Friday, August 6, 2010

This is Called Accretion

When I was fifteen my family took a trip to Europe. Strangely enough, no one thought to pack any books, so I still remember wandering into a bookstore in London to rustle up reading material. (My memory puts the bookstore near Westminster Abbey, if not actually in the Abbey gift shop, but more likely we had just come from there.) And in this bookstore, I found Pamela Kaufman's Shield of Three Lions, a delightful historical fiction romp set in the Middle Ages, where young Alix Wanthwaite (girl) cross-dresses as Alex Wanthwaite (boy) to pursue the king and get him to return her estate to her. Along the way she takes up with jongleurs, Crusaders, and even Richard the Lion-Heart. Just writing about it makes me want to pick it off the shelf and read it again.

In any case, I remember waiting and waiting for Pamela Kaufman to write another book. Waiting and waiting and waiting. And then waiting some more. What on earth could the woman be doing? Her first book had been an enormous bestseller--shouldn't it have allowed her to quit her day job so she could sit at the typewriter all day?

She did eventually write several more books, years later, but considering the summer I've had, I begin to understand her long hiatus. Life got in the way! Since the children got out of school I've only managed one page (on a new book where I haven't even figured out the plot) and one revised chapter on the in-vitro twins. Sheesh. There have been trips and swim meets and children bugging me and houseguests. I've only managed to keep up with my UrbanFarmJunkie duties because I get paid for that, for Pete's sake.

But I like to think I'm still working. I'm just in the idea-gathering and gestation phase. Something about a genealogist. Another about a girl's encounter with saints--but should that be combined with a story about a pushy Hollywoodish mom? Scenes in Rome. A book about Joanie.

One thing is clear: I have to decide what to do about all these future books. It would really help if you all ran out and got a Kindle or iPad or just took to reading on your phones. Then I could just put out book after book electronically. But in the meantime I need money and garage space, so it's just as well that I don't have time to write. Besides, any $ and garage space clearing up from MBC and TLD sales is now earmarked for Mia and the Magic Cupcakes. Yikes.

Sorry for the rambling post! Run out and get your hands on Kaufman's book if you need an interim beach read. XO.

1 comment:

  1. I read Shield of Three Lions last summer on your recommendation. It was a little more grisly than I was expecting. I would probably not have characterized it as a delightful romp. I did find it thoroughly entertaining, though.

    I was assigned the first third of the first volume of William Manchester's biography of Churchill in college and was so riveted that I finished the rest of the lengthy volume. I read the second volume a couple years later which ended just as WWII started. Then, to my great disappointment, I realized that Manchester had not yet written the final volume. I waited hopefully for years but eventually found out that Manchester had died without finishing the series. What a bummer!

    I hope you'll have many more fruitful years of writing ahead of you. My Kindle is ready for anything you throw out there! I'm sure you'll be right back on track as soon as your kids are back in school. I know I'm sure getting nothing done right now.