Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's Not About Losing Weight

Yes, it's New Year's Eve. Well, it's New Year's Eve day. Is that a thing? I have no idea. Let's just say it will soon be New Year's Eve and move on before this gets even sillier. I have a resolution to share with you. Mine has nothing to do with health, though I do plan to lose this spare tire and get in shape. But that's a plan rather than a resolutions because I'm getting to the age where I can get in shape or commence to dying. And it's not about prioritizing my life or trying to be kinder. Frankly, I work on that every day anyway. I don't always succeed, but I always try. Jesus taught me that. 

My resolution has to do with my current work-in-progress. It's to finish it completely, find an agent and publisher, and get it published traditionally. I'll continue to write and sell independently my Shalan series. I actually plan to do at least one more prequel novella and then embark on a spinoff series for Harry and Dee's daughter Jenn, who is going to be an amateur sleuth in college. 

sparkler fire fireworsk candle new years celebrate party birthday spark bright
Hope your new year sparkles. Get
it? Sparkles? Anyway...
But back to my current work. It's entitled EJ, at least for now. EJ is short for Elizabeth Janeway. She has nothing to do with one of my favorite scifi characters, Captain Kathryn Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager fame other than that I got the name from her because I like it. The character is loosely inspired by a young woman from The Mayor of Casterbridge, a 19th century British novel, named Elizabeth-Jane, so Janeway worked. She is highly intelligent, hard-working, and independent, much like the captain of the Voyager, but that's about where the resemblance ends. My book takes place in present day West Virginia and doesn't involve in any way the use of warp engines or photon torpedoes. 

people man exercise fitness health gym dumbbell workout
How I plan to look by 12/31/17--
actual results may vary.
I'm about 34,000 words into what I see being a novel of 120k-150k words. It covers EJ's life from age six to her late teens. It's a drama with some humor interspersed and a touch of intrigue as EJ tries to figure out in the second half of the story if the man who claims to be her father really is and, if so, if he's the one who has been her mother's and her benefactor since a terrible accident that nearly killed EJ when she was quite young. But it's a serious departure from the Shalan Adventures. I'm fully aware that Harry and Dee's escapades are, for the most part, what I like to call beach books. As a teacher and lover of literature, I think it's incumbent upon me to try, at least once, to write something of a little more substance. After all, I encourage my students to forsake their Nicholas Sparks and Stephanie Meyers books sometimes to read something more, something that asks more of them than to simply follow the plot. It seems fair that I try to encourage that as a writer as well. 
typing working macbook laptop computer technology business office desk coffee cup mug keep calm black and white
Two things I'll be doing a lot of
this year--clacking on my
keyboard and drinking coffee.
And so my resolution. My goal is to finish the first draft by the end of spring, with summer set aside for rewrites and revisions and fall for shopping it to agents and/or publishers. What if it takes longer? Then it does, but the one thing I won't do is stop making progress. I'm aware that another possibly hundred thousand words in four six months is an ambitious schedule, but hey, I need an ambitious goal to keep life interesting, right? As time goes on, I'll keep you up on my progress. In the meantime, I'm not getting anything done on it while I gab with you guys, so I better finish this and get to work. 

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you're deeply blessed and a profound blessing to others in 2017. And, if you're the praying type, I ask for your prayers for my mother, who had a stroke a couple of weeks back. She is recovering, but it will be a long road. Thanks!


  1. Looking forward to what the future holds with EJ. :)
    Happy New Year!

    1. I hope you enjoy it! And that there's something to enjoy soon.