Ready. Set. Write! Lucky Number Eleven (Summer Recap)


Alison MillerKaty UppermanJaime Morrow, and Erin Funk are once again hosting the summerlong Ready. Set. Write! initiative. Each week there will be a few headings, with short responses to allow for more writing time. For the final week, participants are recapping their summer progress instead of doing the usual headings.

I started RSW 2.0 getting ready to publish my contemporary historical Bildungsroman Little Ragdoll, which I’m frankly glad I don’t have to look at again anytime soon, apart from preparing physical copies. I got it up on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo, and did all the formatting perfectly. I also designed the cover all by myself, first by hand and then in Gimp, to add the title and byline. I’m well aware of how it doesn’t look like most other modern book covers, but I always felt the flat, cartoon-like art really suits the story and lets the reader use more imagination in picturing the characters.

When I went back to my WIP, Journey Through a Dark Forest: Lyuba and Ivan in the Age of Anxiety, I was stalled at Chapter 79, “Terror at Tarawa,” and around the 610,000-word mark. I’m now up to the 688,000-word mark and Chapter 92, “Staten Island.” The most important thing for me was to finish Part III, “This Wood, So Harsh, Dismal, and Wild,” and all those history-intensive chapters requiring a lot of research. I’m now seven chapters into Part IV, “The Good It Is Their Hap to Find.”

Along the way, I decided to part ways with my longtime preferred title page typeface, Edwardian Script. I just became aware of seeing it a lot, and soon had my suspicions confirmed that it’s an overused typeface, particularly in the calligraphy/handwritten category. My preferred fancy typefaces for title pages are now Chopin Script and Tangerine, which aren’t overused and thus smacking of amateurishness.

I was on Chapter 87 when I got my new computer, and since new Macs don’t open Power PC applications, I couldn’t bring Word 2004 over from my old computer. I’ve had to get used to Pages, which in many ways isn’t as easy to navigate as Word. I most miss Word’s autocorrect (the Pages autocorrect leaves a lot lacking) and how all the formatting options were available on the same panel on the side. With Pages, you have to click onto different sections of the sidebar, or navigate through various menu options.

Finally, I put together a rough draft of the dedication page. I’m still planning to visit Iran for some firsthand research for the eventual finished product, and after that happens, I plan to include a note thanking the Iranian people for their warmth, generosity, and hospitality. (I’ve been counseled to not put “research” as the reason for my trip when I apply for a visa through the Pakistani Embassy’s Iranian bureau. Since I don’t want any trouble, I’m just going to claim tourism.)

Lovingly dedicated to all those who lived through the traumatic, world-altering events of 1933-48, including but not limited to:

The Great Depression


The Holodomor

The Third Reich

The Great Terror

World War II (both servicepeople and civilians)

The Shoah

The interment of Japanese-Americans, Japanese-Canadians, and Japanese-Latin Americans

The little-known, far less extensive internment of Italian-Americans and German-Americans

The European diphtheria epidemic of 1943

The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

This book is particularly dedicated to those who perished, and to those whose stories are not often told in the conventional narratives.

Once again, credit where credit is due.  I could never have gotten through this massive book without my wonderful writing soundtrack.  Giving my longtime secondary character turned main character Ródya the surname Duranichev was my humble way of saying thank you.


4 thoughts on “Ready. Set. Write! Lucky Number Eleven (Summer Recap)

  1. That era really was a time full of turmoil–so much history but so much sadness too. I’m glad you had a productive summer, and I hope your fall continues on the same way! 🙂


  2. You accomplished SO much this summer! And I still can’t get over all the cover design and all the things you are doing yourself. So talented! Thank you SO MUCH for joining in with RSW again and so glad it was a productive summer for you!


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