last October heading across the Willamette Pass
We are still debating whether to get a fifth wheel trailer. There are pros and cons. It would be a little larger, back up easier and supposedly handle better on the highway, but we manage with the 26' travel trailer as it has the basics. We'd have to sell it if we bought something else; so we're still ruminating on the issue. Either way our RV will have a desk for my writing. I don't do well on the laptop as at home I use an ergonomic keyboard to avoid carpal tunnel.
We found this desk online as something lightweight, small and easy to stow. I also ordered a wireless keyboard, mouse, and smaller monitor, which will be stored in the trailer leaving me only to bring my laptop when we go somewhere.
Writing has been what I've done this summer but for little real gain in measurable ways. I wrote two shorter books (60,000 words) that have not caught the interest of readers. I've gotten a good start with the third one-- but became derailed twice by other projects.
The first derailing was a Christmas short story that I thought might fit into an anthology that a group of writers will bring out this year with all the profits going to a worthy charity. I realized when I finished it (just under 5000 words) that it had the potential to be a novella (just over 20,000 words) that would lead into the next full-length Arizona, historical romance. As a short story, it'd not serve that purpose. So I went back to thinking what could I find that would work for a Christmas short story.
The second one began with a comment a reader made about writing an RV park romance. At the time I laughed, but then I thought-- hey, mature romance, transition in life, and recreation vehicles, all of which interest me right now. So I wrote a second short story, set it in a small Utah town where I'd love to spend time but which I've only driven through. That required research-- something I always love.
Finishing it up and its many edits, I looked at the requirements for the anthology. A biggie caught my eye. They are going to not be taking all that are submitted. I realized that these are writers who have done a lot of projects together. My story might or might not fit, but if being part of the group is factored in, mine would not be accepted. I totally understood how the ones who have been friends and worked together will have priority. But wait, if it is rejected, it also has the potential to be a novella. There is no losing on this.
I submitted my story and began working on its novellal using the same characters and situation but expanding it. If the short story does end up accepted, I'll hold this back for a future time, as the contract does not give them exclusive rights to even the short story. I even created a cover for it, which if it goes into the anthology I can use to promote purchase of the collection, but if it does not, then I'll use it for the novella. I really like the cover but won't share it until I know more where I'll need it.
If that sounds confusing, I will add to it by saying next I will write that first short story also as a Christmas novella, which I can bring out in mid November-- no matter what happens with the second one. I am enjoying the break from suspense, but I will get back to the paranormal, just not first.
Both of these short stories involve heroines and heroes in their late fifties and early sixties. Both follow a woman at a transitional point in her life where she's looking for a change but unsure what that would be. The two are set one hundred years apart, which means the women's options are not the same.
I like it that there is no danger or suspense-- given our political season, stories like this are more relaxing to write. I also like writing characters closer to my own age and especially with that second one where it worked into my interests in those who live in their recreation vehicles full-time. I don't see myself doing it but that's the beauty of being a writer-- I can do it vicariously. Oh and the contemporary woman has two dogs, something I don't have but fun to write about for her.
Above images from Stencil, CanStock, Deposit photos, and my own photographs