A Writer’s Life

Rice_SecretsofWycliffeManor600I am writing this on Sunday, August 20, for reasons, below. If you’re not interested in the fabulously glamorous life of a multi-published author, move on. Otherwise, hang around. I’d offer you a beer or glass of wine for my pity party, but it would have to be virtual…

Today, I dumped 20,000 words of Book #4 of my Gravesyde Priory Mystery series into my “Maybe Next Time,” file. Six weeks of hard work, plotting, developing characters, writing, rewriting… out the door.

Well, I never actually throw out that many words. I file them away, hoping they may bubble and ferment and take on a life some day. But I’ve been struggling with this story for weeks, and I think the yeast is dead. So they now reside in a file with a lot of other flat bread. Index

I still need to write a book. I have ideas. Never any shortage of ideas. I even have one, a better one, to fit the timeline of the series. But see above about bubbling and fermenting… this takes time. So, while the sky darkened on what ought to be a bright August day fit for wildfires here in Southern California, I sat at my desk and researched the Hundred Days War and French surnames. And brainstormed with myself. The humidity reached 100% (this is desert country—we don’t do humidity. We don’t even have air conditioning), and I had to throw a towel over the story bowl and let it rest.

PillowsWe were told a tropical storm was headed our way and to batten the hatches and stay home. So we went out and gathered all our outdoor pillows and brought them inside. Took down the wind chimes, folded up any chairs that fold, brought the ceramic planters down off the walls.

The heavy clouds broke, and the rain started. This is usually the day we go hiking on the bluff above the ocean, but there are flood warnings out. We live right at sea level, a mile from the sea, just down the road from a major flood channel. So instead of hiking, we went to Costco to get in our walk. Did you know you can walk a mile going up and down the aisles of Costco? We usually walk two miles, but I didn’t think we could afford them. Came out with all kinds of yummy frozen goodies to test in our new freezer. If the power goes out, we can test our new solar battery.

It’s still raining. Since I operate on solar power like our battery, there is very little story fermenting happening. So I read social media. Oh golly gee, there’s an earthquake in Ojai, a hundred miles from here. Hope the tropical storm doesn’t blow them off the bluff. I’m thinking all the recommendations for boarding up our windows and filling up our bathtubs may be overkill. It’s still raining, barely. But we didn’t feel any shaking, at least. More pillows

Day isn’t over and I need to feel useful. Did a first read for a fairly new author. Fell asleep by page 50. Not a good sign. Fine, then let’s hit social media. I do love my reader comments on Facebook, and the slices of life from other authors, and the chance to buy a favorite author on sale. I do not appreciate Facebook’s thug tactics of forcing me to read ads instead of posts, but I do my best to navigate around them and keep up with fellow authors. Twitter and Instagram… I have yet to see the point. And now that X has taken away my tweetdeck, I can’t find anything or anyone, so I wandered off.

Since we had some old celery and carrots and a leftover Costco chicken carcass from our prior trip, I figured a rainy day was perfect for chicken soup. I’m still trying to lose pounds from the Alaskan cruise, so I resisted baking, which Rainis what rainy days are best for.

Tried to find a movie on the umpteen streaming channels, but we don’t remember titles, and nothing looked interesting, so we switched to watching Astrid and Afterparty. I adore books and programs with autistic characters because I relate to them so well, so Astrid is a favorite. Afterparty—is just silly, but good silly. Neither of them give me ideas for resuscitating the flat pages or inflating the new ones.

I mourn the beautifully developed characters and the budding romance that may never see the light. I had mystery suspects with names beginning with X, Y, and Z even! Who could resist? Apparently, I can. That’s six weeks worth of work, buried in a Word file.

We went to bed still waiting for the winds that never arrived. Sometime during the night, one of the top-heavy scheffleras turned over, but the pot was plastic, so no harm done.

And that was our hurricane party—pretty much a normal rainy day back in Kentucky. I know Rice_TheMysteryoftheMissingHeiress_600x900elsewhere they had flash flooding and a few trees toppled here and there, but California hurricanes are petulant toddlers compared to east coast raging teenagers.

But I got a blog out of it, so there’s that. How’s the weather treating you lately? Is it as weird as it is here? Dumped any favorite projects lately?

(there should be a sample for book #2 on my website at https://patriciarice.com/books/the-mystery-of-the-missing-heiress/ )