Apologies for the no-show last week.

Here's the thing: I'm getting married soon. We are having a very simple wedding that is deceptively complicated. It's easy to think about things in the abstract, but when it gets down to it, you have to visit the place where you want to go and talk to the people there. (Or at least I do. I'm horrid on the phone.) You have to consider apparel. (I ordered what looked like an inexpensive, what-could-go-wrong dress from Amazon. The color in real life was hideous, and it looked horrible on me. That's when I decided to follow Mike's lead and go Hawaiian for the event. As I said, it's casual.) And then there are the accessories. When Mike suggested that I wear a floral crown, I barked out “No!” as soon as the words were in the air. But then a few days later, I thought that it might actually be nice. So I should be receiving a floral crown in a few days. After the dress experience, my hopes are not high. But that's all right. I can always focus on some other sort of floral doo-dad if I so choose. Writing this down, it all seems frivolous and trivial, but it somehow has taken up a lot of mind space this past week.

In the actual writing life itself, I'm hard at work on the revision of The Sharpest Claw, the sequel to The Loudest Meow. It's actually been a really fun process where I lose track of time and I seem to know where I'm going. (Ha, ha!) It really helped when, with the feedback from my beta readers and my developmental editors, I figured out that I had several stories competing in one book. Actually, today, at breakfast, I thought of another storyline I wanted to pursue, perhaps in Book 3, and I had to stop myself and say, “I think that would actually be its own separate book.” It's quite liberating, to let stories have their own books. (Does any other writer reading this have this problem? Am I the only one?)

Finally, I had intended last week to write some thoughts on this article about how to mentor someone. In my life, I have sought out mentors because I've had so much to learn, and I wanted to learn everything. My experience goes along with what is reported in this article. I believe the best mentors are the ones that can look at your work and see your strengths and encourage you from there. Writing is challenging. It's easy to throw up your hands and say it's too hard. I've done that many times. You need a mentor who understands your work and can help you figure out how to make it bloom, knowing that over time, if you continue, you will get better. You can tackle more complex things, be able to see your faults more clearly as your writing days continue. But you need someone to see the good in you. You need intelligent cheerleading, both with your inner voice, and with the people you choose to invite in on your writing. Anyway, if this interests you, check out the link, and I will see you next week.