by Rosemary Lord
Well, this new year has got off to a busy start. It’s not just a new year, but a new decade. Where, oh where, did these years go? It seems to have been a decade of run, don’t walk, through life, ducking and dodging life’s many ‘surprises.’
I, for one, am very happy to move on to 2020.
For me, the last 10 years were overshadowed by the intense work on the whole sorry Woman’s Club saga, which began when the property was stolen February 8th, 2010. Almost 10 years ago! The club finally came out of bankruptcy at the end of 2019 and back on its’ own feet last month. I was glad to see the end of that challenge and the end of that decade.
Although the biggest shadow, and the most devastating happening of the last decade, was the sudden death of my wonderful husband, Rick, in 2012. I subsequently buried myself in the dramas of the Woman’s Club, which helped me move through the grief.
During this time I made several trips back to be with my family, my siblings in England and Greece, for which I am so very thankful. We spent much wonderful family time together, reminiscing and healing the loss of a husband and, for them, a much-loved brother-in-law. And we re–discovered each other and created an even closer family bond.
We had adventures and we laughed a lot, amidst the tears.
Sideswiped by that grief, it was a decade where I had mostly abandoned my novel series about Lottie Topaz. But writing is as important as breathing, for me. So instead I wrote this Blog and I wrote updated versions of my Los Angeles Then and Now and Hollywood Then and Now books. The latest Los Angeles Then and Now, a travel-size edition, is to be released this March, 2020. But these are non-fiction, historical research books. So they’re not an emotional journey for me or the reader, unlike Lottie’s tales.
I love Lottie, and find myself laughing and crying with her as she whispers her stories in my ear. I am her conduit and her typist. And so it was difficult working on her books until this new year, when the new decade dawned. January 1st, 2020 it felt different. Now, Lottie and I spend every hour I can spare, editing her first book.
I am now fastidiously logging each chapter and every page – giving myself a clear map of what I have managed to weave. I did a brief version of this chapter outline early on, but realized it was not enough. This is a serious, freshly focused chapter log!
Lottie Topaz and the Flicker Murders (the full title of this first book in the series) has been rejected by some agents – without even a cursory reading – not even the first 10 pages – due to the length, I have learned. Novel submissions must be 75-90,000 words. Apparently, only established, successful novelists can earn a publishing contract with much longer manuscripts.
At the California Crime Writers’ Conference I was told that agents and publishers are so inundated with prospective books, that it is a way to eliminate and cut down the number of manuscripts they have to read.
The draft I sent out was almost 120,000 words. Okay – so I got carried away – I will fix it. Hence my map of where I may trim more than just a few words – probably whole scenes – which I will put aside and hopefully use in one of Lottie’s other books. That is the plan afoot. Besides, reading it through after all this time, I have fresh eyes and find it easier to see where things need to speed up, or where descriptions or conversations are superfluous.
So this year I have fallen in love with Lottie and her travails all over again. She and I have also been working on Lottie’s second novel,” Seven for a Secret” in which we go back to her beginnings in London, as well. It’s bliss. I’m a happy writer.
This new year, this new decade, I have found my love for writing again.
And look at how this past decade has opened up so many new avenues for us writers. The flourishing world of self-published books has been brought out of the shadows and finally feted and honored alongside the traditionally published books. Writers can happily control their own literary destiny. And instead of dire warnings of an over-saturated market, I have heard both here and in Europe that people are reading more than ever.
Young readers have their own burgeoning world of YA favorites, children’s books are increasingly popular and the genres for everyone have expanded into a multitude of worlds, time-zones, creatures and beings – only limited by the imaginations of writers and readers alike. Today reading has been expanded into so many new forms: be it on a kindle, with audio-books, through pod-casts or faithful paperbacks and hardbacks.
So I do declare, from my happy writing desk, that this wonderful new year, this exciting new decade will be the The Year of the Writer – nay, The Decade of the Writer – with happy readers discovering us all.
Happy New Year everyone!
16 thoughts on “THE HAPPY WRITER….”
Always an inspiration, Rosie. Life does interfere with our plans, but maybe that is why we write about life in our books. Stuff happens and seeing how we deal with it in those stories we write just might make our stories far more interesting.
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Yes, I think that the real ups and downs of our lives provide us with a richer fodder of material for our writing. I certainly see that in your books, that cover a vast array of subjects and backgrounds. Thank you, Gayle for leading the way.
I’m very excited to soon see “Lottie” in print! It seems historical fiction is very popular now. So catch the wave and ride it!! And the next and the next.
Jackie – you have been such an amazing champion of my ‘Lottie’ stories and I thank you for your continuous encouragement through some of my dark days. Now Lottie is getting ready for her close-up. So keep the encouragement coming. It really helps. Thank you!!
So glad you’re writing! And I look forward to meeting Lottie. Happy 2020!
Thanks, Linda. You are such a prolific writer, with so many different characters that you bring us. I am always inspired by your writing projects and deadlines. Happy New Year Linda!
Happy New Year to you as well, Rosemary. What you’ve described is a great journey of someone who has endured the pain of loss, the hardship of fighting injustice, the (re)discovery of allies, and emerged victorious – the classic hero as described by Joseph Campbell and Christopher Vogler. I see a bright future for you and for Lottie.
Thanks, Miko. With your librarian background, I always consider you our literary ‘egghead.’ You’re the one we turn to for sage, literary knowledge and wisdom. So thank you for those encouraging words. Happy, happy New year!
Rosemary, I love this: “The Decade of the Writer.” I’m glad you got your writing groove back.
Thanks, Maggie. I think this is OUR time, don’t you? So – our Decade indeed! Happy New Year.
Happy New Year Rosemary! And happy writing days ahead. I’m looking forward to getting to know Lottie.
Happy New Year, Alice. And I can’t wait for you to get to know Lottie. I hope you enjoy her tales as much as I enjoy writing them!
Happy New Year, Rosie, and yes, “the year of the writer” is great, and I will mentally hang on to that wonderful thought. Looking forward to 2020, new decade, new beginnings(writing love affairs!), fillws with great tales to read and write.
Mad – it’s always wonderful to hear from you out in the desert! Yes -the year, the decade of wonderful tales being written. And I can’t wait to read your next adventure. Happy, happy new year to you, too.
Wonderful post, Rosemary. Thank you for letting us into your world both past and present. The future sounds bright for you with your resurrecting of Lottie’s stories. Good luck!
Thanks, Jill. And I promise not to talk so much about my woes and challenges. I have more fun things to write about – as do you! Here’s to writers everywhere – may we all be wonderfully prolific!!