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July Update: Epiphanies and Magic Rum

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NCL Gem July 2015 It’s been over a month since I posted anything new to my blog and probably high time I remedy that. Thankfully, I’ve got some good news to pass along. I just got back from vacation. No, that’s not the news I’m referring to. I bet you didn’t even notice I was gone. Well, I was. I spent a relaxing week aboard the Norwegian Gem cruise ship. My biggest hope prior to departure was that nothing blog worthy would happen. I’m happy to say we neither capsized, ran aground nor lost power and were stranded for days at sea. We had beautiful, sunny weather the entire time and nothing at all untoward took place. I could go into lots more detail about the sand, the scenery, the crystal clear water, etc. But, since disaster-less vacation stories typically make for rather dull reading material, I’ll move onto other business.

I did have one major goal for the week away from my desk. In addition to some much needed R & R, I sought an epiphany and really didn’t want to come home without one. As you know, I’m nearing completion of Parlor City Paradise, my second novel. I’m very happy with the story thus far, but there’s been one piece to the puzzle I can’t seem to make fit. I know what has to happen. I just haven’t been able to figure out how to make it work.

I ran into a similar problem in the final stages of A Shot at Redemption. My lovely wife, who will soon be celebrating her 40th birthday (give or take) had read previous versions of that manuscript and was very familiar with the storyline. I explained my issue and it took her all of about ten minutes to come up with an ideal solution. Thank you, dear. But with the exception of the two brief excerpts I posted on my blog, she hasn’t read a word of Parlor City Paradise and I’ve been pretty tight-lipped about the whole thing. This time, it was going to be up to me to dig myself out of my own hole… or so I thought.

Parlor City Paradise, just to give you a little general information about the book, is set in Binghamton, New York, a once affluent area that suffered through a couple decades of serious recession during which something like 70% of all manufacturing jobs were lost. Recovery has been slow to say the very least.  Binghamton has an entirely new economic base now and there are signs of hope. However, there are also major problems with drugs, crime, poverty and the like. I don’t know much about the drug culture or the people occupying the lowest rungs on the social ladder but I am learning. The characters in Parlor City Paradise are, for the most part, losers. Some hope to improve their lot in life. Others are content to simply drift along. Still others seem bent on a path of self destruction. What happens when their lives collide? Well, that’s sort of the point of the story.

Mike & Sue Cruise July 2015    As I said, I’m almost done telling that story but I ran into a bit of a snag. I had all my conflicts but was lacking a little something when it came to resolution. Last Thursday, on the 13th deck of the Norwegian Gem, while enjoying the afternoon sunshine and an adult beverage, I gave my wife brief character sketches of all the key players along with an abridged synopsis and an even more abridged explanation of my problem. I honestly didn’t expect much. After all, I know all the characters and storylines intimately yet, despite weeks of pondering, stewing and stressing, I hadn’t found that illusive yellow brick road to take me where I knew I needed to go. Maybe I was too close to the problem. Maybe Caribbean rum has magical, mystical properties. Maybe my wife is just smarter than me. At any rate, she gave me exactly what I’d been looking for and did it in less time than it took me to find the cherry at the bottom of my glass. It’s now full steam ahead and I expect to have a completed first draft soon! And like so many of the other good things in my life, I owe it all to my beautiful bride.

 

If you like what you’ve read, please subscribe to this blog or my Turn the Page book reviews blog. You can also visit michaelsova.com, or find me on Facebook, and on Twitter @Micsova. Please pick up a copy of A SHOT AT REDEMPTION, my debut mystery novel.  

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