News, Both Fresh and Dated

Between vacations, the end of the fiscal year at work, and a pretty dramatic paradigm shift in my own writing-for-fun, I’ve been neglecting ye olde writing blog again.  Time to fix that.

First: I am pleased and proud to announce that through absolutely no doing of my own, I can now say I belong to a family of authors.  My father’s book about Theodore Davis has been out since July, and my husband’s book about 1844 will be out in autumn 2014. (Meanwhile, go check out his blog.)

Second: I got a critique back on the first page of my middle-grade novel.  Wanna know what the big criticism was? “I don’t think you need this rhetorical question here.” That was it. Aside from that, I got two compliments and an “I’d definitely keep reading!” Unfortunately, that does not translate into, “Please send me your book for consideration,” but it was an ego boost nonetheless and perhaps I will send it out.

Third: I’m not as invested in that as I was, for a couple reasons. First, it occurred to me that I need to be able to tell an agent/publisher that I’ve got blurbs/reviews/marketing lined up, and I don’t. And I am not sure I have the time or energy to line them up. I certainly don’t have the enthusiasm, because now I’m on a new voyage, with a different boat, in a whole ‘nother ocean.

You guys, I’m going nonfiction, in a big way.

First, I am doing freelance writing on pop culture. I turned in my first assignment today, and I am reasonably confident I’ll get tapped to do more as time goes on.

Second, I’m researching a rip-roaring tale from the 1870s that is an exciting story with great potential. More on that as I get down to the actual work.

It is funny, the difference in these two worlds. As I go along on the research, I am also looking at it with an eye toward marketing in the long run. But as I go along on the research, I also feel a little bit like Ulysses resisting the sirens.  I have to tie myself to the mast to stay on track.

It usually starts with me saying something like, “Oh, I need to find out when so-and-so got married.” So I go look for a census. And while I’m there, I find another familiar name, and I look up how they tie into the story, and then I find out some distant relative of theirs invented rubber bands or something, and the next thing I know I’m six rabbit holes in and only about three feet from the center of the earth, learning all about vulcanization, which has absolutely nothing to do with what I’m actually working on.

I’m having a great time with it, needless to say.


About arwenbicknell

Editor by day, author by night.
This entry was posted in Nonfiction, Process, Shout-outs. Bookmark the permalink.

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