Writing Life, Week 2 of August 2019

Random People In Wash Square Park.

I never expected to get much work done in August, but I hoped for slightly more productivity than has actually happened. Wisdom teeth took their toll. Also, Jonah’s comings and goings have wrecked my rhythms. Ah well, family first.

I’ve been reading best seller type books lately to counteract my tendency to overthink my writing and get too esoteric. Nobody wants to read anything from a college professor. So, I’ve been reading Nora Roberts books for the past week. I like her stuff, because she’s so prolific, and I haven’t read her stuff before before, which means lots of backlist. I could go through a trilogy a week and still have more to go. I read Year One yesterday, which was sort of like The Stand and The Road, but with witches.

In response to the recent romance novel plagiarism scandal, she wrote a Facebook post about her writing process, which is super interesting. I always like to learn about how people write. (The best book on the subject is Stephen King’s On Writing).

I admit that I found that Facebook post, because I googled Nora Roberts and ghost writers. How does anybody really write four books per year without a ghost-writer? Well, Roberts explains in her Facebook post.

Roberts may not get help with her books, but other best selling writers do. One of the moms in town told me that her brother is a ghost writer for one of those big named authors. She said her brother has a big house in Connecticut with horses and writes for five hours a day. Would you do that?

Ian’s doesn’t have any camp this week. I’ve got some tutors and playdates scheduled for the next couple of days, when I’ll squeeze out some words, do some virtual meetings, and start some research. But then I’ll walk again from it and probably take him into the city to visit some museums later in the week. We still have several more weeks before schools start around here; until then, there is no routine.

I have to go over to the other blog, the one I only use for professional purposes. People have been leaving me both nice and awful comments over there. I suppose I should handle it. Sigh.

There are some people who read an article that they hate all the way through. Then they find the author and compose a note to the author just to tell them how much they hate what they wrote. Who does that? I should just ignore it, but I felt like someone walked into my house and pooped on my carpet. I can’t ignore it.

I’ll be back later with some links.

8 thoughts on “Writing Life, Week 2 of August 2019

  1. Wow, I often encounter articles that I hate–I mean, articles that I think are stupid, not just articles that I disagree with. I stop reading as soon as the stupidity annoys me. Life is so short. I would never bothering commenting on such an article. Why waste my time?

    For example, there is an article in the current Atlantic about urban service workers, which includes a sentence, about a third of the way in, that in the past almost every woman either had a maid, or was a maid. That statement reveals such ignorance of pre-twentieth century social structures that I stopped reading. The chances of my learning anything from anyone who knows that little don’t justify the expenditure of time.

    Intelligent articles that I disagree with I might comment on, but often I just ponder them in my heart.


  2. “She said her brother has a big house in Connecticut with horses and writes for five hours a day. Would you do that?”

    Hell yes.

    Half of James S.A. Corey was George R.R. Martin’s assistant until their book was published (or maybe until a little before then), and now it’s been a tv series and all of that. Helping someone else’s massive success doesn’t preclude doing your own thin.

    Plus I’ve been a writer on lots of other work-for-hire stuff, and I don’t have a big house in Connecticut with horses. Hell yes I would take that job.

    Semi-relatedly and in addition to Steven King, a friend highly recommends How to Write: Advice and Reflections by Richard Rhodes. He is apparently, as they say, da bomb.


  3. Nora Roberts writes 4 books a year because she rewrites many of her previous books. I read a bunch of her contemporaries and realized that she has 6 contemporaries that she mass produces in slightly different versions. I’m glad she’s expanded to PNR and suspense to shake things up a little. I think she’s a very very good writer, but I found myself bored by the same plots/set-ups. I did love The Witness, which I read because I read that the MC was autistic.

    Right now I’m trying to decide if I’m going to read the new Tessa Dare tonight. She’s gotten a bit too twee for me.

    I’ve been mostly alone for a few days (except for the non-communicative college student) as the husband and son are doing college visits. They come back tomorrow. *sob* There is nothing quite so relaxing as not having to cook dinner for anyone but yourself.


      1. You can also just make your husband bring back Chipotle. Or older children, though I have not seen that done.


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