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July 20, 2005: Summer Means...

Summer means fun, humidity, tank tops, and . . . no writing.

As a stay-at-home mom, it is apparently my duty to entertain my son for as many hours as he is awake, a situation exacerbated by the fact that he is an only child. My big treat is when my husband hangs out with my son while I do laundry. When he’s asleep, I catch up on dishes, cleaning out the fridge, putting away the toys. You know, the kind of thing that makes people envy us people with no jobs.

(I should say, however, that as I write this, my son and I are in Cape Cod visiting my father, visiting the beach, hitting a few library book sales, and almost getting enough to sleep. Not having a job does have its perks.)

Writing time, though, has been hard to find. Not least of which is because I seem to have developed some kind of mental antipathy to finishing the first draft of my Mommy-Lit. This kind of reluctance is not unknown to me; I have a big problem with finishing things out, whether it’s the last day of a throwaway job, the final paper at college, moving out of the ex-boyfriend’s apartment. Plus I am further beset by my insecurities regarding the writing itself. My rational mind knows a first draft implies second, third, and final drafts, but I’m worried that my writing actually stinks. So I wonder why bother? But then someone - my throw-the-hammer-down husband, usually - tells me to suck it up, I have a plan, and I just have to stick to it.

So I’m going to finish the first draft very soon. Or die trying.

In the good news front, I’ve gotten the first chapter of A Singular Lady up on my website. If you’re interested in reading it, click here: http://www.meganframpton.com/chapter1excerpt.pdf (you will need Adobe Reader - it's free). My husband’s best friend does music PR, and is already scheming on throwing a book release party, complete with liquor sponsorship. Another husband acquaintance does PR at a book publisher’s, and the best friend is also scheming on how to get the acquaintance to do a mailing for me. Even if it has little tangible results, it’s nice that so many people are interested and getting involved. October, the book’s release month, seems a long time away, though.

Next week I head to Reno for the Romance Writers of America’s annual National Conference. I’m really looking forward to it. In the past year, I’ve made friends with romance writers and readers, and I will get to see them (some for the first time) off-line while in Reno. A lot of the workshops should be helpful to my writing, and I will be wearing one of my grandmother’s stunning vintage gowns at the RITA/Golden Heart presentations. I’m going to bring my camera, so I hope to post pictures in next month’s column. I’ll also be wearing my pink First Sale ribbon, an indication of a member’s becoming a published author. I remember being in New York for 2003’s Conference with Marianne Stillings, who was wearing her first sale ribbon. Everywhere she went, people came up to her and offered congratulations, asked questions, and in general, treated her as if she were a queen. I’m not normally a person who enjoys the spotlight, but I think I will like some of that attention. I know, of course, I will immediately tell everyone my deal is for one book only, and for a traditional Regency to boot, but it will be nice.

My website’s Writer’s Diary continues to get fairly consistent traffic also, although it will be hard to gauge how many actual sales result because of it. But it is a fantastic outlet for me to vent, share, and crow, so I would be happy about it even if my visitors were only my family and friends. My slacker web designer has promised to update some of the site’s outdated and broken areas, so I hope it’ll be more user-friendly in the future.

And, meanwhile, I keep reading. All the time. Lately, it’s been Anne Stuart categories, followed closely by historical fiction and romantic sci-fi. My book group has chosen to read Wuthering Heights this month, so I get to read a classic book of romance, even if the outcome is doomed (wait - I hope I didn’t spoil that for anyone!). I don’t read a lot of “-Lit,” even though I am writing a Mommy-Lit, mostly because I haven’t found any I totally loved, and if I did, I’d worry it would affect my own writing ‘voice.’

Thanks, as always, for reading my monthly musings. And next month, I hope to have news of finally finishing a draft of my second book, some pix from RWA as well as some fresh angst.

 

-- Megan

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