Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A smattering of celebrations: birthdays and fleeting fame

Two years ago I began birthing my third child: BRiGHTER THAN BRIGHT. The book came about because this pesky character (Benjamin) decided to squat in my wee noggin a few months earlier and never left. Writing a novel was not on my 2006 to-do list; indeed, I was going to focus on my silver and glass jewelry. But Ben is a persistent fellow, felt he had an important story that needed telling. The only way to exorcise him was to write him out of my mind and onto the page. So on January 2, 2006, this is exactly what I did - started writing...

“For as long as I can remember, I have always felt different, been different."

Here's the first line now:

The world stops; a whorl of white surrounds us, hoots and gossamer wisps suspend in air, kicked up to the shocking blue--

Over time, more than just the first line has changed; now, two protagonists tell their stories, 61k words are carved, forever, from the flubbery original (!!!!!), the result of nine full revisions and countless mini-revisions.

I celebrated the day by working on my second novel under construction. PURE explores the ethical dilemmas facing academic scientists in their quests to ascend to the heap of their respective ivory towers. Here's the first line of PURE:

Later, much later, when the shock wore off, people always asked, "Where were you?"

I am sure, of course, that this will NOT be the first line in two years, but you might as well start writing something somewhere...

It's been an amazing journey, and a fulfilling one. Thank you my dear friends for reading draft after draft without groaning, applying your red pens and track changes to my pristine pages, for giving me the tough love I need, for reading to the end, again and again: Deborah, Kim, John, Steve, Marg, Chrys, Jimmy, Mark S. Here, my gratitude and a cupcake. No worries - fat- and calorie- free, I'd never destroy your resolutions this early in the game.

The fleeting fame... Woke up this morning to find myself cited in the Associated Press exclaiming on a study describing racial disparities in access to pain medication in emergency departments. I'd forgotten about the interview with the reporter; usually, nothing comes of it. 'Twas exciting to see my name in the AP and the local rag. If only the reporter was able to add to my credits: aspiring writer seeking representation...

Back to work. Peace, Linda


  1. Wow! Two quotes (well, attributions to you) in your local fish wrapper! The Google link is screwed, tho -- points to the university's mail, apparently a no-no for outsiders.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Thanks, Georganna. I was in my university system when I posted, so didn't see the boo-boo link. Peace...

  3. I love cupcakes. Thank you - friend.
    Two solid years of Brighter than Bright? Bravo - you haven't given up or crumpled in a maddened heap.
    You are amazing and consistent in your quest to make the manuscript supernova stellar.
    It's there - or close. I think about Ben and Phoebe and the harsh fields they cut through to get to the end of the story. I am so glad they made it.
    Now- looking forward to reading PURE. The first line is tantalizing. It evokes an instant date of September 11. Hmmm.
    Congrats on your AP quote.

  4. happy anniversary!!!

  5. Linda!

    Congrats on getting your quotes in that article. As I began reading the article, I had a similar thought, that maybe the disparity is partly based on racial stereotypes about drug abuse. It's a fascinating thing to think about, how medical treatment can change based on different stereotypes, or based on who (or what) the patient is.

    I'm so glad you're sticking with BTB, go you! Like I told you in email, I started Moonchild in 2003, and got into it more earnestly in 2004, finished the first draft in 05. It takes time, but you will totally make it.

    And I'm SUPER glad to see you working on PURE! YAY! I remember reading If You Want to Write... by Brenda Ueland, and her consistent advice is, if you want to know how to fix a story, write three more. I think her point was that by continuing to write, certain things become clear, or that continuing to use the skill will sharpen it. I always think generating new stuff is good, though I very much need to take my own advice!

    And just so you know I am thoroughly enjoying this (third? fourth?) reading of BTB!

  6. Chrys, thanks for popping by. I'll check out that book by Ueland... could use the guidance. One reason I love to crit my fellow writers' work is because I learn so much from their stories - boot camp for a science major! Your story has been instrumental in my education - I feel blessed and privileged to know you. And yes, keep writing, always keep writing... and reading.

    Long journey for you, friend. Me too; glad we've taken a chunk of it together. Looking forward to finding out your 'secret' triumph soon. Peace, Linda

  7. Kim, yes, two whole years - they flew by. I don't think PURE will come as quickly - or easily. The plot is tougher, and I have two additional characters to develop (but both deliciously quirky and fascinating). And yes, it is 9/11, but the date does not figure prominently in the book, just the consequences of the event.

    Twiz, thank you! I have a strange feeling I'll be celbrating a third anniversary of BTB in about 365 days... then, I'll make double chocolate brownies! Peace, Linda