I met my goal, and as of Thursday night, Draft 1 of my mystery is complete. It came in at close to 96K, which is long. But it's done, and I am very pleased with the storyboard tracking method I used.
I ended up with 32 chapters, which just so happens to be the number of squares on my board. I didn't really plan it that way; that's just how I'd originally set up the board based on space available. Whether I'll consolidate chapters on edits, or simply tighten things remains to be seen.
My idea board isn't empty. I had a good number of thoughts stuck up there that weren't needed. If I'd been outlining, I fear I might have tried to hard to incorporate everything. This way, I can just toss the leftovers away.
And how does it feel to be finished? Strange not to have something to work on. Friday seemed to have many more hours than a typical day. I did spend time working on handouts and the like for Saturday's book signing, but there's this hole where my characters used to be. I'll be rejoining them soon enough for edits, but I intentionally didn't even open the document all weekend.
Saturday's book-signing went very well, although the day began with a bit of a jolt. Since the signing wasn't until early afternoon, I planned on a leisurely morning. When we got a phone call from a Realtor wanting to show the house in 2 hours, things moved into frenzy mode. There wouldn't be time to leave for the time window he wanted to bring his buyers by and come back before leaving for the signing. Hubby was off fishing, but didn't expect to be gone long. Still, one never really knows what "not long" means.
I hadn't even showered yet, done the breakfast dishes, or packed the car with my signing stuff. We'd had fish for dinner Friday night, so I popped some chocolate chip cookie dough (thank goodness for those pre-made little squares) into the oven (better it should smell like chocolate, not fish) and rushed to make myself presentable before starting on the house cleanup.
Hubby got home, showered and got dressed. Then the Realtor called. His buyers had decided they loved one of the other houses they'd seen first, so they wouldn't be coming by. (Mental question – if I hadn't requested we be last on his route, would they have fallen in love with our house? Not worth worrying about. My rationale: if our house was "close" in meeting their criteria, they'd probably have wanted to see it just to be sure they'd found the right one.) I think that's the only time I've been relieved at a no-show. And ever so thankful that Realtor was one of the courteous ones. I'd have thrown lightning bolts had we done all that work for a no-show.
So, we got to relax a bit and leave for the signing in a more organized fashion. Check my website for more pictures. The Adult Literacy League is the real winner, because they'll get a donation of 20% of the book sales. I met some folks who "know" me from my blog, and a couple of Facebook friends as well. I even ran into a couple of people from my original critique group.
Many people had no clue we were the authors of the books, and looked at us differently once they knew we weren't bookstore employees. One gentleman wanted to know why all these women writers wrote about romance. We pointed out that everyone there was a member of a romance writer's organization, which was why all the books were romances. We were "interviewed" by students whose teacher gave extra credit to anyone coming to the signing.
Have you gone to book signings? Have you wandered into a bookstore and an author sat there with a stack of books? Are you one of those people who avoids eye contact and looks for an alternate route to wherever you were going? Don't be. We love to chat. We know we're not going to sell everyone a book. But maybe you know someone who is looking for the kind of books we write. Take a bookmark, pass it along. It means a lot. So far, I've never been bold enough to request a solo book signing, and this event was massive as signings go, so we had a lot of people wandering around the circle of tables. And I did sell some books. At least a couple of copies of all my titles.
Tomorrow, mystery author Elizabeth Spann Craig is going to explain how she uses Twitter. I'm interested, because so far, I haven't grasped its value. The entire social networking thing confuses me, although I do participate to some degree. However, there are days when I agree with Garry Trudeau and Doonesbury in his Nov. 9th strip.