out its secrets, looking for the ways. As I revise Winter Light I feel
the urgency to shape it now. I don't know if I should shape it in
subtle shades with multiple drafts, or give it a large overhaul. I
guess I should change whatever it occurs to me to change at least.
Looking at the novel gave me confidence though. That favorite story is
not the story I want to tell at all, but I think I can tell mine as
well. The romance is what was popular in the mid-1990's, with lots of
lavish costume, lingerie, candlelit baths, also a subplot of
smuggling and intrigue which I find so dull I can't even read the book
start to finish. Romance and adventure go together like peanut butter
and bananas, yum to one, yuck to the other, but I know some people
like both. Hey, it's fine. If peanut butter is romance, then gothic
castles are honey. That's my preferred snack.
And the more I work Winter Light, the more confident I feel about it.
The psychology works, and that is really the one thing you can't fix
in a completed novel without reworking it totally. There are some
things I need to research, some time period and cultural doubts, not
to mention a whole, whole lot of things I have learned about human
behavior in the last ten years that I am only too happy to apply.
There are experiences that I have had that will go into this work, and
I think that is the greatest joy for a writer, to really use what you
have experienced and transform it.
Working at it every morning has become a kind of habit. I have turned
to it in a kind of madness, because I have found myself so dull and
ambitionless. I sit before the novel because I don't know what to do
with myself, and when I have worked on it, I can at least stand to be