Sunday, June 10, 2018

Children's rhymes aren't always warm and fuzzy

Ana's historical WIP heroine just got a job playing piano for riverboat passengers. Her new partner Tess suggests they perform old favorites so the deck passengers can sing along. Research yielded this ditty, entitled 'Miss Susie.'

The steamboat had a bell
Miss Susie went to Heaven and
The steamboat went to–

–Hello operator,
Give me number nine.
and if you disconnect me
I’ll chop off your be–

--’hind the heavy icebox
there was a piece of glass,
Miss Susie sat upon it
and hurt her big fat

Ask me no more questions,
Tell me no more lies.
The cows are in the pasture
making pies for

Flies are in the kitchen,
Bees are in the park.
Boys and girls are busy
kissing in the dark.

This reminded me of another rhyme that girls used to sing when jumping rope. 'Bill and Sarah, sitting in a tree, K I S S I N G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage.'

Pretty bawdy stuff for kids, my heroine thinks. But she's from a rich family and knows her father didn't invest in her classical music education so she could become a vaudeville act. 
She and Tess are due to start entertaining in fifteen minutes. 
Will she?




Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A Sabbatical

Debra is re-prioritizing her life.

Over the last few months, heck...probably the last few years, I've been debating and debating about what I wanted to do with my writing career. I really love my small press, but was wondering if maybe it was time to branch out a bit. I had an iron in the fire that didn't amount to anything. Recently I've had a huge upswing in auditions for getting my books into audio. (Three are on the market now.) A contest caught my eye, as one of the final judges was an editor at Harlequin, and I figured that would be a good way to possibly get my work in front of her. It would require shortening a mss, but a couple beta readers (Thanks, Paula!) had encouraged that, so it was definitely something to consider. But as I read further through the contest final judges, another name jumped out from another publisher. One I've been really, really interested in. Problem with this one was I'd already been rejected by them for the mss I thought of entering. Did I try a different, albeit incomplete, one and hope that if it caught her eye I'd have it done by fall when the finalists were announced? The deadline is fast approaching, and I still have yet to make a decision.

Probably because I think what I've decided overall is to take a sabbatical from my writing. It's going on the back burner for now.

Oh, I'll still do some publicizing of books I already have out there. And with finalized audio books coming at me left and right these days, I'll be spending time getting together some publicity and campaigns for those. But I'm not going to make writing a huge priority. If the muse happens to strike, my fingers will hit the keyboard and knock out whatever pages I can, but I'm not going to force myself to write every day. And I'll still post and follow and like on Twitter. And of course here at Heroines with Hearts. (Although I am thinking of switching my Facebook account over to my real name instead of my author one, if that's even possible to do.)

I have other things going on in my life right now that I want to focus on. Effective July 1 I will be the president of my local historical society, and I am so excited about that! Oh boy do I have plans! I've written up my five-year plan already and have started outlining and gathering materials for a series of monthly programs I want to develop. I am definitely going to be a hands-on president. So that's where my focus is going to be for the time being.

Writing has always been a hobby for me, not generating anything I can call income in any sense of the word. I thought maybe it was time to go after writing in a more career-minded way, but I've found that my mind is less and less focused on writing and more and more focused on other things. New directions. New opportunities.

I still consider myself to be a writer and always will. But for the time being...I'm going to be a writer who's not writing. Will I come back to it? Hopefully. I still have lots of ideas in my head for stories, books, and series, and I really, really hope that someday they'll see the light of day in published form. But my instinct at the moment is to set that aside and do other things.

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!

Debra
www.debrastjohnromance.com