Is It that Time Already?


My picture from our trip to Cleveland. My heroine, Susan, lives in the apartment above these stores in Little Italy.

So, we’re less than a week away from the start of Camp NaNoWriMo, and everything is sneaking up on me. I’m still not entirely sure what exactly I’ll be doing. I’ll definitely put some time in on the contemporary novel I started for J’s birthday, The Sorrow Thereof, and I might get back to the latest Oleg Omdahl. Whether or not there is a fanfic component of this Camp will probably depend on whether or not a friend I’ve decided to co-write a story with wants to get started on it in July. (Co-writing with someone other than J should be an interesting experience! I’ll report back.)

But while I’m here, it just dawned on me that I haven’t really said anything about The Sorrow Thereof. Perhaps I should quickly. It focuses on a single character, Susan, trying to put her life back together after her divorce from the husband she loves quite a lot, Randel. The story focuses on her attempt to become a better person and live with the guilt of her past, and just maybe, find a little happiness at the end of the day. I don’t know. Crappy elevator pitch, but it’s what I’ve got for now. On the bright side, I should be able to start adding more great details to her life. As I mentioned about a month back, part of the story takes place in Cleveland, but the rest of it is set in Chapel Hill. Our dear friend who currently lives in Chapel Hill is going to be visiting soon, and I can’t wait to harass her endlessly with questions.

And other than that, I’m just trying to figure out where my weekend went. And finish up Gone with the Wind, which we really might have to write a goodly amount about at some point. At any rate, we will pop in when we can with Camp updates.



Research Findings

sorrow thereof collage

S’s pics from research trip to Cleveland. Clockwise from top left: The Cuyahoga River; ex-hubby’s apartment building on St. Clair; boss’s apartment building in the Flats; heroine’s apartment above shops in Little Italy; heroine’s grocery in Little Italy.


For anyone who doesn’t follow us on Twitter, I just wanted to stop in and report that our trip to Cleveland was wonderfully productive. We found an apartment we think would be suitable for my heroine, rode the train to where she works, figured out where her ex-husband lives, where her boss lives, and what her favorite walk is along the Cuyahoga River. We bought a bottle of wine at the local grocery where she shops, ate what is surely her favorite pizza, and decided the coffee house down the street is way too hipster for her. In other words, it was genuinely helpful, and I think my novel will be better for the trip.



Road Trip


The fantastic Cleveland skyline.

While J is between semesters, I’ve taken a week off work, and we’ve been doing a lot of writing. With both of our birthdays quickly approaching, we’re frantically trying to finish up presents for one another, hence our absence on Sunday. J, as always, is writing at an impressive clip, but in order to write my novel, we’re thinking of taking a road trip.

I’m trying something different for J’s present. It’s not fantasy and it’s modern. (This doesn’t frighten me too much. I may also be lying about that.) A big chunk of the story is going to take place in Cleveland, because I figured if I need it to take place in any American city other than New York, why not one I’ve been to and can visit anytime I want? The visiting part is actually kind of important to me, because while there’s a lot you can figure out about a modern city simply by looking online, I’d much rather scout locations. We already have potential spots picked out for my heroine’s apartment, place of work, as well as where some other characters live and spend their time. But I think it will add some authenticity if I literally ride the train from my heroine’s apartment to where she works, and walk around the neighborhood where she does her shopping.

There are certain to be lots of pics, and we will share them here. Also, keep an eye on our Twitter (@jsmawdsley), because we may be posting pictures there as well. Wish us luck!