Monday, August 6, 2012

Sharing Is Caring

Or something like that. I’m not really one to take a cue from a giant purple dinosaur on the clichés I follow in life, but there have been a few developments around here recently that I want to let everyone know about. And I like to imagine you all enjoy reading about my mundane life – you know, that you all care.

However, just like in a book where a writer should never double reveal**, I’m feeling like most of you might know all this already because we’re friends or follow each other on other social networks. So if that’s the case, well, tough crap because I’m posting it anyway.

Yeah, I know Barney isn’t much for the cursing. Well too bad, this is my blog and I’ll share as I see fit damn it.

First major thing that happened is my husband was officially diagnosed with high blood pressure. Scary, freaking crash-cart dangerously high. He found out back in February but decided to live in denial for months until his father all but dragged him to the doctor himself. I’m not going to go into all the details, if you want to read about his / our journey with getting healthier this past month I encourage you to check out what I wrote as a Guest Poster on the EcoEtsy team blog called “Changing Our Lifestyle Choices to Improve Our Health”.

The good news about this is that Matt went back to the doctor just this morning and not only is he in much better shape than his first visit but he’s been given a lowered dose of the medication he was originally prescribed. Hooray! And it’s only been one month. And we haven’t even started exercising yet. Nor have we quit smoking. This is all due to a lowered dose of medication and diet alone. I’m proud of him, proud of us, and glad I’m going to have him around for another few healthy decades.

The most major thing that happened to me recently however no one really knows about except the few family members I’ve shared the news with in person. Through an old friend’s husband my book has been placed in circulation at the Newton Public Library in Massachusetts.

Holy shit!

Never felt that excited before, truly it was one of the coolest feelings in the world when she told me that he got authorization to purchase a copy on Amazon to place on the library shelves. And then I started thinking about how I can get more copies into libraries so I did some research…

The Newton library is part of the Minuteman Network which includes numerous locations in and around the northwest suburbs of Boston. If a person were to request my book the inter-library network could deliver to Lexington (for example) from Newton. And apparently the more people who line up to request it, take it out and return it the more copies can be purchased.

Say I know a lot of people in Lexington (per example above). If all those people requested copies from Newton be delivered to the LPL (and there’s only the one copy in current circulation) it’s pretty likely that Lexington will get authorization to purchase copies for their shelves too. And so on.

So for all my friends and family in and around Boston who have library cards for the Minuteman Network, can I ask for a huge favor? Next time you’re looking to pick up a few library books can you request Ripple the Twine as well please? Even if you’ve already read it, even if you own a copy, I’d be so very appreciative for anyone who has a chance to request it, pick it up and return it. Even if it gets returned the next day. It will really help.

In other book news…

My MS2? Yeah, I don’t know how to write out the sound effect of a raspberry while I give a double thumbs-down but that’s the general deal with that book right now. I hate it, hate the story, hate the characters and hate that I felt forced into it every time I sat down to work on it. So I kind of said to hell with convention and started MS3. I’d kicked around this idea last week and followed my gut into an entirely new world.

It’s very different from my first novel. Genre wise I mean. And I kind of don’t care. I’m over 4000 words in so far and plan to get at least another 2000 written today. I’m doing a CampNaNoWriMo so a goal is to get the 50,000 words out by August 30 but my real goal is to get the novel written. I’m guessing for a suspense I should be in the neighborhood of 75k.

And in the spirit of that I guess I need to get back to working on this new book so I have something to share with the SSWW Critique Group this Wednesday.

August. Gonna be a busy one!

**Double reveal - when the narrative shares a scene and then a character talks about the exact same thing in dialogue. It’s redundant and generally used as a device to expand word count. Seen as almost an insult to the reader, because if the story was written well to begin with they wouldn’t need to be reminded of the plot point twice. Readers aren’t idiots, they can, and do, keep up.


Karen said...

That's great news... the inter-library loans are such a help.

Anonymous said...

Awesome news about Matt, way to go! Wishing you both many, many years of health and happiness!

Also, I mean to mention this before but I'm glad you're scrapping MS2. If you're not feeling it, then move on. Raspberry sound? I usually go with pffft :P ) This new one sounds challenging; you're stepping out of your comfort zone and growing as a writer. And you'll learn a lot about the subject matter and your own writing ability. Very rewarding stuff!

Double reveals... you'll have to help me out with this when your NaNo camp is over. Let's say a character has cancer, but his girlfriend doesn't know it. If halfway through the story he reveals to her what the reader already knows, is that going to insult the reader? :)

Your book is in the Newton library? Lol... I think I passed that on the way to the Sox game last week. We were trying to find the train station so he could pahk his cah and Siri led us astray. I'm gonna blog about that soon, I promise! Anyway, congrats on your book being circulated! That's very cool news.

I'm very excited about your progress this month, and in the future. I just hope you do a better job of staying disciplined and productive than I am. I might need to take a month of from Blogger to get any writing done!

Judi FitzPatrick said...

Hooray, I'll see what "business" I can drum up through my friends via library loan as well! Very exciting news.
Love you, Mum

lettersfromlaunna said...

Jenn you definitely are a writer, you have such a flair with words. You always get a chuckle out of me for something cute or interesting that you write.

I am happy to hear that Matt is doing better, that is quite scary.

Alice said...

Congratulations three times. Sounds like everything is moving in a positive direction for you and it's rare (at least for me) to have so many things falling into place at once. I hope you reach your new MS goal!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

My jaw hit the desk! It was shocking & humbling that my old friend had my back like that. The support was is appreciated :-)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Right? He's much lower now, so much better that the doc cut the meds to something else entirely which is fantastic. I want him off them completely eventually. We should be able to maintain w/ diet & exercise. I'm not a fan of pills.

Yeah MS2 may reemerge someday but right now, meh. MS3 on the other hand, I'm feeling like I'm in the story as I'm writing it (in my imagination, you know what I mean) so I'm feeling like it was a solid choice.

Double reveal...I'm going to blog about it today (mostly because I have no clue if that's what its really called when it happens) and will answer your question there. Started here but it ended up being way too long (not that this isn't lol).

I've taken time off from my blog to write. Its a double edge for me though because blogging allows me to write in a different way/blow off steam. Its time away from an MS sure, but sometimes that's what I need. I just have to force discipline on writing the MS then!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thank you so much mum! Like I said, even if someone already has the book, has read the book, whatever, I'm not asking them to read it again (unless they want to and in that case right on!) but just help a sista out with expansion by requesting, taking out then returning :-)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks Launna, yeah it was one of those things we just couldn't ignore anymore even though we both liked to pretend we were still 24 and in perfect health. Truth is we're too young to have those problems but too old not to recognize that we could have them anyway.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks Alice! I try to keep my sometimes pessimistic attitude in check when this kind of stuff happens because of course as soon as I start thinking it couldn't go as good is when it doesn't right? Ugh! Anyway, the pieces are there but I guess its up to me to keep moving them forward now. Can someone tell me when's the part where I get to be lazy? Just for a nice it would be to be able to slack up a little!

Stephen Thomas said...

Great news about the lower blood pressure. I recently went gluten/dairy/soy/corn/rice free and have never felt better in my life; I didn't have high blood pressure, but friends who did have also seen results form gluten/dairy free. Might want to check that out as well!

Almost Precious said...

Glad to hear that Matt is getting his blood pressure under control. It is always a good sign when the doctor can cut back on the meds. Bet that exercising and quitting with the coffin nails will also bring it down considerably.

Great to hear that your novel is now in a public library, for some reason that really makes it official that Jenn Flynn-Shon is a well-known, recognized author. :)

As for MS2, I think it is like arts and crafts. Sometimes a project just doesn't come together and you get disgusted with it. I've put jewelry projects in my "To Take Apart" or "Trash" drawer and then went back years later to find that I suddenly had a fresh perspective on the piece. Removed some elements, added a few different colors of beads, reworked it and - voila - it transformed into something I would never have thought possible. Maybe MS2 just needs some time and space, you may find that its bones are good it just needs some cosmetic surgery. :)