Four Things About My Writing, and ROW80 Round 2

Sheri McGathy tagged me in this fun blog hop where we post the answers to four questions about our writing. Visit Sheri’s blog to read about her current WIP, a ghost story. Thanks, Sheri!

And now, my questions and answers:

1. What are you working on?
I actually have three works in progress right now, all in the Saturn Society universe. One is the third novel of the series, Time’s Guardian. The second is Part Two of Time’s Tempest, the serialized novel that started with “The Storm” in the Love’s a Beach anthology. The third, where I’ve been concentrating most of my energies at the moment, is a long novella or short novel (it keeps growing) called Time’s Best Friend, which is an interim story about a secondary character from the novel Time’s Fugitive. Here’s the blurb as it currently stands:

During the height of WWII, a time-traveling farm woman braves the eighteenth-century Tennessee frontier to search for the explorer she loves, only to find her historic home occupied by Nazi soldiers, and her only friend a dog who just might be their spy.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Most time travel romance, particularly that from big publishers, seems to be set in medieval Scotland or England, and mostly focuses on the relationship between a modern American woman and a hunky Highlander or knight. While I’ve read and enjoyed plenty of those books, mine tend to focus as much on “what if I change something”and all its consequences as on the relationship, and take place in North America, where I find plenty of fascinating history much closer to my own backyard. No knights or lairds–my books are about ordinary people who do extraordinary things, and feature hunky American guys. 😀

3. Why do I write what I do?

Time travel, and all its possibilities, from the paradoxical to the chance to right something that went wrong, to the very real potential of making something even worse, has always fascinated me. I like to throw my characters into impossible situations and then see them scrape their way out of them.

4. How does your writing process work?
Once I’ve mulled an idea around for a bit and done a little preliminary research, I write “the sentence” that becomes the short blurb, as above. Then I write out everything I know about the story, and figure out what all could happen in the beginning, the middle, and the end, and sketch out a rough outline. (I use the notecards in WriteWay Pro for this). Then I write the rough draft from that. I deviate from the outline whenever something better occurs to me, noting changes needed in the ms as I go, along  with any additional research needed. Invariably an idea occurs to me about 3/4 through the first draft that will make me change a lot in what I’ve already written, but it will make the story a lot better, so I note it, and keep writing as if I’ve already made the change until I power through to the end. Then I revise based on my notes, then hand off to the beta readers. And yes, the big change idea for this story hit me last week.  😕

Occasionally I’ll get an idea for a story and just sit down and write it. This mainly works for short stories, and was how I wrote Time’s Tempest: “The Storm.” But often when I try this, I run out of steam, and have to go back and do some planning.  That’s where I’m at with part two of Tempest.

So there’s your little glimpse inside my brain. Not that exciting, I know LOL. I also get to pass this on and tag some other lucky writer whose work I’d like to know more about. And that writer is Stacy McKitrick! Stacy is buried under deadlines right now, so if she doesn’t have time to play, we understand (but hope she will)! Here’s a little bit about Stacy:

Stacy McKitrick fell in love with paranormal romance, decided to write her own in 2009 and found her passion in life. She used to work in accounting, now she spends her time with vampires, ghosts, and aliens. Born in California, she currently resides in Ohio with her husband. They have two grown children.

ROW80Logo175And now it’s time for ROW80, the second round of which starts today. I have been dealing a bit with some health issues, and this seems to be ongoing, so I’m going to make just one very, very simple goal for this round: finish Time’s Best Friend.

This goes in line with ROW80 founder Kait Nolan’s wonderful post for today on the ROW80 blog, with an emphasis to remember to be kind to ourselves. Seriously, go read that post–even if you’re not participating in ROW80, or not even a writer, it’s worth it. Go on, I’ll wait. Back? Good. Okay, I’m grateful that depression is not what’s plaguing me–in my case, it’s more of an intense, sometimes debilitating fatigue, yet oddly, accompanied by an awful bout of insomnia. I believe the cause is the same: too much go-go-go and not enough being kind to ourselves.

I have seen my doctor, and she found one possible cause: Vitamin D deficiency. Given the winter we’ve had in most of the U.S., I can’t say I’m surprised. And yes, fatigue is one symptom thereof. I’m on high-potency prescription vitamins to get that set to rights, but my doc tells me it could be 6-8 weeks before I notice any difference. Then to top it all off, I caught either a mild flu or nasty cold a couple weeks ago, right before my DH and I were set to leave on our 20th-anniversary celebratory vacation.

Sick or no, our vacation was much-needed and wonderful (Puerto Rico). Not only was the island beautiful, sunny, and warm, I also got some fantastic sleep. Even better, I found that on an airplane is a great place to write! I’ll post some pics and blog more about that next week.

So this week I’m going focus on continuing to be kind to myself, not sweat every little thing like I’d been doing, and–I hope–continue to sleep decently at night while kicking the rest of this cold. If I get any writing done, that will be a bonus. But I had great fun writing on the plane, so I suspect I will.

What about you–do you have trouble being kind to yourself? Are you too much g0-go-go, and is it making you tired? Or do you maybe just need a vacation? What did you think of my four Q&As–did any of that surprise you? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

17 Responses to \