Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Writing at the Beach

Yeah, yeah, I know I promised a Thrillerfest post, but the draft post has become long and unwieldy and I want to make sure I mention everyone and everything, so it just hasn't gotten finished . . . Now I'm at the beach (Daytona Beach Shores) with my laptop and my draft is at home on a Word document on my PC . . . Hopefully, next week.

I had a note from Jennifer Greenhill-Taylor (a wonderful lady and the co-founder, along with Joseph Hayes, of one of my favorite sites, Inked-In), asking me how my week at the beach is going. I quickly rattled off a response because I was so excited by everything I'm getting done on Book 2, and then it dawned on me: Hey, I could blog about this.

Some of you know that I've just begun working on my revisions to my second novel. I'd turned in the manuscript in May, and a few weeks back I received comments from my editors. I spent some time thinking about the comments and then, talking them over with both editors (UK and US). Though I'd already fiddled a bit with a few edits, this week is the first time in a while I've been able to spend long days doing nothing but writing and revising. I love it. THIS is the reason I write.

My girls are here with me around the clock, and Rick drives out each evening after work and then leaves early the next morning to head back to his office. I get up when he leaves, make my coffee, and get to work. I love the silence of the mornings, and the temperature is still nice enough to sit outside for a while. Eventually I wake my younger daughter and get her to surf camp. The older one and her friend (who is here with us, too) sleep in. On Tuesday, I set myself up on the beach near the surfers and made revisions to my manuscript by hand. Except for the campers, the beach is still pretty empty at that time of the morning. Because a large part of my story takes place in Florida, I find the writing just pours out of me when I'm immersed in the setting.

On Wednesday, I did it a bit differently. My skin needed a break from the sun and my writing needed the laptop, so I came back to the house after dropping off my surfer. Spent most of the day writing at the kitchen table.

Thursday was our anniversary -- 21 years married and a few months shy of 26 years together -- so Rick took off work and we played at the beach. Later, when surf camp was done for the day, the whole family went jet-skiing on the river. The jet-skiing was fun, but the best part was the dolphins! We must have seen about 10 of them, swimming right next to our jet-skis and showing off for us. Later, Rick and I drove down to New Smyrna for dinner at a place recommended by my friend and book club buddy Diane, The Garlic. Beautiful setting and the food and service both were excellent.

I also did some reading this week. Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan was first. It was this month's book for my book club. Hard to believe this was the author's first novel. It's beautifully written and even if you've never been interested in Frank Lloyd Wright in the past, this book will get you interested. It's a great love story, and an even better book club pick; LOTS of stuff to talk about.

Next was a completely different type of novel, Hold Tight, by Harlan Coben. This was my first Harlan Coben novel and it was so different from what I expected (though I understand that this book might be a bit of a departure from his other stuff?). Though it's a mystery, it's so much more. It touches on a lot of "big" issues: the parent/teen relationship, how we really don't know our kids (and can't), whether spying on them is (or ever can be) justified, etc. I really enjoyed it, perhaps because my children are at that age (cough, cough). But a warning: it leaves you with more questions than answers . . . This is another one that would generate lots of discussion at a book group.