Site icon Joanna Campbell Slan

Mask or Raid: Kiki Lowenstein Mystery #17

As if this writing, I’m 9,000-words into Mask or Raid: Kiki Lowenstein Mystery #17. There’s an outline done already, so that’s good. I have a strong sense of how this particular book starts, so I’m feeling confident as I write. Zinging right along. However, like all my books, I’m sure this one will present its own particular snags and problems. That’s the nature of the beast.

We have the cover already, and that’s good news. I always feel like a book is more real when I see the cover art. Sometimes I write “to the cover,” and other times I ask the designer to tweak the cover to the book. In this case, there’s a bird with a nest on the cover, and I plan to weave in a similar theme/situation in the book. On occasion, these strands might be too subtle for readers to notice, but I know what’s there behind the curtains, and the theme helps me build a coherent narrative.

There’s a timing issue that I’ll have to research and plot out. Actually, there are two issues that involve timing. When I have timing concerns, I often print up a calendar and write notes on the dates. However, these situations evolve over years, not months, so that might mean I’ll need to make a chart. I find it useful to go to analog (paper and pen) when I’m working through a hiccup. For some strange reason, the tactile tools ground me and help me think. Over time I’ve decided to adopt a motto: Whatever works! Whether that’s an online plotting program supplemented by a print-out or a huge sheet of paper with sticky notes or a chart. It’s all about working through the puzzle of information, fitting pieces together, and purposefully leaving out a few tidbits so that the reader has to dig for clues.

I also have a tightrope to walk with this book. I don’t want to get too “woo-woo” with the story, but I definitely want a paranormal shadow to fall over the tale. Fortunately, I can rely on Clancy, who is adamantly opposed to anything “spooky.” Clancy will keep Kiki from tipping too far into the weird.

Crafting-wise, I’ve been working on a Santos Cage doll. The struts that link the doll to the base are driving me batty. I guess I’m too impatient. I don’t seem to be able to get any glue to set. After chasing E-6000 drips and hot glue streamers and wood glue clumps, I’ve decided to borrow my husband’s drill and try another direction. Seriously, this is ticking me off. Until I get my doll’s cage done, I can’t move ahead with her dress. I have a little trim to add to her wings and halo, but I can’t add the wings or halo until I have the dress done. I feel like a dog chasing its tail.

But I will persist! I always do!

Joanna/ January 2023

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