe you could consider that as well. You do know that the Lord already knows the date when you will sign that first contract! It is perfectly timed for his purposes. Who know who it will bless and why. Let's keep praying!