The Next Chapter

I’ve packed The Twin Jinn and the Alchemy Machine into two mailing envelopes that sit on the sill of the large picture window in front of my desk. This is the second in the Twin Jinn series, for middle grade readers and beyond. I’ve finished an almost-there draft and will give it a rest for a month.

I am now working on The Swanson Shuffle, adult fiction inspired by my experience living and working in a psychiatric house. I was at the 200-page mark for the Shuffle in April when I stored it in mailing envelopes and went back to the second The Twin Jinn after a two-month reprieve.

I like giving a novel or short story a good rest. I see things I didn’t when I was busy writing the first time. Sometimes I even surprise myself.

So for the past couple of weeks I’ve been going chapter by chapter in the Swanson Shuffle, marking the hard copies in red and then making changes in the computer. Saturday, I finished chapter ten. Today I start a brand new chapter, eleven. I am three pages into it. I hope I can at least get 50 pages written before I put Shuffle aside.

About the view from my window. I can see the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the sage-filled mesa and a bit of the Rio Pueblo’s rift. We have a few houses in our neighborhood. Now that it is monsoon season, dark clouds fill the sky and there’s chain lightning near the volcanic-plug mountains on the horizon. Here’s a glimpse. I somehow manage not to get too distracted by the view.


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