I spent a good part of the morning working on my upcoming speech for the VC winter residency:
You like me! You really like me!"--Protagonist Likeability: Does it matter? Why or why not? How to achieve it? And what to do when it's (hopefully) not possible.
I've got a good outline that addresses the major points, and I'm planning on finding examples from various books that illustrate those points. I'm going to talk it over with GLS tonight after dinner and then maybe throw out some questions for insights from the CB (collective brain), especially to those authors whose books I plan to feature.
Then I took a few hours to fiddle with the plot for my WIP. I had a couple of epiphanies, including one that came with that much-treasured, yet always elusive I'm-a-genius-the-best-writer-ever-the-world-should-bow-before-me glee. I also picked out a name for a backstory character who dies before the novel begins. Sometimes, names just come to me, but this one I had to ponder a bit. It needed to be a name that would fit a child of a certain age, certain generation, so I did a little research on popular names and one just popped out at me, based on the thematic fit.
I made the mistake of jumping from my writing onto the treadmill without a pen and Post-It notes, so once the blood was pumping and the ideas were popping, I had to either get off (thus lowering my heart rate) or chant code words so I could remember the concepts. I elected for the latter: "solstice, angel, photo archive, therapy." It worked! I was able to keep them all in my mind for the 45 minutes until I jumped off.
What else? I got a lovely query from someone interested in reprinting "A Real-Live Blond Cherokee and His Equally Annoyed Soul Mate," which appears this fall in Moccasin Thunder: American Indian Stories for Today, edited by Lori M. Carlson (HarperCollins, 2005). She seemed to really *get* it, which is always so validating. I referred her to my agent.