In memory of my paternal grandpap, who left the material world 10 years ago today. That’s us on his 64th birthday, 2 October 1984. He had the same birthday as Groucho Marx, and I very nearly had the same Jahrzeit as Groucho.


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)

I took another detour and spent Monday–Friday going over You Cannot Kill a Swan: The Love Story of Lyuba and Ivan for republication. I’m glad I decided to expunge all the superfluous accent aigus from Russian names and words, since I found a couple of spots which somehow slipped through all those countless rounds of edits, rewrites, and revisions. There were also a few things I wanted to change, for more natural-sounding dialogue or to reflect my greater familiarity with the Imperial Family’s history.

(Side note: If you’re writing about Imperial Russia, or your characters are reflecting back on Imperial Russia, you must refer to the House of Romanov as the Imperial Family, Imperial House, etc., NOT “the Royal Family.” Calling them royals or royalty is fine, but the only correct adjective in relation to their dynasty, court, palaces, family, etc., is Imperial.)

On my WIP, I wrote about 1,000 words.

  • My goal(s) for this week

I’d really like to try to put in more work on my WIP, though now that I’ve renewed my plans to release The Twelfth Time this year, I want to do my final sweep-through before spot-checking through Kindle Preview.

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

An emotional roller-coaster journey through life.

  • The biggest challenge I faced this week

Going back and forth between two computers. I made concurrent edits onto the Pages document on my new computer, but I had to make all the master edits on the HTML file which I could only open through the Word file on my old computer. Doing back and forth conversions would’ve meant losing my hyperlinked table of contents, since the current version of Pages can’t hyperlink within a document. May my 8-year-old MacBook Pro continue to be blessed with health and long life!

Waiting to hear back from the potential new cover artist was also a challenge, since it’s now been more than two weeks!

  • Something I love about my WIP

It’s obviously no longer a WIP (thank God!), but of all the emotional moments and best-loved chapters and scenes of Swan, I think the most special to me is watching sweet little Tatyana going from birth to five years old. Every time I’ve gone through the book for editing and such, I love going on that journey with her all over again. Of all the many characters I’ve taken from birth to adulthood, I think my most meaningful, emotional experience has been with Tatyana. It hit me so hard in Journey Through a Dark Forest when her nickname had become the more adult Tanya, no longer the childish Tanyechka.

If you’re wondering, Tatyana was indeed named for the grand duchess.


6 thoughts on “RSW Lucky Number Eleven Update

  1. That’s a nice picture of you and your grandpap.

    I detoured from writing last week too. I spent my time focusing on marketing and learning more. I didn’t even write 1,000 words in my WIP.

    I hope you heard back from the cover artist soon!


  2. Aww, such a sweet moment with your grandfather!

    Even though you didn’t get a lot of new words down for your WIP, sounds like you got a lot of work done anyway!

    Good luck with your goals this week! 🙂


  3. Going back and forth between two computers sounds frustrating. Hope you don’t have to do that for long! I also hope you get some time to work on your WIP in between all the technical stuff you have to get done.


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