RSW Ninth Update (Happy Duran Duran Appreciation Day!)


Ready. Set. Write! is a summer-long initiative hosted by Alison MillerKaty UppermanElodie NowodazkijJaime Morrow, and Erin Funk. Each week, participants post brief updates under five headings.

  • How I did on last week’s goal(s)

Only 5,000 words this week, coupled with more writing out of order than I’d hoped for.

  • My goal(s) for this week

Write at least a few thousand words and complete a few chapters.

  • A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

Aleksey put down the letter. “This girl’s family is going to be expedited to St. Petersburg and staying here as our guests.  Everyone else in Hungary is also coming here.  These people are in a life or death situation, and there must be many children among them.  I don’t want to be remembered for anything else but saving as many people as possible from that madman.”

  • The biggest challenge I faced this week

Wanting so badly to start in on my fourth Russian historical instead of waiting three more months! I’m glad I didn’t immediately dive into it after finishing the 891K behemoth of the third volume in March, but the break from these characters has become immense. I even found a Theda Bara image to base Lyuba on for a potential cover.


My mental image of Lyuba is of Theda Bara in her natural, non-Vampy state, and this is so how I imagine Lyuba looking in her late forties and early fifties (albeit with a slightly different hairstyle). It really helps that Theda was of Russian descent herself, even if some folks would insist Russian Jews are ethnically different.

  • Something I love about my WIP

It’s really fun to write short first-person interludes in the form of letters, particularly when you’re writing in the voice of royalty. This week, I got to write as Prince Harald of Denmark (the Dowager Empress’s nephew) and Queen Marie of Romania (Tsar Aleksandr II’s granddaughter). Marie is one of my favourite members of the extended Russian Imperial Family. She was just such an awesome queen, warm-hearted person of indomitable spirit, true patriot of her adopted homeland, and all-around fascinating. If Aleksey had lived and married Princess Ileana, Queen Marie would’ve been such a good mother-in-law to him.


10 August is Duran Duran Appreciation Day, which is a real holiday. Given its origins, it’s not just a holiday about appreciating the band, but about appreciating life. This year makes it 30 years since the near-disaster which inspired the holiday. I know I’ve shared this video a number of times now, but it’s the only video I’ve been able to find of Simon discussing his near-death experience. For some reason, the first part of the video repeats, but then there’s new stuff afterwards.

Once you’ve looked Death in the face and won, you never take life for granted ever again. The Angel of Death passed us over for a reason, since it wasn’t our time yet. Not everyone is lucky enough to get that kind of miraculous second chance at life.


For those who don’t know, this is my giant stuffed frog Simon. That teddybear tag fell off his eye awhile ago. Sometimes you just need a life-sized frog to cuddle.


6 thoughts on “RSW Ninth Update (Happy Duran Duran Appreciation Day!)

  1. Last week my word count was….zero! lol But I had a busy, fun, and at the end there…a drama-filled week, so I let that zero slide this once.

    I had no idea today is Duran Duran Appreciation Day! Thanks for the tip and for explaining the meaning behind the day. 🙂


  2. My first album was Duran Duran. How did I not know today was Duran Duran day?! Also, how cool to write letters as part of your story. Hope you have a great week, Carrie-Anne!


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