Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Guest Blogger: Kelly Jones

[My re-routed, delayed flight to Boise was made wonderful by Kelly Jones' The Lost Madonna. Learn more about her and her books at her website. - Charles]

Thank you, Charles, for inviting me to be a guest blogger on Type M for Murder.

Charles and I met earlier this month at the Murder-in-the–Grove writers’ conference in Boise where he served as moderator for “Making It Real: Creating Realistic Settings.” With his enthusiasm and impressive preparation (handouts with a cartoon portrait of each panelist on the front!), it was a pleasure to be part of his panel. We had fun and hopefully excited and informed some aspiring writers. Keynote speaker J. A. Jance inspired us all, sharing not only her writing life, but her personal life as well. She even sang to us! David Morrell offered a workshop and a presentation “Book to Movie.” I got a copy of FIRST BLOOD signed by the “Father of Rambo.”

It’s 4 A. M. and I can’t sleep. Maybe because we are entering the final week of baby alert, and I’m expecting that call any time now--“Mom, baby is on her way! Can you come pick up the kids?”

Or maybe I woke up simply to enjoy the quiet. For the past three weeks we have been rebuilding our deck, which has meant lots of pulling out the old, installing the new. And NOISE. This is the second phase of a home remodel: the first took place this past winter. Inside. The noise was bad enough, but the dust, not to mention invasion of my space, made it almost impossible to work.

In an art imitates life scenario, I feel I’ve been tearing down and slowly rebuilding my most recent manuscript. In all fairness I can’t blame the remodeling crew for my lack of progress, as I’ve made other changes in my modus operandi. My first two books were both written with the help of a writing group. I decided to try it on my own on this third effort, but recently jumped at the invitation to join another group.

I like looking at my calendar and knowing that by Wednesday I have to have another chapter ready to go. I love Judy’s green ink comments—“Yes!” because I know I got it right. And even her “Huh?” because I know I didn’t. I love Joyce’s squiggly lines through those extra words that I can now see clearly shouldn’t be there, and her willingness to dig right in and read an entire manuscript straight through. I love Maria’s hyphens and her “You go, Woman!” comments.

And I love having friends who love books, and words, and stories.


Anonymous said...

I read the 7th Unicorn over Spring Break and loved it! Glad to hear there is a new one. I'm into Native American art - any chance we'll see that in one of your books someday?


kelly said...

So happy you enjoyed The Seventh Unicorn. A story based on Native American art sounds intriguing. I know little about it, but my writing has always been a learning process for me. Right now I'm working on a story set in Germany before World War II, inspired by "modern art." It's more history than mystery. But doesn't good fiction always involve a mystery?