Contemplating the Writing Process

Welcome or welcome back to Jayne Menard’s author’s website!  I have been busily at work promoting my new book Old Growth & Ivy that came out last month and working on the next volume in its Spook Hills trilogy, New Growth and Native Roots.  I am pleased to say that the first draft of this second volume has been completed.  Ahead lies the long but rewarding slog to get it ready to be published.

With reviews coming in of the first book of the trilogy, I am both encouraged and incented to continue working on the craft of my writing skills.  Reviews with high points make me want to leap up and spin around in joy!  Those with low points have  value to be digested and absorbed into the next endeavor.  Some will feed into my list of weaker writing tendencies” to be overcome or at least shoved into the background.

 MiSSY,  an unusual tricolor  pembroke Welsh corgi,  is sweet & protective.

 MiSSY,  an unusual tricolor  pembroke Welsh corgi,  is sweet & protective.

Editing covers such a broad range of tasks, from as wide as looking at the pace of the book to as miniscule as word choice and grammar.  While my writing style is more creative than disciplined, my editing process is rigorous, involving checklists, charts and analytical tools I developed, as well as taking walks and thinking – all with my sweet corgi, Miss Mistletoe aka Missy nearby. 

As a person gains more and more life experience, emotional peaks and troughs smooth out.  That makes digging inside myself to bring out the joys, pains, and visceral reactions for my characters both harder and easier.  Harder because emotions are now less intense and less raw.  For example, I know I will not die of a broken heart, having learned in my early twenties that time and tears do put a protective cover over even the deepest hurts.  On the flip side, more experiences in my life mean that a broader range of possibilities are available, not only from the made-up author world, but from personal growth.

If you have read Old Growth & Ivy or some part of it, let me know what you think.  If not, let me know what is holding you back.  Life has many obligations, pleasures and distractions.  Among the best is the company of a book where you find the characters or the plot or the prose lingering longer than it takes to read “The End”.

Happy reading!  Jayne