Sunday, November 8, 2009

So, wait, are you telling me women can't write?

So PW's Best Books of 2009 included no women. Fancy that.

At She Writes, there's a nifty piece about why this is more of the same old tired mindset. You know the drill: Women don't write BIG books, only men do. Women write domestic dramas (Hello? Jonathan Franzen and The Corrections ring a bell? He was touted for what women have been doing for centuries.) Must we women take on men's names like George Elliot to be appreciated? ( Carl Leavitt doesn't suit me.)

Sigh and alas.

Quickly changing the subject, I'm deep into new novel rituals with The Missing Ones. Maybe it's because it takes me three or 4 years to write a novel, but I almost always start a new project with a shiny new computer! This time, it's my beloved Mac (after three Dells all broke down at the same time in my household, and we were all told to reinstall Windows, and no, they didn't fix the problem, we trooped to the Apple store.) But there are other rituals I love.

1. Photographs. I like to have my characters watching me so I go into photo files and find pictures of normal (not models) looking people and post them up. This takes a long time and is usually on a "I'll know it when I see it" basis.
2. Outlines, charts, graphs, synopsis--that I redo, throw out, redo, tear up, ignore and cling to passionately at the same time.
3. New pens. I want them. I need them. I have to have them.

What makes this even more important is that I need the focus and passion of something new to work on because my novel, Pictures of You, is coming out from Algonquin in 2010, which means PR will start about March, six months before the novel even come out. I need another world to get lost in!


Carol said...

Your process - new computer, pens...I can relate.

io saturnalia! said...

Insane. In the 19th century, besides Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe was *the* most popular novelist (or at least had written the most popular novel besides "Huckleberry Finn." What the hell happened to America?