Posts Tagged ‘J.K. Royce’

Dasher, Dancer, Discipline

November 28, 2012

I was all set to start my annual December whine about being too busy to enjoy the holidays. Then my friend Maya Madhavan asked if I would bring her projects to the Progressive Party. Yes, that’s projects, as in plural. She won’t be able to attend for three months and she got them all done ahead of time. While she’s working. And taking care of her young family. And fitting in the holidays. I have no excuse.

Maya’s projects – done ahead of time!

Instead of whining I remembered “The Night Before Christmas” – especially the line about dash away, dash away, dash away all. Dashing about without a plan is as useful as those nutrition panels on the back of candy bar wrappers (you can only read them after you’ve opened the wrapper, and once the wrapper is open you know you’re going to eat the candy, so why bother reading how bad it is for you?), but I have lots of to-do lists, which can fill in for a plan until something more reasonable comes along. Similarly, dancing is best when done with joy, even if your feet are hurting. Joy comes from within, which leads me to discipline. That also comes from within.

So, I found myself a new mascot:

My new mascot

Crows are clever and observant – and I just happened to have this one left from the Halloween decorations. My little crow will remind me to plan.

Next, I found something that represents holiday cheer:

This is the one time of year I can indulge in my love of all things shiny. If that isn’t enough joy, I’ve got a recipe for killer gingerbread cookies.

Finally, I will remember that creativity requires a certain level of discipline:

I bought these badges with small gift ideas in mind. I didn’t make any notes, so those ideas are gone. I can whine and moan, or I can pull out my graph paper and come up with a new idea. For now, I’m going to pull out the graph paper (the whining will come later when I design something I can’t sew).

Before I forget once again, Julie Royce wrote about her crime novel in progress – PILZ – last week. You can read it here. Julie’s blog alternates between her novel and her travels. Check out her stories about her recent trip to Europe with her husband.

Detour To The Next Big Thing

November 8, 2012

Between hiding from the political telemarketers, getting back to the tyranny of the daily routine after my mom’s visit, and gearing up for my pre-holiday fretting, the sewing room went into free-fall:

The view from the hall

 

The view from the sewing machine

There was a little time for creativity – the pumpkin carving, for instance. My kids both found images to copy and transfer to their pumpkins. Not trace, copy; like art students have done from the beginning of art instruction. Meredith carved a witch on a broom in front of a full moon, and Alexander carved the Sith lord who killed Qui Gon. And my pumpkin, the one from the fiber artist who loves Halloween? I carved a candle.

Can you see the face?

Maybe next year I’ll be more adventurous.

In the meantime, a writing friend of mine, Marlene Dotterer, tagged me for a blog chain. Marlene writes science fiction and fantasy, at one time had her own business as a free-lance personal chef, and is a birth coach. Marlene and I are in a science fiction writing critique group – the wordsmith equivalent of a friendship group. You can read her blog about her next big thing here.

This blog chain is about the latest writing project of the taggee. I get to tag other people, and the people I picked are:

V.Z. Byram, who writes poetry, historical fiction, and spy thrillers. She isn’t a quilter, but she sews with her grandkids. She was born in post-WWII Europe to refugee parents, whose stories formed the basis of some of her work.

Violet Carr Moore, who is one part of Carr Twins, a former foster mom, and a writer of devotional material as well as mysteries. She also is not a quilter, but used to sew period costumes for Civil War re-enactors.

J.K. Royce, a retired attorney whose “simple” snack buffet will make you weep for joy, and who writes hard-boiled crime thrillers. She has made one quilt, which proudly hangs on her wall, and (I believe) might be persuaded to make more someday.

Elaine Schmitz, a quilter, quilt judge, quilt lecturer, and writer. I had the privilege of helping her edit her cookbook, Recipes & Recollections of My Greek-American Family. She also writes fiction in a variety of genres.

So, here is my Next Big Thing Q&A, ten questions you may or may not want to ask about other things I do:

What is your working title of your book?

When Chenille Is Not Enough

Where did the idea come from for the book?

This is the sequel to Death By Chenille, the quilting science fiction book I wrote with Ann Anastasio.

We had a few loose threads, so we thought we ought to weave them into something fun.

What genre does your book fall under?

Quilting Science Fiction, which is a new genre that Ann and I created. We also created the musical comedy genre of Quilting Vaudeville.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I would love to see Sigourney Weaver play the main character of Susan.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Quilters save the world, again, then set off for outer space.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

We’ll be self-publishing. That’s what happens when you create new genres – people get a giggle out of what you’re doing, but the marketing department doesn’t have a clue how to sell it! Ah, well.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

We’ve been working on this book a little over a year, which is a huge improvement over our last book, which took fifteen years.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I hope you could find some similarity with Douglas Adams, because he was absolutely hilarious, and that’s what we were going for in the Chenille series – a good laugh.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Ann and I wrote a quilt design book. An editor found our project interesting, but since we didn’t have a name outside of Northern California, we didn’t get a contract. We thought if we wrote a novel and made our reputation we could get someone to publish our design book. You know, when you don’t know something is hard, you jump in with both feet. Fifteen years later we published Death By Chenille as an ebook, started a sequel, and think about that design book now and again.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Ice cream figures prominently, as does a crazy quilt.