It was no small thing to have my manuscript critiqued yesterday by my Screw Iowa writing group--we spent hours on my 200 pages of Kicks Like a Girl and what a relief to learn that it's mostly good and just needs a little work! I'm trying something new with point of view (because I'm so sick of women's fiction told in the first person) and while I didn't totally pull it off in the first go, I now have outstanding advice and suggestions to make it viable. Predictably, I have to cut a few characters and tweak a couple of scenes--no biggie since they all agreed who to cut and how to tweak. Incredibly, I've learned that my second sentence in every chapter should be my first--something that results in the most brilliant and sly narrative voice this side of Jane Austen. (Did that sound kind of braggy? I thought so, too. But believe me, if this book ever sees the light of day I think you'll agree.) The true awesomeness, however, was to learn from my 4 dear readers that my book is funny--and I have the karate bit spot on with a good dollop of social commentary on love and marriage and sex and intimacy.
But enough about the writing stuff.
My journey here through sky and airport termnial gave me time to read a book and watch people. The whole time I sat in O'Hare I kept thinking, Is that Hotfessional over there? and That's an interesting gentleman ... WWBP (What Would Blackbird Post)?
And now I am here. With a glorious view of the mountains, my nostrils sucking in that fresh pine-tanged air. Nina has cooked up a storm. When you stay with an Italian whose passion for cooking and writing are on equal par with each other you can count on gaining 5 pounds a day. I'm beginning to fear she's fattening me up to sell me to a witch living up the trail in a cottage made of candy. Seriously, she's feeding me so much I'm turning down dessert.
We're having a grand old time, the five of us--Mariana and Lauren are experiencing Major Life Changes (no, I don't mean that in a menopausal way) that make us excited for them and proud of their courage. Marni is as perfectly swell as ever. Nina glows and fusses and regales us with food, hospitality and sharp insights on love, writing, books, life and cooking.
In short, I'm good. How are you?