With apologies to Robert Burns, plans change. Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn—and so do the stories I write. The beginning and end of The Price of Glory have been clear to me, but the middle—as is often the case—has been murky. I woke up this past week with a harsh light shining on the my middle plot, and realized there are some things I need to rethink, deepen, expand, or change entirely. The rampant colonialism of the 19th century may be too complex a subject to handle deftly in a romance novel.
I may have come to this point on my own, but a fierce and contentious discussion that exploded among members of Romance Writers of America contributed to the light bulb. Enlightenment is a good thing, but my poor story is languishing in the meantime. I’ve decided to step away from The Price of Glory for a while and concentrate on other projects. I have stories to tell; I just want them to be the right stories.
Some of the Bluestocking Belles and I began brainstorming parameters for a new collection of stories last week, and I’m rethinking a historical novel that has weighed on my heart for a few years.
This morning, however, I plan to return to work on a novel in three parts tentatively entitled Christmas Hope. If you read the Bluestocking Belles’ box sets the past few years, you will have met Harry Wheatly, my Canadian soldier struggling to survive World War I body and soul. “Roses in Picardy,” included in Never Too Late ends on Christmas 1916, with Harry and his love happy-for-now. “The Last Post,” included in Follow Your Star Home, ends on Christmas 1919, when they are happy at last. In between they suffered two more years of war, separation, and struggle.
What kept Harry going? That part remains to be told, and then I will edit the three parts into a single coherent whole. I’m working on it. But first? Coffee.