Trips to Dallas, Starting Books and Other Sundry Stuff

So last weekend (not the one that today is part of), I went to Dallas for the Dallas Area Romance Authors and the North Texas RWA’s Dreamin’ in Dallas conference. This has been a very good conference every time I’ve gone (met my agent at an appointment there) and this year was no different.

I left home extra early so I could slither into Dallas a) ahead of Friday Afternoon rush hour traffic and b) in time to see a movie that probably won’t be playing in Amarillo, which is the closest place I can go see movies even if it’s still 60 miles away. Dear Frankie is a wonderful, non-sentimental but very sweet and tender movie about a deaf boy who writes letters to his father sailing the world on a merchant ship. Except that his mother made up this sailor father because Frankie’s real father is abusive, and now the “dad’s” ship is docking in town, and she can’t bring herself to confess her deception, so she hires someone to play the father. It’s just a fabulous movie. If you can’t see it, rent it when it comes out on video.

So, after I went to the movie, I wound up having to drive in bad traffic anyway, but at least this time I didn’t have to go over a nosebleed-high highway ramp. I do not like those things. I met up with the roommates and scarfed down some free appetizers during happy hour, cause I didn’t think I’d have time to go anywhere else and eat before the book signing. I of course dropped something on my T-shirt, but was smart enough not to change into my signing clothes before I ate.

The book signing was very good–I was rather intimidated to begin with, because the stacks of my books on the center table (for convenience in shopping) were VERY high. But by the end of everything, there were only seven (7) copies of The Compass Rose left. Quite a few people came by to tell me things like “I don’t usually read fantasy, but I want to read your book.” Hope that extends to a larger audience.

And Saturday night, after the conference was over, we did our brainstorming thing. I got some good ideas, figured out how to make the ideas I had work and fit together–probably ought to check with the editor and make sure she approves before I get too much farther into it.

So, instead of starting the writing immediately, Monday morning, I wrote down the plotline as I thought it ought to go, stuck in whatever seemed needful. I did some character work, mostly involving Tarot readings for the characters. A “horoscope” layout can bring a lot of insight. And I did a plot arc reading. And on Thursday, I finally actually began the writing. I wrote one page. Then I wrote it again.

I kept the opening line, and the 2nd paragraph was all right. After that, it needed some work, though I changed less than I thought I would have to. Still, one page, twice, isn’t going to get me far if that pace keeps up. Fortunately, on Friday, things came unstuck, and I got six pages. Whether they’re good or not remains to be seen, but they’re down on paper. So…

On to greater things (hopefully) next week. I have a full week of not much but writing to do. The next week, the son’s one-act play will go to regional competition. Last hurdle before going to State, so of course, we’re going to go watch. But that’s a few days away.

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