In the third month of 2018, my “new narrative” has already gotten bogged down, eclipsed by events both delightful and miserable. I was deeply distracted by my alma mater’s improbable rise to national prominence, which, alas, ended last night in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Those events provided some invaluable pre-publicity for my upcoming book on Father Irenaeus and the St. Bonaventure campus; but it kept me from getting a lot of work done. And we have been negatively impacted, along with the rest of the entire Northeastern United States, by the relentless series of ‘nor’easters’ that continue to dump thick wet snow on everything in sight. St. Patrick’s Day was usually the day I’d plant my peas, but there’s still a good eight or ten inches of snow sitting on my garden bed right now, so that’s not happening anytime soon.
Our downsizing plans have taken a hit too, but for good reasons: My husband has been getting some local short-term work, which makes moving out west a bit impractical right now. So we are simply moving those plans ahead to the latter part of the year, or maybe to next year, who knows? Go with the flow, as they say. Preparing our home for resale, it turns out, is a chore of epic proportions and it may take until next year to get it into presentable shape. For us, sometimes, nothing is easy. But we must keep moving on…and so, even this turn of events leads to another opportunity.
I said I would not write another book just yet, but it turns out I was fibbing. I have started another book, mostly to amuse myself. It’s not only fiction, but it’s genre fiction! Yes, I have succumbed to non-literary temptation. I have always, secretly, loved mystery novels, the more complex the better, and so decided to try my hand at it. I’m finding it absolutely irresistible, like putting together one of those 1200-piece jigsaw puzzles, struggling to fit everything satisfyingly in place. I’m even wondering if it will evolve into a series, though I thought my next book would be another serious non-fiction work. And of course I’m going to self-publish it, because I already know exactly what I want the cover to look like, and how to market it effectively. I’m planning to release it under a pen name—not because I’m embarrassed about it, but because I think mysteries sell better under androgynous names, where you don’t know the gender of the author. It also creates a little mystery of its own, although my most loyal readers will probably figure out very quickly that it’s me.
I had carried around the idea for this book for almost a year, all through the writing of the biography, but kept pushing it to the back of my brain. I actually had the entire thing plotted out in my head by the end of February and then decided, what the hell, might as well pour it into the laptop. In two weeks, I’ve written over 17,000 words (17,835 to be exact) so I guess it’s a reality now. But I do find myself thinking a lot about the genre in general now—and all the crazy arcane classifications and subheadings for it these days—trying to figure out precisely where my little book will fit in. Also working hard to put some of my best writing into it as well; although plot takes primacy here, there’s no reason there can’t be a little pretty language thrown in as well.
Meanwhile, there’s another nor’easter predicted for next week, so I should have plenty of time to work on it…