Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wednesday's Weekly WIP Update

I spent this past Friday working another 24-hour shift at work (which would not make my personal list of Fantabulous Ways to Spend Your Weekend).  The good thing is, less any emergency, all I really have to do on these shifts is stay awake. So I:
  • created a floor plan for our office revamp on graph paper (you can cough *geek* at your monitor here, it won't hurt my feelings), 
  • worked on revisions for The Goddess of Vengeance Wore Pink Galoshes,
  • read the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. I'd read another book from later in the series, but I totally should have started here. I'm now hooked.
I also drank a lot of "retro" cane sugar Mountain Dew.

Silent to the BoneSince then, I've been pretty lazy on revisions (my job and sleep are huge distractions). But I've been reading - this week I also read E.L. Konigsburg's middle-grade book Silent to the Bone, Meg Rosoff's YA How I Live Now, and Anne Morrow Lindbergh's beautiful Gift From the Sea. Inevitably, expect to see Gift from the Sea quotes over the next few weeks...  I loved E. L. Konigsburg's From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler as a kid - one of my favorite books, as brother and sister run off to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, which I always thought was a good idea if you can pull it off (Still do, in fact).  Silent to the Bone is a very different book - more mature, dark and sad, but again with the great voice and humor that had me entranced as a child.

How I Live NowI really can't say enough good things about Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now. At first, I found the style a bit off-putting - the voice is that of a fifteen-year-old girl who does not like to pause for breath.  Run-on sentences galore. But that voice is also very engaging, and the quirky style quickly becomes just a part of that.  The story itself - about an American girl visiting cousins in England when war breaks out - is beautiful and sad and hopeful all at once.

Also, I realize it's no longer Wednesday. Sorry - I started this post yesterday and then could not resist the lure of Bed.  MJ and I have a tradition of reading before bed that I dearly love, no matter how hard it is to keep my eyes open.

So, since there isn't much to tell you about beyond my exceptionally slow battle with revisions, I thought I'd leave you with an excerpt of The Goddess of Vengeance Wore Pink  Galoshes. This is Lauren with her boyfriend, Jake:

“Rough day?” he murmured into her ear, already comforting her with kisses.

 “The worst,” she said. “Late to class. Didn’t have the reading done. Wasn’t prepared for my study group. Felt like a total loser.”

“I’m pretty sure you can’t be a loser,” he re-assured her. “You’re brilliant and beautiful and sweet. Oh, and I don’t make fettucine alfredo for losers.”

 She laughed and finally pulled her head away from his shoulder. “Have I told you lately how much I love you?”

“I think you may have mentioned it once or twice,” he said. “Come help me make salad.”

He led her through the living room of his house to the small kitchen.  “Do you really need my help making salad?” she asked. “I definitely have to buy you a cookbook.”

“No backtalk from you,” he said.  He returning to tearing lettuce leaves apart, and nodded at the sink.

“Bossy, bossy,” she said, as she washed her hands. “This is why I shouldn’t be dating an older man. Let alone a cop.”

“I’m two years older,” he pointed out. “Hardly a cradle-robber.”

“That’s not how my parents feel about it,” she said. She grinned, but her parents’ disapproval was a real concern for Lauren.  It wasn’t Jake himself they disapproved of; they didn’t know him well enough for that, and her parents generally liked everyone, anyway.  It was the idea of an older cop, and how exactly that fit in with Lauren’s planned future doctorate.  Dad had been fine with Jake when he was one of a few guys Lauren casually dated, but once they reached the I-love-you stage, Dad had some unfortunate comments to make about “blue collar” and “Irish cops”.   Lauren had tried to laugh it off, calling him a snob, and then had done her best to avoid the subject of what was, potentially, the love of her life.

Jake shook his head. “Parents always love me. I won’t even let you drink underage.”

“Speaking of which,” Lauren said, pulling tomatoes, cucumbers and a diet Coke out of the fridge. She nodded at the bottle of Gatao white wine on the countertop. “It isn’t fair to tempt me.”

“In another year and a half,” he promised. “You can have your very own bottle.”

 “I’ll bet you drank when you were my age.”

“I wasn’t an Officer of the Law then.” He opened his eyes wide to go with the exaggerated words.

“I’ll bet you were more fun.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. We’re going to have a terrific meal, amazing conversation, and watch a kung-fu movie.  How could alcohol ever improve on that?”

“Kung-fu has to be better when you’re intoxicated,” she said. She chucked a handful of tomato slices into the growing bowl of salad.  “Notice I said better, not good.”

He shook his head sorrowfully again. He had a nice strong jaw, a straight line of a mouth with surprisingly soft, pink lips.  Something about that mouth was irresistible to Lauren as a general rule. She found herself leaning over the vegetables to kiss him.  Jake turned to meet her with a soft first kiss, followed by the sort of deeper kiss that causes one to put down the vegetable knife.  Lauren slipped her arms around his waist.

When they broke apart, he said, “Fine. You can pick the movie.”


Old Kitty said...

24 hour shift?!?! I'm glad the lure of BED won over!! I hope you have a lovely rest today!

Anyway thanks for the review of How I Live. Very interesting use of voice! But great to know that it worked here.

And thanks for the snippet of your book! Jake sounds so dreamy and oh so manly! Sigh. :-) And I like the relationship between Lauren and Jake - he seems so much older than two years - he's very protective and I can totally see the conflict brewing already what with Lauren's parents disapproving! Well done you!

I hope you don't mind me pointing this out - it's just it's your first sentence and starts the extract but I think you meant "her" in the first sentence:

"Rough day," he murmured into HIS (her?) ear.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this! Thank you.

Take care

Jen said...

Wow girl everytime I read 24 hour shifts I sit here and remember that my life isn't so bad!

Sounds like you've been reading some awesome books that I need to add to my TBR list so thanks for sharing!!

I'm with Old Kitty!!! Jake does sound very dreamy... very nice way to start my day :)

Jemi Fraser said...

24 hour shifts??? Yikes!

Love the snippet - good characters :)

Guinevere said...

Old Kitty, thanks for pointing out the "his ear" bit! I've fixed it now.

And also thanks for the kind comments on the excerpt! I'm glad Jake comes across well. This whole overprotective thing of his is eventually going to be an issue between them (as are her parents), but both Lauren and Jake are great people, in my opinion - just a little flawed. :)

Guinevere said...

Jen, I definitely recommend adding HOW I LIVE NOW to your to-read pile. Very organic writing style I think you'll enjoy (plus some bits of comedic/imagery gold in the midst of all the serious, thought-provoking stuff).

And I'm glad you liked Jake!

Guinevere said...

Jemi, those shifts are brutal but a good time to get things done!

And thanks for the compliment! :)

Katie said...

I had no trouble resisting the urge to cough "nerd" into the screen because I probably would have done the same thing...

And I enjoyed the snapshot.

<>< Katie

Anonymous said...

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notesfromnadir said...

I like your excerpt & how you really use dialogue so well & I like both your characters & want to read more.

As for the Sookie Stackhouse books -- get 'em all! They're very entertaining & have a lot of twists & turns. The books are very different from the True Blood series. In fact, I prefer the series.