For three nights in a row now I’ve dreamed of babies. One baby to each dream. They weren’t my babies, but I had the care of them. The first dream was stressful because I’ve not had to care for a real baby in a long, long time. Still, these dream babies were sweet and calm and smiling, or they were asleep. The strange thing is, I’ve rarely dreamed of babies or children before–not even when I was pregnant.
Friends have suggested that I’m having wishful grandbaby dreams. Nope. Becoming a grandmother isn’t even a subconscious priority for me, particularly because I have no control over that situation. So I looked baby dreams up on the Internet and got a whole list of possibilities.
–Something new is coming into my life
–I’m pregnant (as if!)
–I need nurturing
–Someone else needs nurturing
–I’m being immature and need to grow up (we’re ignoring this one!)
–There’s a situation I need to handle carefully
–I’m judging myself too harshly
–The coming of happiness
–A forthcoming reward
On balance, it’s a pretty reasonable collection–and mostly applicable. The most striking feelings I experienced during the dreams were deep happiness and worry over the responsibility of caring for someone else’s child. Of course, my thoughts go immediately to the release of The Stranger Inside next week. It’s definitely weighing on my mind. I’m both excited about it (the happiness) and a bit worried (the responsibility).
Writers often talk about birthing books being comparable to birthing babies. With less blood and other effluvia, it is to be hoped. The Stranger Inside has had a very long birth process, including marathon, intense editing sessions. This novel has been edited more completely than any other book I’ve ever written, and I learned a lot. Yes, even after thirty(!) years of writing, you can learn a lot. What I learned: I can write a straight crime novel, and mindful plotting is critical. I’m still wary of paying too much attention to what my characters are up to. They have to be allowed to think and act in their own ways without too much interference from me. The word contrived is a critical death knell when it comes to plots.
Exactly one week out from release, I’m getting a little scattered, so I’ve started making lists. It’s something I always do when I’m approaching a busy period. It helps ease the tension. In a story, Excitement + Anxiety = Suspense. I kind of love living in suspense, don’t you?
If you can’t live with the suspense, you can pop over to the excerpt of The Stranger Inside and give it a read. (See what I did there…?!)
SPEAKING OF PROCESS
Okay, maybe we weren’t speaking exactly about my writing process. This past week, at my usual alternate-Wednesday KillZone blog gig, I wrote and wrote about my way of getting up the publishing mountain. As two commenters succinctly said: There are many ways to get up the mountain.
The post is called Process, Schmocess, if that gives you any hints.
BOOK CLUBS DON’T WAIT!
If you are part of a book club, you have just two more days to enter to win 10 copies of The Stranger Inside, with 10 tote bags. (And if you win, I’ll call in or Skype with your book club, too. Just drop me a line if you win and we’ll set it up!) Click here to enter.
My Ninja Air Fryer. It makes everything. Including bacon! I feel like the nineteenth-century woman who got the very first temperature-regulated oven.
Haribo Golden Bears. Gummy bears. Because I’ve given up chocolate until I can get my weight and stomach issues back under control.
FLOWERS, an amazing little series on Netflix that’s crazy, moving, and charming, all at once.
TTFN, my dears! L