It seems as though fall has finally come to New Orleans; I’m almost afraid to type that for fear of jinxing it and bringing the heat and humidity back. Yesterday was simply beautiful; it is so gorgeous here when the weather finally turns and we get our allotted weeks of autumn. I’ve been in the doldrums (had the doldrums? I don’t know) a bit this week; a malaise has set in, and I suspect it might be the post-Bouchercon malaise, which hits every year, the inevitable crash after the high joy of being amongst my friends for a long weekend, talking about books and joking and making wonderful new memories.
As I continue outlining Jackson Square Jazz, I am amazed at how intricately the story is plotted; how the personal story Scotty is experiencing is woven into the case he has stumbled into. I honestly don’t remember writing the book much; I didn’t really remember much of it, either–I’ve not had a copy in my hands to reread it. I am, from doing this, getting a strong sense of Scotty and who he is; and I did spend some time yesterday revising the first chapter of the current Scotty. It’s making more sense as I revise it; and I think I am also getting a sense of where this story is going to go. I feel the thing that’s been possibly missing from the last Scotty books has been the personal story; I’d have to go back and reread them to see if I am correct. But it has been lovely rereading this story, as it were; I always think of my earlier books as being perhaps not as mature as the later ones..but I am finding that I am not correct in that assumption. I am very fond of Jackson Square Jazz, and I’d forgotten a very key element to the story; the Cabildo fire, and how seeing a documentary on the local PBS station (WYES) about the fire inspired me to write the book several years later. I am very excited to finally be getting this book together and out there as an ebook; I hope to have both it and Bourbon Street Blues up for sale by the end of the year. The cover for Bourbon Street Blues is almost finalized, and I love it, can’t wait to share it with everyone.
I think the doldrums, the discontent or malcontent or whatever it may be, also is sort of stemming from knowing that I need to push myself harder as far as my career goes. I’ve found myself in a nice place without much effort and maybe it’s time to put some more effort back into the career, you know? The world is so different now; I haven’t done a book signing in a store since Murder by the Book several years ago, with Rebecca Chance sharing the stage with me. I think this current Scotty book is going to be terrific, quite frankly with all modesty pushed to the side; with the caveat, of course, that it will be terrific if I pull the story off. And if I do, it will be quite fun and quite funny.
I also outlined another manuscript that’s been sitting in a drawer for a long time; a y/a novella that’s slightly less than forty thousand words. It’s been sitting in the drawer because I didn’t like the ending and it needed to be about twenty thousand words longer, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to make it longer or how to fix the ending. As I was outlining it this evening, it dawned on me precisely how I could do both those things; it requires an extensive revision, but it’s one that I can do relatively easily. I even figured out the new opening–and naturally, made notes. It’s called Spellcaster, and I don’t know if that title actually will work for it, but it’s a good working title, and perhaps something better will come to me when I revise it.
Christ, how many projects can I have going in my head at the same time? Maybe that’s why I am having the doldrums, and finding it hard to focus?
Oddly enough, after showering I feel much better, and I am going to get my act together.
And here’s a Hump Day Hunk for you, Constant Reader.