Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A New Appreciation for Mornings

Either all this fresh air, sunshine and exercise is nudging me into earlier mornings, the days are getting longer, or I've reset my body clock after a lot of events lately that required early rising because I've been getting up on my own earlier than I normally do at this time of year. Morning people would point and laugh at me and people with regular 8-5 jobs would pat me on the head and call me adorable, but it's still early for me. I'm going to have to reset the "wake" time on my thermostat so I don't have to get up to a cold house. And it's amazing how much more I get done in the day with that half-hour (or more) head start. I've already done a groceries and gas run today and may have time for a little housework before lunch.

I had a big breakthrough on figuring out this book yesterday by going back and figuring out what the heroine wants and what might stop her from getting it. That suddenly gave me a structure to hang everything else on. I've realized that I tend to handle the plot in my books like a mystery novel, where finding the identity of the villain and figuring out the villain's scheme is a big part of the story, so the only direct confrontation with anyone other than henchmen comes in the climax of the book. I'm going to force myself to break that pattern and introduce the villain up front, so that the identity of the villain isn't a mystery, nor is what the villain wants to do, and there's a lot of direct conflict through the whole story. I suppose I've had more direct conflict in this series than in the Enchanted, Inc. series, and in the first book we knew who the villain was all along, if not what her plan was. But I figure that with a steel magnolia southern belle kind of heroine, I need to do at least one book where she's up against the villain from the start and has to at least pretend to play nice because it's not a situation that allows for open opposition until later in the story. I'm already cackling with glee at the thought of getting to write that much thinly veiled "bless your heart" passive aggression.

Now I just have to figure out how what I've written already fits into this concept. I'm not really changing the actual plot that drastically, just the way I'm telling the story.

However, this afternoon's primary event will be a conference call with Apple about how to sell more books through the iBookstore. I'm totally in favor of that.

Meanwhile, there was a runthrough of the first act of Mary Poppins last night. The kids had more or less learned the songs but were still using scripts for the dialogue (except for a few high achievers) and they hadn't done all the blocking and choreography. I sat and watched and knitted until they reached a song where the chorus sings. It was all very cute because these are mostly junior high kids. Mary is being played by a recent college graduate who teaches one of the choirs at the high school (it's a tough enough role to require a ringer), and the other main roles other than Jane and Michael are high school kids, and then they're filling in the chorus and smaller roles with the younger kids (which is why the adult choir is helping out with the chorus parts). Jane and Michael are actual children (and Jane was one of the ones who was already off-book). At this point, there's a lot more enthusiasm than polish, but they have nearly two more months to work on this. A lot of the cast were part of the bunch when I chaperoned the choir tour a few years ago. I figure that hanging out with teens counts as work, since I have a YA novel coming out.

And tomorrow we'll see if I finally get that dishwasher or if they find something else to screw up.

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