In April of 2010, I attended a writing conference and heard the keynote speech by Laini Taylor, the author of the Dreamdark books. This young woman, with bright pink hair, told the audience that her biggest struggle as a writer was her quest for perfection. Because of this, she had a long list of books that she wanted to write someday, but for now, the characters in this book waited in a green room in her mind.
Many of the things that Laini talked about resonated with me, including the idea of a green room for my books. Like her, I have books that I want to write that I haven’t started yet. Unlike Laini, my characters don’t stay in the green room, watching the current broadcast and waiting their turn. Nope. They’re not so patient. They follow me around, peering over my shoulder at what I’m currently writing, saying, “My story is way better than the one she is working on now. When is it going to be my turn?”
Right now, four stories burn:
– A who-dunnit comedy involving four writing friends and a past-her-prime diva author, entitled Killing Candace Oberman. Spoiler alert: Candace’s husband is the bad guy.
– A middle-grade novel about the trek from the Midwest to the Pacific Ocean. The first part takes place during the 1840s; the second part occurs during the Dust Bowl years.
– A cozy murder mystery that takes place at the Iowa State Fair.
– A book based loosely on the life of my mother: a young woman is stricken with polio and because she cannot run and play, she learns to play the piano. She later teaches music in a small, rural school and takes her group to a state choir competition.
But today, I’ll polish Bone Girl, which I’ve started shopping to literary agents. The book is done. I’m just fine tuning.
One last thing: when I wrote this blog entry, I was curious about the term “green room.” It’s defined as a room provided to artists to wait before they are called up to perform. Would you believe the term was first used in 1678? Yep. Playwright Thomas Shadwell used it in his play The True Widow.
Hands and arms inside the cart, please. Next: My love affair with movies.