It is a New Year, and I do have News!

After almost three years from inspiration and research to actual writing, I have finished five edits and revisions of Plot Diana. This is the story set in 1943 Southern Italy with Vittorio Celle, and Diana Richmane as lead characters Maestro & Movie Star, respectively. At the heart of this story is World War II and its effect on Vittorio, Diana, and others in their midst. I have put it aside, knowing there will be more to do as I get feedback from a handful of personally selected readers, and as surprising ideas pop my own brain!

The News is that I am, after several fits and starts, blocks and uncertainties, deep in the heart of developing Plot Constance. This is the parallel story set in 1994 Northern California and Northern New Mexico with Constance Whitney Allcourt and Roswell Blayne as leading characters. At the heart of this story is a painting that Constance discovers quite by chance and natural disaster. Roswell Blayne is the man she turns to for help. That is really all I want to tell you for it is a mystery, and that by definition is secret or unknown.

Much of what I have been doing recently is developing character for Plot Constance. Elizabeth George, my excellent mentor, writes in her book Write Away, One Novelist's Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life, that fully developing each character who appears in my story is essential. That, in fact, character is story. And believe me, you haven't lived until you have developed someone else's character. It is really fun! Usually I know which characters I will like and which I won't before I begin developing, but only yesterday in Plot Constance I finished developing a male character that I didn't like at all when I thought of himóbut hah! As I wrote more and more about this man, I realized I liked him quite a lot. How surprising! This person now is very different than he was when my imagination initially conjured him up. That is the joy of writingÖor, I should say that is the joy of free writingóletting the character flow through me as he is, not as I thought I wanted him to be.

Happy New Year to all of you!

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