Another installment of that book series is upon us. A Newsweek reviewer (interestingly, by name a man, although the books do appear aimed primarily at women, and are written by a woman; but I don’t want to disgress down that path here), disparages it this way:
Cinemax softcore masquerading as fiction
Really? So then it’s perfect to adapt into a possibly “award-winning” cable TV series? Just shift the tale and main characters to, say, Rhode Island?
You never know what out there will provide eventual story material. Subconsciously, I’m always on the look out. In a real sense, I’m always working.
I try, but I can’t usually just switch my mind “off.” I find I pay attention to most “everything.” But I know I also have to do so without everyone around me suspectingI’m paying attention to, uh, “everything,” of course. ;-)
Case in point: Mass last Sunday included Psalm 92. Perhaps unsurprisingly if you know the first two novels, this line grabbed my attention:
When U.S. airspace was temporarily shut beginning on September 11, 2001, quite a few flights were diverted to Canada. Thousands of travelers were stranded for days. On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the New York Times remembered Gander, Newfoundland’s “plane people”:
They’re called “the plane people” here because on Sept. 11, 2001, some 6,700 passengers on 38 planes descended on this piney little town of about 10,000 people on the northeastern end of Newfoundland….
Of course the suicide hijackings that destroyed much of lower Manhattan and killed 3,000 were wildly outside the norm. We know that. But the “diversion to Newfoundland” thing has happened since the beginnings of the transatlantic “jet age” in the later 1950s.
Twitter is awash with writers tweeting thoughts, adages, self-help sayings and writing “rules.” Some are useful, some tiresome. This one got tweeted into my timeline the other day:
“Number one rule for fiction: Coincidence can be used to worsen a character’s predicament, but never to solve his problems.”
Never having seen it before, I googled it. Many others have used it. Although that writer tweeted it as if it were his thought (and has thus far got some 30 odd retweets with it), it was not his original thought.
….Jane Austen quotes are usually apt and mostly timeless. (In case you didn’t know, I’m an Austen fan.) In citing that I’m also just having some fun with this “sneak peek” into Distances. For how often have we all seen something like this?
It begins with two couples…. and a fifth person. The latter is unattached (or even on the verge of becoming unattached). At some point that person has caught the eye of an unattached acquaintance of one of those friends…. and that friend, after having been prodded, cajoled, and even begged by that smitten acquaintance into concocting a pairing, finally gives in:
It happened again. Previously it was at Heathrow. This time, it was Dublin Airport.
Arriving on Saturday morning, my passport’s older stamps made it clear immediately to the Irish border agent that I travel to Ireland pretty regularly. After we cleared up that I live in the United Kingdom and not in the U.S.A., he asked me my occupation. They don’t always do that.
I chuckled inside: I knew my answer would get a reaction. Whenever over the years I’d said “university administration,” no one ever raised an eyebrow. However, saying you write novels will nearly always – after the surprise has worn off – lead to some good-natured conversation.