Ha ha. Don't Mess with Mick was my latest story. A romantic suspense. It is now finished, and off to my critique partner for a final read through.
I'll do a little polish, and then send it off to a couple of Beta readers. With any luck it will be ready to submit to contests in late July. I'm not able to go to RWA National Conference this year, this will be the first time I've missed it since 2003, and it seems awfully strange. so there will be no post conference submissions to agents and editors. Just a big old silence. That might send me slightly batty. However, my sweet dog is approaching twelve years of age, and for her breed that is elderly, and I can see the changes in her on almost a daily basis. I know our time together is diminishing, and I can't put her through the anxiety and stress of me leaving, even if it is only for five days. There will be time for trips later.
My critique partner and I used to refer to my latest work as "Mick's story" but it was really the heroine's story, her journey, her loyalty to her family, her desire to find her missing grandfather...but Mick? Well, Mick just got in the way. Not really, he was in pursuit of a criminal and somehow grandpa got in the way, and that caused the hero and heroine to cross paths and draw swords. : ) And of course, the criminal had to try to bump them both off, oh yeah, and the hero and heroine eventually fell in love.
I really enjoyed writing this story, but it took me longer than I'd anticipated. I kept putting it aside to work on other things, and then I'd come back, putter around some more, and so on. Finally, I forced myself to finish it, didn't like it, put it aside to simmer for a few months and then went back to do a rewrite. That was when it suddenly became real to me. I could see the story as a whole. As if I were at a distance, looking down upon it, and seeing all of the inner workings, the gears, everything operating as it should. It was a strange experience, and one I haven't had before. I'm not sure what that means. Maybe it means it's the best story of written so far. I can only hope. : )
I'm already doing research on my next project. This time I'm switching genre. I think my voice is better suited to women's fiction, and that is what I started out writing. No, it won't be one of those divorce tales. And it won't be about recovering from, or going through, a devasting illness. It will be a young woman's journey of discovery. An enlightening journey. And I don't care how long it takes me to finish it. I've removed myself from the rat race. That's all I'm saying for now. But I'm liking what I'm researching, and if all goes well, I may just visit the country of the setting in Spring 2012. Got to save my pennies. But it would be fabulous, and I love to write from location. There's nothing like soaking up the ambience, the sights, the smells, and the local mannerisms, and then trickling them through the story.