Monday, February 05, 2007

Monday Blues... and ten percent!

Mondays are always the toughest day of the week for me, it seems. Maybe it's just getting back into the swing of things after a weekend of lying around eating Dove chocolates and reading paperback novels. (Speaking of which, I definitely have to hit the Y today. I also ate three-quarters of a bag of kettle corn and a whole can of Cream of Mushroom soup at 10 p.m. last night. What's up with that?)

Anyway, it was tough sledding this morning. I just couldn't think of what to write, and my proposed chapter wasn't looking too exciting. To get myself motivated, I went over to my favorite coffee joint and deposited myself in a chair, but all I ended up doing was talking with interesting people and sucking down expensive coffee. And thinking about a turkey sandwich.

So after 300 hard-earned words, I left, came home, and parked myself in my traditional at-home-writing spot, which is the futon at the end of my office. And told myself I couldn't get up (except to make a turkey sandwich or perhaps fold one -- and only one -- load of laundry) until I was done.

And what do you know? What started as a somewhat lackluster scene suddenly started to come to life. A new situation I'd never thought of just popped up on the page. Then, suddenly, I looked up and discovered I was at 1300 words. Almost there!

The final count came in at 8852, which is 1520 words or so, and more than 10 percent of my final word count. And I'm still not sure how it happened. It's almost like sitting down at the computer is like flipping a switch, and turning on some kind of story-maker. Weird.

Oh, and by the way, on my way home from the coffee shop today I heard Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac, a great little show. Today he was talking about Andrew Greeley, a Catholic priest who has written more books than God. I particularly liked the following snippet:

"Greeley has now written more than 150 books, which have sold more than 15 million copies. When asked how he can write so much, he said, "I suppose I have the Irish weakness for words gone wild. Besides, if you're celibate, you have to do something."

Ha! Now I have to go and read one of his books.

(Garrison also read a fabulous poem called "A Wife Explains Why She Likes Country" by Barbara Ras; if you go to Writers' Almanac and look up February 5, you can find it. I love NPR.)

I'm off to call Jessica, my fabulous agent, and talk titles. Not turkey -- I already had my sandwich.

Did you overcome the Monday hump? Inquiring minds want to know...


At 5:28 PM, February 05, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,

It's tough getting back into a routine on Monday especially when I pack so much into the weekend I'm exhausted, so I'm kind of glad I can go to the office to rest. LOL.

As for lackluster scenes, yeah I've had tons of them. I usually start with very little of everything except dialogue. Then I layer in everything else. In fact I just wrote a scene and wasn't too impressed with it until I realized over the weekend while doing laundry that it was a perfect opportunity for my sleuth to reflect on the feelings she's buried over the past two years. Duh! I guess most scenes start out not very impressive but somehow it all works.

I replied to yesterday's blog (when you asked what I was working on) but it hasn't come through yet. So I'll answer now (then there will be two other posts popping up and you'll never forget what I'm working on. )
It's a cozy mystery and I'm finishing up revisions that an agent who is interested in my ms. suggested. I have two scenes to finish and then I am done, done, done. WooHoo!

Debra S.

At 11:13 AM, February 06, 2007, Blogger Karen MacInerney said...


Congrats on finishing (almost, anyway) the revisions! I just found out that I have to go back and do some on my first Wolf ms; I printed it up last night and plan to take it 10K at a time.

And I keep looking for your comments, but they seem to have vanished. Weird!

As for scenes, they can be tough, can't they? More and more these days, if a scene doesn't move things along at a fast clip, I delete it or change it. And I find myself relying more and more on dialogue to perk things up as I write. And it's amazing what comes to you when you're doing laundry/driving/cleaning the rabbit cage.

I'd love to hear about your cozy... and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the agent falls in love with it. Let me know when you've sent it out!

(And let me know when you're done, so I can raise a celebratory cup of coffee in your honor!)


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