Monday, 19 April 2010

Barbara Fradkin and Anthony Bidulka

cloudy, showers cool, temps 3

Lise and Donna came to tidy the garden more before Del arrives tomorrow with several strong guys to spread the compost. Always an exciting day. And - you must know - I'm not being facetious. I honestly get excited by compost day. As does Lise. Which makes us such a great team. That and the fact Lise made chocolate covered graham crackers this morning and brought four of them for us!

In fact, My Assistant (and Gardener) Lise is the woman I want to be. Efficient, kind, generous - a really hard worker who never complains (even when we gave her a urinal as a welcome gift...well, it's actually a vase, but it sure looks like a urinal). We pay her in dog biscuits. She does complain a bit about that.

Wrote almost 4,000 words today. Difficult scene, so surprising so many words ended up on the page. But I'm at that stage where I think what I'll do now (often do this at various stages in books) is throw a lot of words onto the page one day and try not to worry what a dog's breakfast it might be, then spend the next day or two editing and shaping. Then do more original writing...and then edit. Kind of move along in stages.

I also realize I can take a lot of words out without losing anything important. Indeed, it picks up the less is more. In reading over and editing from the day before I see what I often do. I put WAY too many steps in. I'll say something like, "Gamache sat down then looked over at Gabri before picking up his glass and taking a sip of red wine." I actually have not written that sentence in the book...but it would be improved by simply saying, "Gamache sat, and looking over at Gabri he took a sip of red wine.' No need to say he picked up his glass. Like saying someone walked over to the stairs and went up them. Most of the time we can just say he went upstairs. The rest can be taken for granted. Not every step needs to be described. That's your job as the reader. You do at least half the can fill in the blanks. Our job is to lead you there. And not treat you like idiots.

Wanted to mention I'll be moderating a panel discussion this coming Thursday evening at 6:30 - as part of the Montreal literary festival called Blue Metropolis. It's with two fabulous mystery writers - Barbara Fradkin and Anthony Bidulka. both award-winning, bestselling authors. It's at the Delta Hotel in Montreal. Indeed the Blue Met starts Wed. and goes all weekend. But if you like mysteries and live anywhere close to Montreal you might want to come to our event. you have to buy tickets, but I think you can get a ticket just to whatever events you'd like to see.

Hope to see you there!

So, I find, I can often just drop words like 'up', 'down', 'over'. Sometimes I leave them in for cadence or flow


Marjorie said...

Here is a link to cut and paste fro the info on the festival:

I had previously posted it on Louise's Facebook page. Have you all "friended" her there?

--Marjorie from Connecticut

Dana said...

Marjorie, Is there some way to do a "I am a fan of" for Louise? I have used my Gamache mug as a profile picture, but it was too subtle for my friends".

Marjorie said...

Hi, Dana. I am so glad that you are spreading the word about the books! Do you think if we get a copy of the 3 Pines logo and make that an avatar that would be too subtle? Maybe a copy of the cover of the new book when the art work is leased? Oh, how about a giant gummi bear? That would make people ask questions! Louise, have you any good ideas about this? Anyone else? Looking for a strong symbol that makes others want to ask about the books.

--Marjorie from Connecticut

Jeanine said...

How about a duck in a little coat?

Dana said...

Love it!

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all!

marjorie, thanks for the link! Brilliant. Hope lots of people can come...Barbara and anthony are great writers.

And LOVE the idea of coming up with an 'image' that says 'Gamache/Three Pines books. I wonder if, again, the Three Pines logo might be too subtle...even Vive Gamache. But perhaps a jpg of The Brutal Telling until the art, as you say, for Bury Your Dead is decided upon.

Or - we could do the duck in a raincoat. But perhaps that's too obvious.