Thursday, March 05, 2020

Hunting for Happiness

Oklahoma Book Award Finalists for 2020

I (Donis) am working working working to finish the more-or-less-final draft of the manuscript of my second Bianca Dangereuse mystery, set in Hollywood in 1926. I am alllllmost there! I want to get it sent to my editor before I leave for Left Coast Crime on Thursday March 12, and I think it will happen. I also would love to get a synopsis finished and sent to a prospective agent before I go. Whether that will happen remains to be seen, mainly because I also have a couple of author presentations to get ready for, both on March 11 - one early in the day and one late in the day. Then I'll be flying off to San Diego early in the morning on March 12. There was some worry that LCC would be canceled due to the covid-19 virus, but apparently it is still on, so full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes. The conference organizers sent all the participants a note saying that the conference hotel is taking extreme measures to make sure everything is disinfected. There will be hand sanitizer stations throughout the building. I'm going, dang it, because I so seldom have the opportunity to make these important mystery conferences. In fact I had a time-management set back a couple of weeks ago when my beloved but troublesome husband's pacemaker began beeping because the battery was failing and he had to have surgery to get a new one implanted in his chest.

So that's done. He's recovered well and I'm back at the writing life. All of this has been stress inducing, the deadlines and preparations and viruses and operations. Anyone who is a writer and has a life understands that this is just the way it is. However, on occasions like this I am overcome by a distressing thought:

Do I really want to do this any more?

I write because I enjoy it - when I can take my time with it, that is - and I undergo all the crap that goes with publication because 1) I want to share my work and 2) I like to make a little money. Little is the operative word, here. Am I rewarded, ego and money-wise, enough make it all worth it? Not really. I'm rushing toward the end of my time on earth, and how do I want to spend it?

What is the secret to happiness? One thing I've learned over the course of my many years is that I cause most of my own suffering. Stop putting pressure on yourself. Do or don't do, as Yoda says, and quit beating yourself up. Of course knowing something and being able to do it are two different things...

So... in the spirit of finding happiness where one can, here is a nice ego-boost I received today: The Wrong Girl, the first Bianca Dangereuse novel, is a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award this year.

I also got a lovely review for The Wrong Girl today in the Historical Novel Review this month:
"Casey brings the world of silent film to life, using Hollywood slang from the 1920s. The novel is structured like a silent movie, with black-and-white story cards at the head of each chapter. Casey takes us to another world, but one which is all-too-close to ours. The theme of film executives as sexual predators could have been taken from today’s headlines. Highly recommended."
Thank you, HNS!

And last but not least, if you are braving the germs and attending Left Coast Crime, one of the premier mystery author/reader conferences, this year in San Diego, March 12-15,
Here is the link for the Left Coast Crime panels. So many wonderful authors will be be there. I'll be on a panel called Hooray for Hollywood: Tinsel Town as a Setting, on Friday March 13 at 4:00 p.m.
along with Kellye Garrett, Sherri Leigh-James, and Phoef Sutton

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