As part of their What’s Up Wednesday feature, Elodie Nowodazkij, Alison Miller, Katy Upperman, Erin Funk, and Jaime Morrow will be hosting a summer-long initiative called Ready. Set. Write! Participants will share weekly, monthly, or overall goals in the “What I’m Writing” section of the weekly posts.
What I’m Writing
I’ve now passed the 380,000-word mark on my current WIP and am on Chapter 46. Now that I’m so close to the end of Part II, the chapters are coming a lot faster and, hopefully, will be a little on the short side (by my standards).
Lyuba just lost the use of her right arm, following a car accident in a blizzard, a traumatic, abusive hospital experience, and the unexpected month-early delivery of her 8th child Sofya (Sonyechka). When the cast was taken off 9 weeks later, she found she had nerve damage from the trauma, improper setting of the break, and bones growing back together funny. She has no choice but to adapt to a left-handed life. Fortunately for her, her husband (who typically blames himself for the accident and the resulting abuse in hospital) and three sons are lefties, and able to teach her all their secrets.
Back in New York, 20-year-old Tatyana has just gotten engaged to 21-year-old Nikolay and is about to find out the truth about her blood father Boris. Nikolay wants to ask his godfather Ivan, whom Tatyana now derides as her mere stepfather, for his blessing. Boris certainly won’t give his blessing, since he hates Nikolay. Nikolay will nudge her towards looking up old newspapers in the main library branch, and what she finds will blow her mind.
Once she finds out he’s every ounce the scoundrel her family and their friends have told her all along, their father-daughter relationship of two years is going to end as quickly as it began.
What I’m Reading
Titanic: Women and Children First, by Judith B. Gellar. Published in 1998, it contains many pictures, historical artifacts, and vintage newspaper stories about some of the women aboard Titanic. I’m enjoying it, but I’m glad to see, based on reviews, that I’m not the only Titanic buff who’s a bit disappointed at some of the lacking historical accuracy and suppositions being passed off as absolutely true fact. (I hope it was just a typo when Ms. Gellar says the Mayflower landed in 1640!) And seriously, why do so many Titanic buffs not realize Margaret Brown’s real-life nickname was Maggie, not Molly?
What Inspires Me
Regular readers may remember the unexpected majority soundtrack I used for my second Russian novel in 2011. I’ve stayed with it for the third installment. This is a song I recently discovered (from 1997) and often use to start my writing night. The video is so after my macabre heart!
You can’t help which bands you fall in love with. Sometimes life just hands you a surprise and challenges what you thought of as your usual tastes, or preconceived ideas you had based on media images. Someone of my intelligence and serious interests would never bother with teenybopper fluff.
What Else I’ve Been Up To
I’m newly grateful for the simplicity of Macintosh after a little misadventure last week. I accidentally taught a misspelling to my custom dictionary, and since Word is evil and not as straightforward and user-friendly as MacWriteII or ClarisWorks, I had to go through a whole rigamarole of figuring out how to access my custom dictionary, open the file, manually fix several thousand words whose accent marks were scrambled into symbols, save the dictionary in a proper file format, reinstall it, disable the corrupted old custom dictionary, and turn on only the saved, properly-formatted new version.
I was so determined to fix this as speedily as possible that for the first and only time, I cared less the dictionary was opened in the butt-ugly Times New Roman. I had more pressing concerns than immediately converting it into Palatino. And btw, why won’t TNR stay deleted?! I’ve deleted it from FontBook and Word at least 10 times, and it keeps popping back up like a weed!
The Mac interface is very simple and user-friendly, so I was able to figure out how to solve this problem step by step. I’ve heard it said that you could transport a user of the first Mac into the future, and s/he’d still be able to figure out how to use it. At heart, the Mac operating system is essentially the same. I don’t take our 29-year relationship for granted. I grew up with the Mac and couldn’t imagine using some cheap, inferior, hard-to-navigate PC.