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Coats, Vagina Candles and Revisions
Another week down and every person I talk to has the same response when I ask how they’re doing.
“Hanging on by a thread.”
Yes, we have a new president and a new vice president. And that certainly helps! But back in my little isolated home, I am not only dealing with children who need me more than ever, but a book deadline.
I’m so excited about this new book I’m writing and I wish that I had more hours of the day to sink into it. If I haven’t told you, the new book is about cheerleaders, friendship breakups, co-dependency and oh, yes… murder. Writing a thriller is hard and one of the notes that my editor gave me on this round was to “make it so the mystery carries more weight.”
It is, after all, a murder mystery, disguised as a cheerleader, Heathers-inspired, friendship breakup story.
Obviously we can’t wave a magic wand and say “SUSPENSE!” Happen now! But in a way, I have to do that to make sure the second half leaves you peeling each page of the book. So that you’re dying (ha ha) to see what happens.
At the same time, I don’t want to get too hung up on the “who done it” part of the story. So I’m going to sit with this quote that I stumbled across from Megan Abbott about mood.
“Mood is creating a feeling in the reader,” Abbott says. “You can destabilize or unsettle the reader with shifts in mood.” She adds that making decisions about what the reader sees is key, because this vital weapon in your arsenal can transport the reader to a dark place.
In my story, the mood is the unnerving friendship between the girls. It’s the uncertainty you feel when you don’t know where you stand with your friend. When you feel that there’s been a fissure, but you don’t know how to escape it. Maybe you even think your friend is a murderer.
If I can stick with the mood, I’ll find the answers.
TUESDAY, JAN 26 at 6pm EST: LIVE INSTAGRAM EVENT!
I’m so excited about this IG event with Me Too Many Voices on Tuesday. Our chat will be about reclaiming your voice through writing and storytelling.
Me Too Many voices is a trauma educator and victim advocate who I met through Instagram. I’ve bought many of her consent and survivor stickers and note cards in the past year. If you picked up a copy of my book at a local book store here in NJ or NY, I slipped a few of her stickers between the pages.
If you’re just looking to come to a good discussion about writing and how to get your story down on the page, please come join us. I’m really excited about this one.
Goop Translations: Exploding Vagina Candle
GOOP: A vagina-scented candle by Gwyneth Paltrow exploded into flames causing an “inferno” in a woman’s living room.
“The candle exploded and emitted huge flames, with bits flying everywhere," the woman said. "I’ve never seen anything like it. The whole thing was ablaze and it was too hot to touch. There was an inferno in the room.”
GOOP TRANSLATION: Are you at all surprised that the vagina candle I made explodes? Please. Of course it explodes, honey.
What I’m reading, watching, looking forward to reading:
Call Your Agent, Netflix
Search Party, HBO MAX
Pretend It’s a City, Netflix
The Project, by Courtney Summers (pre-order)
Milkfed, by Melissa Broder (pre-order)
Bunny, Mona Awad (this is my second read)
A Children’s Bible, by Lydia Millet