Friday, August 06, 2010

New Beginnings

by Jennie Bentley/Bente Gallagher

So it's August. Back at the beginning of June, it seemed like it would never really come. Just like when I was a kid, and summer vacation stretched out in front of me forever. Or so it seemed.

But all good things must come to an end, right? And in just over a week, it's time for school to start again. The kids aren't much looking forward to it, but I am. I mean, I love them and all... but they're wreaking havoc with my writing schedule. I have to deliver DIY-5, FLIPPING OUT! to my editor by September 1st, and with two kids underfoot all summer, it hasn't been easy finishing the manuscript.

As a child, I always looked forward to the beginning of school. I looked forward to summer vacation, too, but by August, I was ready to see my friends and get back to a regular schedule and have normal life start up again.

To some people, New Years Eve is the beginning of the year. That's the time to make resolutions and changes.

To me, autumn has always been about new beginnings. New friends, new crushes, new teachers, new school every few years...

If we haven't picked a suggested and optional topic for the month of August yet, I'd like to propose that one. New beginnings. And if nobody minds, I'll start.

Two very exciting new things coming up for me a little later this fall: we're trying to buy a condo in Florida - just about five miles from the wonderful Nancy Haddock, whom I adore - and if things work out, we're thinking of possibly making a move down there in the next six months or so. With kids and school and DH's work and other considerations, it's all still very much up in the air, but we're thinking and talking  and praying hard. We've moved ten or twelve times in the past fifteen years, but all within Nashville; this would be the first city-to-city move since we left New York back in the early 1990s. It's scary, but exciting too.

The other new thing is a switch in focus for my writing. After I deliver DIY-5 to my editor on September 1, I'm once again contract-less. I have at least one, maybe two books to write for the Savannah Martin series, to finish the story arc, but I write those on my own time and ship them to the publisher when they're done. Book 2 is under contract and will be released next summer. Book 3 is finished, and will be coming in 2012, assuming the publisher likes it and wants to keep the series going. I'm ahead of the game by at least a year there. So between September 1 and the release of DIY-4, Mortar and Murder, in January, I plan to write something new. Something different. Something exciting.

To kickstart my new direction, I'm taking an online class right now in writing romantic suspense, and the first weekend of October, I'll be driving up to Columbus, Ohio, for the Central Ohio Fiction Writers Conference, Write from the Heart, to listen to people like Suzanne Brockmann and our buddy CJ Lyons talk about writing romantic thrillers. 

(CJ just won a Daphne award this past weekend, by the way. In case some of you hadn't heard. Be sure to congratulate her.)

So that's my big news, and my new beginning. Feel free to take the rest of the month to talk about yours.

Till next time!


Joyce said...

New beginnings is a great idea for August.

I always loved going back to school. All the new notebooks and pens. And clothes. I adore fall clothing. There's not much better than wearing a new sweater for the first time.

Joyce said...

My last sentence isn't grammatically correct, but you know what I mean.

PatREmick said...

I'm going to try to wrap my head around this post because for me, September means, oh crap, I still haven't finished that novel to the level I want and the year is endign soon. Time to change my perspective, I guess.

Laurissa said...

Jennie, good luck with all of your new beginnings. You certainly have enough going on in your life right now.

I'm with you as far as feeling that the beginning of the school year is the start of a new year. I've never quite felt that way on the actual New Year's.

I feel very motivated to get things done in September and always excited about what lies ahead. I like the change in the weather that September brings (at least in Ohio) and autumn is my favorite season.

Linda Leszczuk said...

It's all about new beginnings for me this year. After decades of squeezing my writing in and around work, family and whatever, I'm getting downsized into early retirement and finally taking a full time shot at getting published.

Jennie Bentley said...

I knew exactly what you meant, Joyce! And yeah, new notebooks were definitely beautiful things!

PatR - sorry to upset your equilibrium. But if you change your perspective to 'the new year is just beginning,' then look at all the time you have!

Laurissa - thank you, darling! I knew there were other people out there who felt like me!

Congratulations, Linda! (Although maybe getting downsized into early retirement isn't cause for celebration? Still, time to write! Have a wonderful time with it!)

Patg said...

I always loved summer, there was never enough of it to suit me, so when I started traveling and I could actually fly in winter to the sun--well, that was heaven. But now, I find autumn really is the beginning of all the fun. All those holidays with their different decorations and meal plans, and an over all autumn style if ghosts and turkeys don't suit. It's really a kick off to a lot of fun activity.
Jenny, good luck with all your books, and the new condo.

Nancy said...

Bente/ Jennie! Woohoo, I happened to see your note on FB. Still have my digits crossed that the move comes thru, but whatever is for the highest and best good is my true intent.

You know I love your Fatal Fixer-Upper series, but I'm thrilled that you're branching out. It's so vital to keep those juices flowing!

I also love fall, party because of the school issue. I found that thrill of a new school year both as a student and as a teacher. Then, too, I have that sense of renewal at every new season - even winter. (Well, what we have of it in Florida. :))

Happy TGIF, and here's to us sharing beach time soon!


Jennie Bentley said...

Thanks, PatG. Definitely see your point re the holidays coming up. And Nancy... I can't wait! Fingers crossed! xoxo

Gina said...

For many years, I thought of September as a new beginning, but ever since my house burned down on the night of June 30, 1994, I've thought of July 1 as the start of a new year. Funny how major life events can change your perspective like that.

Jennie Bentley said...

Yowch. Yeah, I can see how that would do it...