Happy New Year!

Hello, all you great people! Thanks for visiting here. Hope you’re all enjoying the season.

I’m at my desk still trying to get a handle on the latest opus. I think sometimes I’ve got it, but somehow, the golden threads keep slipping through my fingers. Well, I know. Keep writing, and the story will reveal itself and won’t let go. Once it does that, then here I go on the roller coaster!  But so far . . . There is always the fear that my last story was my last, and that can lead to nail-biting.  Maybe my new hero is a nail-biter? What’s she nervous about? Or he? Something that hides in the rain outside the window? Or maybe she bites her nails just because she bites her nails. Seems like the habit of an uneasy person, though. What’s the reason, what’s the reason?

While I search for the big hook, I listen to the patter of rain, thinking how it mixes with the dull quietness of the furnace and the click of the keys under my fingers. Maybe the rain and the furnace and the clicking will grow into the story about the girl, about the boy, about the someone who needs to get from point a to point b, and he better figure out how because so much depends on it–

Yes, so much depends on it.

Well, whatever it is, it won’t be what I’m expecting, that I can be sure of. Things tend to work this way from where I sit.

But, along with the rain and the quiet roar from my furnace and the story that doesn’t want to show up-not yet, not yet, I’m thinking of you, whoever you are, and wishing you a wonderful New Year! All the best, from me to you!

Till next time–

By authorsusanshaw

Book-signings, magical acts, and Pavlov’s dogs

Hey, everybody. Another great day in my part of Pennsylvania.

Those of you who came to my book-signing at the Devon, PA, Barnes and Noble on Saturday, thank you! The table was full when I started and empty when I left, and I’m going back to sign more books next Tuesday, the 20th, at four, at the same place. Hope to see another stack of TUNNEL VISION disappear. 

I’m also signing copies at Chester County Books in West Chester, PA, this Thursday, the 15th, at  7. Come say hello! Watch the magic books disappear! That’s what it felt like to me on Saturday. I almost felt like I had to explain what happened to all those books–I ate them? I hid them behind the pillar? Where did they go? The truth is a little stranger. Wow! Thank you again, those who bought them. Love my readers!

Pretty cool stuff.

Well, I’m working at my desk every day, like usual, writing the elusive great American novel. Some days, it’s more elusive than others.

One thing I know, you have to sit there every day, every day, every day if you want to catch the ideas as they fly by. I sit there, and the ideas come, some days more easily than others. But just the act of sitting at my desk seems to bring it on, and sometimes the ideas start to flow before I sit. Like Pavlov’s dogs and the ringing bell–it’s all in the conditioning.

So, fellow writers, ring that bell!

By authorsusanshaw

Smooth and abrupt transitions outside my window and on my computer screen

It’s raining, and the weather forecasters say the rain will probably end in snow early tomorrow. Almost springlike today and perhaps two inches of snow tomorrow. Is there any such thing as a smooth transition? Winter, here we come!

Smooth transitions are more likely in writing than in weather or anything else, but smooth transitions aren’t always what you want in a story. In fact, often the suddenness of a change is what drives the story. Everybody’s happy and joyful, and then a car drives into the deli–no announcement–where all the laughing was going on. Whoever expects that? And what caused it to happen, anyway? 

Not even a reader will predict a car crashing against a deli counter unless the story’s eye alternates between the ill-fated driver who is only three blocks away, now two blocks away, now one, from the  shopper innocently ordering a pound of Swiss and a pound of sliced turkey, and oh, yes, give me some of that cole–hey!

That alternating eye can give you suspense as the reader wishes the deli patron would answer the cell phone he left on the table near the back. Why won’t he answer it, and how many seconds are left before it is too late? Forget the deli order, man! Answer the phone and save your life!

Life can change in a minute, in an instant, and then there is no going back.  We are changed forever.   Maybe sometimes we writers write to be in control of that, to soften that, to mend the wounds. If it’s in my story, then I invented the car that drove into the deli. I can unwrite it, I can change where the impact is, and I can take the action in fifteen different directions afterwards, depending on whether the red stuff is ketchup or blood. Or paint. Or ink. I can make people say I’m sorry. Or not. Whichever the story requires.

But one thing I can’t do is stop the rain outside my window from turning to snow.

Well, it is December, isn’t it?

Gotta look for those boots!

P.S.  Come see me at my book signing  at one o’clock this Saturday at the Barnes and Noble in Devon, PA . I will be soooo happy to see you there!



By authorsusanshaw