Monday, May 20, 2024

Sloth Denies Winter

The title got my attention, too. It’s not my title. More on that in a moment.

I recently blew my own mind. Or maybe I lost it. I don’t know yet how excited I should be about something I’m already very excited about. It started with that title.

Sloth Denies Winter is an escape game from Board Catholic. I played through it with my family a few months ago. First the good. We all really enjoyed the game. The puzzles were done well. They had just the right amount of difficulty where they are solvable but need some thought. I definitely recommend checking it out.

When I said the good was first, I implied there was also something not good. The problem is that it made me want to make an escape game, too. I can’t stop thinking about how much fun I’d have creating puzzles. But that’s not what I do. I write fiction, mostly romantic fiction. I’ve been trying and failing to get the idea out of my head. And then it hit me… I could combine a bunch of things I love. I could make a Catholic romantic comedy escape room puzzle game in a book!

Don’t decide if I’m nuts yet. Just think about it. It wouldn’t be a full novel, only a short story with puzzles scattered throughout that have clues in the story on how to solve them. I love this idea so much I wish someone would make a Catholic romantic comedy escape room puzzle game in a book for me to read and solve. That’s part of the reason I have to do it. The other part is that I think it’ll be just as much fun to write and design. The only not fun part will be figuring out what to call it because that word salad I’m tossing around won’t even fit on the cover.

Yes, I am aware that I just released the first book in a four-book series. I am not abandoning that project and hopefully not delaying it either. One blessing in life is that the more energy you bring to a project, the faster it goes. Generally. If I can keep the enthusiasm up, I should be able to make progress on both fronts and have a new book and a Catholic romantic comedy escape room puzzle game in a book before the end of the year. I’m not promising a catchy title though.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

That's Not Funny

I sat down to brainstorm a post for this month, and my brain failed to storm.  It drizzled out some of the least entertaining ideas I’ve ever had.  Here are a few of the topics I’m not going to use to try to make readers laugh.

1) A poem about my notebook.  Bad poetry can be mildly amusing in a groaning, if-you-like-puns sort of way.  The words mildly, groaning and puns should have stopped me.  I kept trying to imagine a poem that didn’t reveal what it was about until the end.  All the words used to describe a notebook (cover, pages, lines) are pretty obvious.  I thought about turning it into a metaphorical container for a story.  No one has ever laughed while picturing a box.  Also, I still don’t like poetry.

2) Digging up a tree stump.  I had an idea to compare and contrast writing a book with a project in my backyard.  Both are things I’ve been tempted to give up.  One requires mental stamina while the other is physical.  One brings me joy when I finally finish.  One frustrates me by refusing to budge no matter how many times I hit it with a shovel.  It had a snake by it one day and a gross spider another day and a cable tangled in the roots every day that I don’t think will electrocute me and won’t scurry away when I scream at it.  No one is allowed to find humor in any of that.

3) IRS form 2210.  I know someone somewhere just cringed reading that.  Look it up.  It’s possible to summon a sadistic laugh by picturing that really annoying guy you know trying to fill it out.  But that’s an ugly laugh.  I’m not encouraging it.  And no one is allowed to laugh at why I’m currently very familiar with that form.  Or how many times I started over. 

4) Advice for writers.  I’ve given tongue-in-cheek advice for fun.  I thought about offering a few tips that have actually helped me.  I couldn’t figure out how to do that in a light-hearted, non-big-headed way.  Also, I am not qualified to give advice because I considered trying to entertain people with a tax form.

5) A list.  I thought I could simply make a list of funny things.  What funny things?  Exactly.  That’s why I’m not doing this one either.

6) The bad stuff that wasn’t published.  I have a collection of projects that never saw the light of day, mostly abandoned faster than that tree stump I still intend to outwit.  I think I could find a few interesting paragraphs to share if I spent several hours reading through old papers.  I might spend as many hours sneezing at the dust I kicked up doing that.  Also, I don’t want to do that.

7) It did occur to me that I could write about how I never know what to write about.  That at least would be novel since I haven’t mentioned it before.  Maybe I’ll do that next month.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Three Missions

The official release of Evelyn’s Granddaughter is set for April 11!  I’d be more excited if I wasn’t trying to slip in a very minor change before the buzzer.

There was already one last-minute change.  It had to do with those problematic names again.  Someone from the first Love in Andauk series has a baby in this new book.  I couldn’t decide what to name him.  He got at least three different names in early drafts of the book.  Somehow, he still had two of those names in a copy several of my proofreaders read.  I was disappointed when I discovered the mistake, mostly because it makes me worry there are others.  I’d really like to release a book with no mistakes.

I was paying particularly close attention to the names when I reread the book for what I thought was the last time.  I have a basic outline for the rest of the series.  I’ve written some of the first draft of book 2.  I used a guy from book 3 in one scene and realized that he might be the only one missing from book 1.  There are (or will be) four books that need eight main characters.  Seven of those got at least a very brief mention in the first book.  It bugs me that I left someone out.  I need to find a way to add that name, and I only have a few days for this mission.

And here’s a mission for readers, if anyone would like to accept it.  Try to guess which of the minor characters will be promoted to main characters in the future books.  Maybe even how they will be paired.  I’ll give you some hints.  Remember how I struggle to name characters.  Remember that sometimes I deliberately avoid naming characters who don’t need names.  If you come to a place where you think, why did the author take the trouble to give a name to this random guy about whom we know nothing else?  That might be a sign he’s going to show up again later.

What’s the third mission?  I need to write a blog post before March is over.  That’s going to be a hard one.  I hope I can manage it.