May 13, 2011

Too Uptight to Write

by Tanya Parker Mills

You know that feeling you get when you're back from a terrific writer's conference, bursting with new ideas, suggestions, and directions to pursue and, on top of that, have just mailed off the query to the agent you pitched at the conference and you aren't sure if you shouldn't tweak your manuscript one more time in case she wants it...AND your only daughter is about to go on a special date (of course, they're all special when you think she's with the right guy) with a young man who seems to be getting rather serious? You know that feeling?

Yes, I'm pretty uptight today. I'd like to dive into my next story but which one should it be? The one I'd started planning set in Beirut about a dysfunctional American expat family that finally begins to come together as the city begins to fall apart in civil war in the mid-1970's? (If you were at the conference in Becca Stumpf's presentation, that would make it historical fiction, I think...I'm really getting old!) Or the definitely historical truth-based piece about a young woman in 17th century Milan, Italy who ends up in a convent and becoming a well-known composer (though I'm planning on adding a decidedly fictional romance into the mix)? Or one of the three speculative fiction ideas that recently hit me--one an historical speculative involving Shakespeare, and the two others dystopian (one of which involves a colony of artists, writers, and actors)?

Help! I'd like your votes. Which pulls at you the most, if any? I need to do something to keep my mind off the agent and my daughter's situation.


  1. I vote for the gal in Milan, Italy. I'm a sucker for Italy. :)

  2. Wow, I can see why you are having trouble deciding, so much interesting stuff to work with! I wouldn't dive into the Shakespeare just now, as the film Anonymous is coming out in September and might render what you are writing moot.
    And I agree with Bonnie, the Milan story sounds great!

  3. You already know my vote: Beruit. Way topical and you have a view that can't be obtained through research alone.

  4. I vote for Italy, but I think you should do whatever your heart calls for you to do. It is not about us, it is about you!!

  5. I agree go where your heart leads.
    I think you have a unique ability to do the Beruit story so I would think you could win more awards but just off the top of my head I am more in the mood for the Italy or the speculative dystopian.

  6. I go for Beruit. And I agree with Liz. First-hand knowledge is far superior to 'book learning' any day, to make a story really believable. But then, I'm a lazy researcher, and therefore biased.

  7. I'm late to the group but I'm with Beirut. It's all over the new right now.


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