I hope everyone who celebrates it had a happy Fourth of July.
I'm back at work now. ::sigh:: Fortunately, my boss is on vacation, making easing back into the daily grind a little less stressful. Unfortunately, she'll be back next week, stressed out because she and I won't have been in contact for two weeks. Should be a barrel of laughs.
I didn't do anywhere near the writing I planned to do during my vacation, thanks in part to my back problem, the fun of hanging out with my mom and the nieces, and the lure of the three hour afternoon nap normally unavailable to me during the standard work week. However, I did manage to squeeze out twenty-six new pages and moved past a slight bump in the road. I have a clearer idea about my story and characters, although I'm still missing one vital element--the plot.
I know what the overarching story problem is, the inciting incident that sends my characters running for their lives. But I want to insert a secondary suspense plot to enhance their daily lives while they're hiding from the bad guys, a plot which will lead to a choice between doing the right thing and protecting their anonymity (not to mention enhance and imperil the romantic development as it unfolds). Still got some thinking to do on that, although I do know I want it to involve children, since my heroine is a daycare teacher when she's not on the run from bad guys, and I want it to involve the Smoky Mountains tourist industry in some way, since my hero grew up in the Smokys and his family has a carny-style connection to such tourist showplaces.
I also got a little reading done over my vacation--Kathleen Long's Intrigue debut, SILENT WARNING. Very slick, sophisticated writing style, intriguing mystery and likable characters. I guessed the bad guy a little earlier than I'd have liked, but I don't think it hurt the story since the characters themselves didn't have a clue (and it wasn't a stretch for them NOT to have a clue), and part of suspense is knowing something the characters don't. I thought that as a romance, it was good but not stunning. The characters seemed well-matched and I could buy their relationship, but the conflict keeping them apart was a little too one-note for my tastes. That said, the mystery elements more than made up for the thinness of the emotional conflict, and the writing was excellent. I'm definitely planning to read more of Kathleen's books.
Up next, when I get some time free, is Gayle Wilson's newest Intrigue, TAKE NO PRISONERS. It's another installment of her fantastic Phoenix Brotherhood series, and the set up looks terrific. Plus, Gayle dedicated it to me. Well, me and the other forty-odd members of the Southern Magic chapter of the RWA. ;)
I'm still waiting to hear on three manuscripts with editors, two manuscripts with agents, two queries to agents and the outcome of the Daphne du Maurier contest, which should be announced later this month at the RWA National Conference in Reno, Nevada.
There. All caught up.