It seems like I’ve been working on this novel forever, but it’s actually been a little over a year. My happy news is the manuscript is completed and in the hands of the editor I use to help polish my work. He’s brutally honest, so I suspect I’ll have some work to do when I get it back. But I’m all about aspiring to making my novels the best they can be. Here’s a short summary:

The Eyes Have It is a twenty-first century Romeo and Juliet meets Splendor in the Grass. A wartime affair reaps tragic consequences a quarter century later.

During the first Iraq war, Josh Regan falls for the enchanting Samar, a young Saudi Arabian woman, although he is engaged to his college sweetheart, Emily. Twenty-six years later, Josh and Emily are married with two teen children, Olivia and Carl. Josh’s family is blissfully unaware of Josh’s wartime indiscretion and the son, Jamail, who resulted. Olivia meets and falls hard for Ethan, the second son of Samar and eight years younger than Jamail, this time with her American husband, Brian.

Although raised Catholic like his half-brother Ethan, Jamail converts to Islam when he spends two tours of duty as a Marine in the Middle East. Back home, he attends a mosque known to have radical views. Jamail leads a terrorist attack at the Saratoga Race Track on the day the Regans have their annual family outing there. He kills Josh and wounds Emily, then goes into hiding. He reaches out to Ethan who, with great ambivalence, leads the two families to Jamail, hoping they can convince him to turn himself in. Instead, Jamail raises his automatic rifle toward the family members. Ethan lunges in time to block the shot, taking it himself. Olivia rushes to Ethan while Jamail coldly aims for another shot. But the next gunshot is by FBI, whom Carl texted on their way to Jamail.

Ethan spends several days in an induced coma, while his parents and Olivia maintain a vigil and, Olivia believes, are solidifying their bond. But Samar and Brian decide the relationship holds too many complications. They encourage Olivia to go home to help her mother and promise to call when Ethan is weaned from the ventilator. They break that promise, and instead tell Ethan that Olivia decided their relationship couldn’t work after all that happened.

Can Ethan and Olivia find a path back to their love through the forest of lies?

Once I complete the inevitable rewrites recommended by my editor, I’ll be off and running with queries to agents and publishers. Wish me luck!

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Writing Goals

I recently subscribed to David Farland’s communications, and this one jumped out at me. Most of us talk about goal setting, but how many of us follow through? Read what Mr. Farland has to say about goals:

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How Many Story Types Are There?

Interesting perspective on what makes for a story type and what that means:

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The Comeback Challenge

How did it happen? How is it that I’ve written only about 8000 words since November 2017?

First, my litany of excuses–some valid, some unworthy.

December was, well, the holiday season! At first, I kept saying, “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…” (who can guess the source of that quote?). When Christmas came and went with nary a word put to paper (or computer), I simply shrugged. Everyone deserves a break, right? I’d get back on track in January.

And I did, sort of–at half pace. I have a monthly goal of 10,000 words. 5000 seemed better than the December nothingness.

Two weeks into January, I was crushed by my first flu experience in thirty-plus years. I lost the last two weeks of the month.

Then there were no other excuses except the lethargy of inertia. Each day I woke vowing to knock off at least a thousand words. Most days I did much less or none at all. By the end of February, I had barely 3000 words written by the time we left on a 2 week Caribbean cruise. I thought–hoped–I might be inspired while away. But there was way too many fun things to do, and it was our first cruise ever, and I just had to immerse myself in the experience.

So here I am, almost halfway through March with nada.

How does one break through the inertia? My past practice is to go back and read what I last wrote. In addition to providing opportunities for editing after being away from it, getting back into my story often gets my creative juices flowing. The truth is, I’m excited about this novel. It is, in so many ways, much stronger than my previous writing. Immersing myself in, say, the last chapter or two might get me moving.

And then, as with any worthy effort, the good intentions have to translate into:

Just Do It (2)

And I will.


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Is Human Kindness Lost?

If it is, we must find it again. Today I’m sharing a moving post from a blog called “A Bit of a Geeky Mom. It seems like people (mostly young, but all ages) communicate increasingly with their hand-held machines and are losing their ability to connect personally with others. This affects personal relationships, obviously, but also relationships in a work setting.

Read this, and then reach each out and touch someone!

via why can’t we help

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A Writer’s View of Rejection

There’s a lot to be said about rejection in the writing world.  Read David Farland’s perspective here:

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Is Writing Devalued by Giveaways and Discounts?

Jane Friedman addresses the question in her post, with a link also to her article in Publishers Weekly:



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