After a walk at the park this morning, plus a detour to walk by the lake this afternoon, I dug into my new project. I’m partnering with Casey Cooper, who did the flowers for Oprah’s surprise birthday show and the Oprah million-dollar wedding show, on a new book about defining your bridal style. After 28 wedding books, I thought I had tapped out the market, but this is truly new and original, all about getting brides and grooms to think about their favorite places, songs, fabrics, colors and memories to bring those things into the wedding. As I’m writing this, I’m thinking, “Wow, I really need to get more plants for my house” and “Hey, I’m in the mood for mango salsa on my salmon.” So if I can stay focused while it’s over 60 outside and begging me for iced tea at the lake as a diversion, I’ll finish two chapters today. Not bad.
And no, didn’t get to see American Idol. Preferred the stimulating conversation of J.
I’m reading everything by Jodi Picoult now that my very stylish and very fun book club chose ‘Vanishing Acts’ for this month’s read. I’ve long been an ‘everything by Barbara Kingsolver’ kind of person, but I’m in the Picoult Camp now. She’s a writer whose style I envy…phrases just stay with me much like they did with ‘Lovely Bones’ and you’re disappointed to get to the last page and have to part ways with such amazing characters. I’m just starting in fiction, and while my orange-throwing, feng shui-obsessed bridesmaid is a hit with book clubs and in fan letters, I still feel like I have more growing to do as a novelist. Right now, I’m working on a new novel that includes the letters my great-uncles sent home from World War 2 (amazing story — all four brothers went, their seven sisters awaited, all four came home safely). These were amazing men; they were like grandfathers to me, especially my Uncle Augie whose picture sits on my TV console next to my grandmother’s. I’m sure we romanticize them in the family, make them mythic heroes, but they truly don’t make ’em like that anymore. So I’ve captured their letters for this novel and the plot is marinating. It’s a departure from chick lit, leaning more toward Picoult-style, a new atmosphere. So of course, I’ve taken a big interest in avoiding it, cleaning out my cabinets and going for walks at the lake. Inspiration always comes at night for some reason, just as I’m falling asleep, so I’m back up and legs curled in on my couch, scribbling out dialogue and scent and silhouettes and scenery, the feel of a crisp letter from the 1940s, the exact brown of an old coffee stain on parchment. My flashbacks are set…but the present-day plot hasn’t come to me yet. It will…
And in other news, my living room is filled with cases of books. I’ll be appearing at the 4pm Wedding Salon in NYC in April and we’re giving away 300 copies of my books. Each one autographed. So on the next rainy day, out comes the Sharpie….