Welcome! This is still under construction...

Monday, September 24, 2012


I finished Gone Girl.  It was so twisty and engrossing I didn’t even look up to check the football games I was “watching” (for the record, Notre Dame won and Syracuse lost).  I plan to recommend it to some friends so that I can discuss the ending with someone – I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending.  Ending a book is terribly hard – it’s still the part of my novel that I’m most unsure about and usually my first question to any of my trusted readers is a quickly blurted “What did you think of the ending?” 

Three of my favorite period dramas are such because they get the ending so perfect – and all three were written by Sandy Welch.  2009’s Emma has to be my favorite ending to any Jane Austen adaptation.  So many period dramas cut from proposal to church exiting.  Here we get to see events during the engagement, Emma confronting Frank Churchill, a honeymoon, and assurance that Mr. Woodhouse really will be alright.  Ms. Welch’s Jane Eyre is also a favorite because of its delightful reunion, especially necessary in a story like Jane Eyre that is so dark and unhappy for quite a long time.  I didn’t realize how perfect this ending was until I saw 2011’s Jane Eyre, which has many wonderful qualities but a very abrupt and unsatisfying reunion.  And 2004’s North and South doesn’t show us a proposal or a wedding, but bookends the story so exquisitely we sigh with contentment, symbolism and the gorgeous score.  It could not be improved upon, except maybe showing Mrs. Thornton’s face upon arrival in Milton.  Isn’t it a pity that 1995’s Pride and Prejudice denied us Mrs. Bennett’s reaction to Lizzy and Mr. Darcy’s engagement?   Thank God Jane wrote it.

And since I’m talking about endings, and I wrote an updated version of Persuasion, I will say a few words about Persuasion (2007).  If you have a letter to deliver to your dream girl, telling her you’re waiting to hear whether you will enter her house this evening or never, probably don’t give it to your disabled friend to deliver, especially if he’s already late for another appointment.  The music in this version is lovely, and that’s all I’ll say about that.

I desperately wanted my Captain Wentworth to write The Letter to my Anne Elliot, but was worried he would come off as passive aggressive- they are at the same party after all, and there is no reason why Jack can’t approach Savannah in our day and age.  I hope, if you read the book, you’ll find the tiny reasons I gave for a written declaration sufficient. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Stephen King Approves of My Novel*

While I was writing my novel, Stephen King's On Writing was a tremendous resource.  He manages to get you excited about writing while at the same time reminding you why he is much more talented than you'll ever be.  I keep his advice in my mind while I write, but, much like my tennis career, the actual execution of these instructions requires more talent and practice than I am capable of.

Still, I was highly encouraged by this piece in the book:

"Write what you like, then imbue it with life and it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex, and work.  Especially work.  People love to read about work.  God knows why, but they do.  If you're a plumber who enjoys science fiction, you might well consider a novel about a plumber aboard a starship or an alien planet.  Sound ludicrous?  The late Clifford D. Simal wrote a novel called Cosmic Engineers which is just close to that.  And it's a terrific read."

You can't imagine how encouraging it was to read that paragraph.  I, an interior designer who enjoys Jane Austen, was writing a book combining interior design and Jane Austen!  I was writing about work!  And now Stephen King had told me it was a good idea!

I haven't read a lot of Stephen King primarily because I'm what's known as a "scaredy cat."  I do love The Green Mile though, and watched it this week as it's been on TV.  At the top of my scaredy cat list are mice.  I cannot deal with them.  My roommate and I broke our lease on our apartment and moved when we had a repeating mouse problem.  My boyfriend at the time suggested watching The Green Mile and picturing the mice as Mr. Jingles to deal with my escalating phobia.  I pointed out that Mr. Jingles is clearly single, and my concern with other mice is that they have a similar family planning philosophy to the Duggars.  Anyway, it was ironic that after watching The Green Mile on Tuesday night, I found mouse droppings on my desk at work Wednesday morning.  So now I need a new job.

Stephen King's cardinal rule of writing is that writers must read a lot.  I just got back from a Barnes and Noble trip with Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl.  I hope I'm not too much of a scaredy cat for it.

*Stephen King has not endorsed either my novel or this blog post.