Maggie Robinson

Jan 1
Paradise Found

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. ~T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding

I had another post planned altogether —a kind of pro-list, anti-resolution thing, which will go up a bit later in the week. But I want to share my elation with you that I finished the first draft of my Regency Noir manuscript, Paradise (Thanks Anna Campbell and Stephanie Laurens for the new genre name).

Elation is probably too strong a word. I used to feel it and think I was actually finished when I wrote The End. I completed two books that way, both of which were written before I knew a thing about GMC ( I’m not talking trucks), backstory or POV. It’s only been this past year where craft has come to my attention. Something must have sunk in, because it wasn’t too painful to revise Third-Rate Romance. I knew when I finished it in the spring that I would be revising in the summer. Okay, early fall, just in time for the full manuscript request. I am cautiously optimistic that those books- under- the- bed can also be fixed with a little torture and time. One of them just finaled in a contest (the first 10 pages are great, LOL!). I specialize in “starting and stopping” (for proof, just see the blog Begin As You Mean To Go On to the right). The books-under-the-bed may be flawed but at least they’re finished.

I’ll tell you what I really hate, though: query letters and synopses. No matter how many helpful articles I read, I just want to poke my eye out with a quill pen. Paradise (the book) will be hard to describe. If I ever get to Paradise (the Milton kind), I’ll try to send a message back to you.

So, I’m going to let Paradise percolate a while before I slice it and dice it. Maybe work on the several things that have been put on the back burner. Why I have these kitchen references, I don’t know, since I’m pretty much sick of cooking. But I’m not sick of writing.

Thanks to all of you who joined in the crazy fun celebrating the first anniversary of MRMR. You may alarm, but you never disappoint. Where else can I find people to talk to about angels’ nipples, lizard kisses and cheesy motels? Congratulations, Santa ! You are the hopefully hangover-free winner! E-mail with your address.

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. ~Oprah Winfrey

14 comments to “Paradise Found”

  1. Santa
     · January 2nd, 2008 at 12:04 am · Link

    LOL, Maggie! I was just happily reading along then BAM I learn I won! ‘Natch, I’m tickled and, just for the record, I did not bring up the angel nipples.

    Congrats on finishing Paradise. I hope you get to keep that fab first line where it is. Talk about your hooks.

    Enjoy your time away from it. And when you’ve figured out how to do that synopsis thing, do share your pearls of wisdom.

  2. irisheyes
     · January 2nd, 2008 at 12:50 am · Link

    Maggie, Woo Hoo!!!!! Congrats! You go girl!!!

    I’m not big on the whole New Year’s Resolution thing, either. I don’t need to add more guilt for things I’m going to fail at. I know, I know… a defeatest attitude. I say realistic! LOL

    I do however get a little extra energy/enthusiasm every year right around the time I’m putting away all the Xmas decorations. I’m going to try to grab that wonderful feeling of putting things away and throwing things out and try to make it last a couple of weeks and see what I come up with!

    Congrats, Santa. Isn’t it fun to be a winner. I’ve won more things in the past year thanks to all the ladies on these great sites it’s unbelievable. It’s enough to take the wind out of my “I never win anything” whine!

  3. TiffinaC
     · January 2nd, 2008 at 7:56 am · Link

    Finally! You did do it! You know I love paradise 😀 I can’t wait to see the transformation of this first draft into the final product that we will see on the shelves at bookstores!

  4. TiffinaC
     · January 2nd, 2008 at 7:57 am · Link

    And and Irish… I totally forgot to put my decorations away yesterday… we wait for Jan 1…in fear of bad luck for the new year if we take down the tree early! I so knew there was something I was supposed to be doing yesterday! LOL

  5. Elyssa Papa
     · January 2nd, 2008 at 11:46 am · Link

    Congrats, Maggie! I, too, loved Paradise and can’t wait to read it again (hint, hint). Hate queries as you know and synopsis but let me know if I can be of any help…

    No resolutions really… I mean isn’t it cliched to say lose weight each year? LOL.

    And congrats Santa for winning!

  6. Maggie Robinson
     · January 2nd, 2008 at 7:08 pm · Link

    Ely, thanks for the offer. I’ll need all the help I can get. Rest assured you and Tiff will get the finished product when it’s polished.

    Santa, send me your address!

    Irish, I took my Christmas stuff down the other day. I hate to do it, and I didn’t even have much out this year. My snowmen are still in the living room though as there’s plenty of snow outside!

  7. RevMelinda
     · January 2nd, 2008 at 11:26 pm · Link

    Congratulations, Maggie! I love the bit from Paradise you’ve posted on your blog, and I can’t wait to read the whole thing. Regency Noir is The Next Big Thing, I think, so you’re right on trend.

    And our decorations are still up. TECHNICALLY, you see, Christmas begins on Dec 25 but doesn’t end until Jan 6, Epiphany. So ever since seminary I’ve made a HUGE POINT of keeping stuff up through Jan 6 (thus the artificial tree, avoiding the fire hazard).

    The Pacific Northwest is so dark and gloomy this time of year that I may advocate for keeping the outside lights up a lot longer than next week, LOL.

  8. Maggie Robinson
     · January 3rd, 2008 at 7:40 am · Link

    RevM, hope you’re right! P is pretty dark though, and I may have to get some more candles to light it up.*g*

    I used to keep my tree up as long as possible when the kids were home, but now that I’M the one who’s on a “school vacation” schedule, I put everything away before I go back to work. I didn’t really even have a tree this year (just a Charlie Brown branch—daughter #1 did Christmas and she borrowed all my ornaments) and I was still blue “dechristmasssing.”

  9. Gillian Layne
     · January 3rd, 2008 at 8:32 am · Link

    Maggie, the writing is fabulous! Long live Regency Noir; anything to keep the variety in romance alive.

  10. BernardL
     · January 3rd, 2008 at 10:09 am · Link

    Query letters must now be masterpieces, snatching some bored to tears agent from the grips of lethargy, and into our fantasy world. Then, if by some miracle we drive their eyelids to half-mast, they want to see the ‘Mona Lisa’ in less than five pages. Yep, Maggie, sometimes poking our eyes out seems a viable alternative. 🙂

  11. Janga
     · January 3rd, 2008 at 4:20 pm · Link

    Maggie, congratulations again on finishing Paradise. I am convinced that one day I will be buying copies in a local bookstore to give friends. I expect to have an ARC. 🙂

    Good look with the synopsis. I am not looking forward to that step in the process.

    All our Christmas stuff is down and stored away too, but I have been having great fun visiting some of my favorite shops and buying angels and Santas and snowmen at 60-80% off the original prices. All the Christmas books are on sale too. 🙂

  12. terrio
     · January 3rd, 2008 at 5:24 pm · Link

    I could have sworn I left congratulations in here this morning. I am totally losing my mind. Could be that I’ve had four printers going today. And that five hours of sleep…

    Congratulations!! This book is going to sweep the reading world right off it’s bookmarkers. I can’t wait to stand in line for your autograph.

    I dechristmased on the 29th. I wasn’t in the spirit this year, we weren’t even at the house on Christmas and the clutter was driving me nuts. I feel much better now that things are back to normal.

    And my goal is that next year we’ll be in our own place, I’ll be much more in the swing of things and we’ll do it up big. *g* Besides, if I stick to my goals for 2008, I will have just sent off my GH entry and I’m going to need the distraction.

  13. lacey kaye
     · January 3rd, 2008 at 9:56 pm · Link

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I have a good feeling about this one. Couldn’t say why, but I’m pulling for you!

  14. Maggie Robinson
     · January 4th, 2008 at 5:10 pm · Link

    Lacey, pull pull pull. Sound like we’ll be galley slaves!

    Terrio, hope you are well-rested now and settled back into your routine. GH is totally doable!

    Janga, I don’t let myself buy any more Christmas stuff. It was almost a relief to have most of it out on loan this year. But I do have a soft spot for snowmen…just not outside. We have SO MUCH snow.

    Bernard, I can’t tell you how I freeze up w/ query letters. I finally wrote a good one for TRR, but it took almost 6 months of suffering.

    Gillian,thanks! I have another Regency Noir hovering around like a little gloom cloud, too. 🙂 I wish I could make my mind up between serious and silly, but that’s actually a subject of a future blog post!