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  • Writer's pictureAlec Peche

My Muse is finicky!

After finishing Crescent City Murder in late December, I had my next three books lined up, waiting to be written. I was diverted from this goal with the time I spent rewriting Chocolate Diamonds, book two, of the Jill Quint series. I also changed the book cover and therefore the print version of the book. In February, I was back in the saddle working on Damien Green, book 3, 'The Girl From Diana Park'. I have my book cover and I have the 20,000 foot view of the story. It's been painfully slow. So slow in fact that I begin work on Jill Quint, book number nine, as yet untitled, but set in Sicily. I'm going to try alternating between the two series to see if creativity in one will spur creativity in the other. I'm mostly a linear writer and I've written extensively about being a Pantser. Each book I write plays itself out in my head as I'm writing. I'm unable to see where the story is going more than a chapter at a time, but I have faith in the process as it's worked for the last ten books.

My most productive writing as measured by words per hour, occurs in my home office. The distraction of the Internet is there, but not of anything else. I have words and phrases pinned within eyesight of inspirational quotes for writers. Yeah, I can write anywhere – planes, coffee shops, outdoor cafés, but my greatest speed comes in my home office.

Unfortunately, I suffered a clumsy hiking accident in the Colorado Rockies two weeks ago. I stepped wrong on the snow and managed to tear all of my ankle ligaments, fracture my fibula, and break a bone in my dominant hand, when I dropped to the ground. After ankle surgery, I'm stuck lugging around a cast covered arm and leg. These are temporary inconveniences as I will make a full recovery to hike again in better shoes. I had to cancel my attendance at Left Coast Crime in Reno, which is too bad as I was scheduled for three speaking events. These injuries have necessitated my staying in the lower level my house and now my writing computer sits on my kitchen table. The kitchen looks out onto my back yard, where I hear the siren's call to plant the summer garden. After a week of rain, I think about sitting in the sun making vitamin D, which aides the bones fusing.

I'll ignore the siren's call for another day as the soil is too wet to sit on and pull weeds to make way for that garden. I'm stuck trying to ignore the weight on my right foot and find some way to speed up my words per hour. I do have a dictation system to use, but like my broken limbs, it seems intent on challenging my productivity with diction errors and all kinds of crazy phrases. When I said, “the siren's call to plant”, the dictation system typed, “stand up with cancer”. Weird.... I've been using the same dictation system for three years and so it should be trained to my voice. Maybe the background noise is different in my kitchen versus my office and that's what has it on the blink, or maybe it's in sympathy with my bones, LOL!


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