Thursday, 6 May 2010

The muddle in the middle

overcast, rain, hail, sun, rain, hail, sun - temps, who knows!

One of those unsettled, dramatic days that swung from beautiful sunny and warm to violent winds and hail. And, of course, it chose to pour just as we needed to be outside. Took Trudy for a walk - approached the pond and suddenly there was thunder and lightning. So Trudy and I skiddadled back home. Poor Michael was out back cutting daffodils for Nancy and George when the storm arrived. He scooted back inside too.

We've had dogs - Bonnie in particular - who were terrified of thunder storms. Trudy doesn't seem to care at all, which makes all our lives easier.

We set the alarm for 6, as I mentioned yesterday - got up and were writing by front of the fire. Fun to see Michael getting back to his book with real he does everything. And I think I might finish my first draft tomorrow. Nothing at all on the agenda tomorrow - except to write...yay!!!

When we were in Washington, at the Malice Domestic, I was chatting with some other writers and heard a phrase I'm not sure I'd heard before. But it sure is true. The Muddle in the Middle. Now, I never thought I was the only writer who got all kinda confused in the middle of writing my books - I'd heard lots of other writers describe exactly the same phenomenon. But I'd never actually heard that perfect description!

The Muddle in the Middle. As you see, I feel it should be capitalized.

Perfect. And, as a middle child, I can attest to the fact it's true for more than just a book.

At about noon we headed out (through the storm) to Knowlton. I had a bookclub meeting in Boerne, Texas, via Skype. but, having done skype from home we realized our internet is too slow to support it we needed to find another way to do it. and we thought of Nancy, who has high speed and is a computer whiz. Unfortunately I'd raced back from the pond with Trudy so fast, and then we were late, so I jumped in the car and forgot I was still wearing my rubber boots. So the boots got to come with us to Nancy's, to the bookclub, to lunch later with Cotton. To Danny and Lucy's bookstore.

We're home now - organizing our trip to New York City in July...need to work ahead to fit events and interviews and meetings together. Pretty fun, I have to say. I haven't yet reached the stage where flying for parties, interivews, and meals and meetings around my books is 'old hat'. It still gives me a thrill to realize I'm talking about myself, and haven't simply made it up.

Looking forward to writing tomorrow...fingers crossed I finish. That would be good. Oh, over lunch, Cotton mentioned that there's snow in the forecast for Sunday!!

Speak to you tomorrow.


bgpringle said...

A number of friends here in Meridian, Miss. are discovering your books and love getting to know the chaacters especially Gamache. Happy writing tomorrow - my fingers are crossed!

Reen said...

Best wishes on finishing up tomorrow. I wish I could take on a writing project the way you do. Probably not in my future. Like today, I was going through old notes in a mouldy box and found a to-do list from 2002. Third on the list, after "change the kitty litter" and "buy fig newtons" was "find doctoral thesis proposal and give to adviser." Never did.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi there -

So glad to hear the series and Gamache are gaining readers. And Reen - loved your to do list. As long as you got the fig newtons all was not lost!

Adriana said...

Sometimes there is beauty in the Muddle of the Middle. I am in the middle of reading The Brutal Telling and like always, I am anxious to get to the end, yet loving the middle because I know I still have more to read. Savoring it because I still have to wait for the next book. I've been lucky so far since I only discovered your books less than a year ago and have had them all to read while they were published. I've posted once before, I'm a librarian who loves to get people to read good books and I love it when people read them and tell me they are grateful, then we can have book discussions. I have been bragging about your books to every one. I've got my husband reading them now. Quite different than the late Robert Parker novels we've enjoyed together. But your characters are exquisite.

Felicitaciones (in my native Spanish), for finishing your first draft of your latest novel. I can't wait to read it. I must congratulate you for your writing or your growth as a writer. You are truly honing your craft and gift. When I got to the end of your second chapter in The Brutal Telling, I put down the book immediately and called my librarian friend who had originally turned me on to your books and told her how much you had grown as a writer.

As a librarian who reads feverishly just about every genre, I appreciate and love when a writer's plot, diction, sentence structure, character development, etc., grows. Your guiding us through the mystery is so much more controlled yet your adding of new characters to Three Pines keeps adding magic to the existing characters in revealing who they are and the true nature of people. So felicitaciones and gracias.

As a writer in the middle of my first draft (over a year and a half since I stay home with a young child), I'm grateful to know that phrase- the Muddle in the Middle. I keep wanting to go back and start editing because I started so long ago that I ask myself constantly if I'm missing or forgetting something. But the fear of discovering that I've missed something major propels me forward to keep on writing. That and my husband's supporting voice saying, "stop trying to write your final draft in your first."

So, congratulations again. I can't imagine the relief. I look forward to reading your new book and once again discovering and discussing with my friends, as we do now, the ways in which your writing has grown. Cheers!!