SHARDS OF THE SEA is now HEART OF GLASS

The long grasses skirting the pond have started to dry out and smell like autumn, and (hopefully) the last heat wave of summer is upon my little New England town. As the seasons meld into each other, I have two exciting pieces of news!

Just three days ago, I finished a complete draft of my novel, formerly SHARDS OF THE SEA. I’ve written enough words over the past ten years to fill numerous books, but this is the first novel-length piece that’s been cohesive, developed, and solid. I’m in the editing phase now, which will take considerably less time than my draft phase (my working style is to make my first draft as organized and coherent as possible). Then, it’s off to my wonderful editors at Rose and Star Press.

I’m super excited about this novel, guys! I take it as a good sign when I squeal and kick my feet while reading my own draft XD I tend to be really harsh on myself, so that’s a doubly good thing!

My other exciting piece of news is that I was talking with my editors last night and we decided on a name change for SHARDS OF THE SEA. As much as love those words, I’ve always considered it a working title, and I had my doubts about it. It doesn’t really convey the core of the story: love. Sea glass and other treasures that wash up on the beach are wound throughout the plot, but that’s not, ultimately, what it’s about. It’s about overcoming fears, finding your place in the world, getting your heart broken and putting it back together again.

So, to better encompass that, SHARDS OF THE SEA is now HEART OF GLASS.

I can’t wait to share HEART OF GLASS with you! I hope you’ll all enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

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Closer, closer!

Hello, friends! I’ve been working steadily on SHARDS OF THE SEA, and I’m super excited to tell you that I’m only three scenes away from being finished! And let me tell you, I am SO STOKED about writing these last scenes. One of them is going to be my very first sex scene o////o I’ve read soooo many, but I’ve never actually written one, so this’ll be an enlightening experience XD

I tend to spend a lot of time on first drafts, so the editing phase will be much quicker. I’m learning a lot about novel writing as I do this. I’ve written enough words in the past years to account for dozens, if not hundreds, of novels, but none of them have been this organized or this complete. In order to help myself in the future, I’ve started a list of the things I’ve learned during this experience. Look for a post on that coming soon!

It’s amazing how well I’ve gotten to know my characters through this journey, especially Clara, my protagonist. She’s grown so much over the course of the story (just like I hoped she would) and although she’s hung onto some of her early traits, she’s worked through other problems and has faced things that, while not earth-shakingly momentous, are certainly huge for her.

In the real world, Ruby and I have been making some fun changes as well! This spring, we decided to reorganize some of the rooms in our house. Our plan, which we managed to complete just a week or two ago, was to move our downstairs guest room upstairs into what had been our library, and move our library downstairs into the empty space. We would then turn the library into a writing room for me ❤

Ruby has a studio right across the hall, one that had been our communal craft room when we moved in. But Ruby’s crafting is much more extensive than mine—she knits, spins, sews, quilts, beads, and about a zillion other amazing things (she’s so creative and skilled!). Her materials are naturally bulkier, since they include fabric, unspun wool, yarn, etc. My craft supplies end at drawing/painting materials and a little bit of embroidery stuff, along with my fold-up rigid heddle loom. (Although… Ruby just taught me how to spin wool with a drop spindle, and I ADORE IT. So I have a little stash of unspun wool all for myself now :3)

We decided that Ruby should have the studio all to herself for her crafts and spiritual practices (we’re pagan) and I should have the new library for my writing. Before this, I’d write all over the house—in the living room, in Ruby’s studio, upstairs on the bed or in the room where our finches live. It was never a space that was completely mine, or one that was free of distractions.

So the other weekend, we moved everything out of the room, primed the yellow walls, and repainted them a soft, misty blue-purple (the color is called Garden Fairy! So perfect for me!). We moved the bookcases downstairs and re-shelved all our books (we have a LOT of books), moved my desk from the dining room, and moved in the coffee table I’d been using to lay out my crystals and other important trinkets. We strung little garden lights—tiny lights surrounded by orbs of twigs—across the ceiling. My small supply of crafts fit in the bottom of one of the bookshelves. It’s such a calming, inspiring space.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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The desk is one of my favorite parts—we picked it up for free on the side of the road in the university town where Ruby works, cleaned it up, and rubbed walnuts into the scratches and cracks to make them practically disappear. It has so many drawers!

Right now I’m sitting at that desk, getting ready to dive back into my draft. Wish me luck!

Drawings of my main characters

It’s been a long couple of weeks at my day job, but I’ve grabbed a few minutes here and there to work on SHARDS OF THE SEA. I love these characters so much that I sketched them a few weeks ago. Then I remembered that my scanner doesn’t work anymore e_e I had to take pictures of them with my phone, so please forgive the low quality.

Clara is the short-haired redhead (not that you can tell what color her hair is here! XD). She’s a loner who just moved to Wavestead after her life fell apart when she broke up with her first serious girlfriend. She finds something washed up on the beach, a broken, sea-tossed antique urn, that sets off an adventure she never could have predicted. Clara’s kind of awkward and uncertain, but something drew her to Wavestead that will help her find her place.

Ginny, the one with the wavy brown hair, is the newly appointed chair of the Wavestead Historical Society. Clara goes to her for help in unraveling the mystery of the urn and is immediately smitten. Ginny is everything Clara needs: she’s smart, warm, and enthusiastic, not to mention beautiful. But Ginny has some history of her own that could threaten their burgeoning relationship.

I hope you like my drawings!

Clara sketchGinny sketch

My draft is coming along

Well, I may be slow as all get-out, but I’m almost a third of the way through my draft of next novel, tentatively titled SHARDS OF THE SEA. It’s the one I mentioned in my other posts, and I’ve been working on it for a while now. I recently introduced the third player in my soon-to-be love triangle and writing her is so, SO much fun. Clara, my main character, has just come from what she felt was sort of like a first date but she’s not sure the other woman feels the same way. Now, she’s approached by the town’s society columnist, who is quite alluring in her own right. Here’s a little snippet:

Clara toyed with the lid of her latte cup. She wasn’t used to attention, but right now, the thought was appealing. “I’m not very exciting.”

“Don’t sell yourself short. Everyone has something exciting about them.” Autumn’s voice had a unique cadence that Clara thought was somehow familiar. Then she realized it — the woman sounded like a person in a movie, or like someone who lives in a comic book and every other word they speak is in bold italics. It didn’t come off as affected or posting, just as supremely confident. Clara found it intriguing.

“Well, okay… what do you want to know?”

It’s snowing here today and my lovely wife, Ruby Grandin, is out at a sewing get-together with some of our friends. I’m at home working on my draft and loving every minute of it ❤ Now, if my cat would just stop trying to steal my lunch… (I swear you don’t want my ramen noodles, kitty!)

 

Update! Still writing <3

Hello! Sorry it’s been so long. This has been quite a year: my day job went a little bit insane, my wife Ruby and I planted a vegetable garden, and I started oil painting. I’m still working on my next novel, the one I mentioned in my last post. It’s a story about a woman who’s lost her direction in life, and just when she feels at her most unmoored, two things fall into her lap at the same time: a mystery from the past of the beach-town where she lives, and a beautiful historian who can help her unravel it.

I’m really enjoying writing it, and I hope to get a complete draft finished this month. Wish me luck! ❤