A Blank Slate

Today we are banished to the back porch due to fumes from the floor finishing chemicals.  By the end of the week we should be able to venture into the rest of the downstairs.  Believe me, we’re ready!

But yesterday it was time for me to shape up and look at my empty computer screen, wondering what the hell Ali Reynolds was up to.

If you’ve heard me speak, you know I regard myself as far more of a storyteller than I do a novelist.  And when people go so far as to refer to me as an “artist,” it tends to get my back up.  But yesterday, faced with page one, chapter one of a book named Credible Threat, I had my moment of artistic blank-slate angst.

Sitting here this morning, I’m imagining Michelangelo standing inside the Sistine Chapel, looking up at that vast expanse of ceiling and wondering, “What the hell am I supposed to put up there?”  Despite the quotation marks, that’s not a direct quote because I was using my literary license.  I’m pretty sure he would have been asking that question in Italian. Ditto for that huge chunk of marble. Did he stand in his workshop, looking at that gigantic slab of marble already knowing that David was standing inside it wating to be revealed or did he wonder, “What’s inside this sucker?”

So Credible Threat has had a name for more than a month now—a month of utter chaos around here.  Book tour ends, moving begins.  Furniture from downstairs has to be moved into the dining room or master bathroom to prepare for the flooring job.  Furniture from the moving van has to be off-loaded into the garage because it couldn’t go into the house.  In other words, there hasn’t been a bit of space inside my head for figuring out what kind of credible threat.  Who’s making it?  Who’s the target?  And why would Ali and her friends be involved rather than law enforcement?  Not only that, where and when is this book going to start?

Yesterday afternoon, Ali finally let me in on her secret.  Credible Threat starts at a High Noon Halloween party where everyone is supposed to show up dressed as a super hero.  When Ali answers the front door in her Wonder Woman costume, who should be standing there but Arch Bishop Francis Gillespie.  And the thought that went through her head?  “What I wouldn’t give for an invisible plane right about now!”

So there you have it.  That’s as much as I know, and now my blog readers know more about my upcoming Ali book than my editors do.  So stay tuned.  Let’s see where this blank slate takes us.

10 thoughts on “A Blank Slate

  1. I am having a senior moment. Who is Archbishop Francis Gillespie? I haven’t read an Ali Reynolds book in a long time.

    As far as Michelangelo goes I believe he painted sketches, which he called cartoons, of figures he was going to put on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He didn’t do it freehand. You know he laid on his back to paint up there.

    I was so disappointed on a trip to Rome in 1977 that the chapel was closed because the Pope was saying mass there that day. It has been cleaned since that time and colors are much like they were originally.

  2. I love reading your blogs, thank you for taking the time to share with us. Here’s to wishing you a more restful week = not likely with what you are going through, but maybe you can see beyond today to being able to walk on your new floors with all the furniture arranged. Take care

  3. The fact that Ali, in a Wonder Woman costume, has opened the door to find
    Arch Bishop Francis Gillespie is intriguing for several reasons. I do not think Catholics celebrate Halloween plus Ali is exposing a lot in that costume! I cannot
    wait to see where this leads!
    Hope the finalization of the move happens soon.

  4. Judy: You sound SO much like me! I’m coming close to the last 2/3 of my mystery and I still don’t know why the victim was murdered, who (for sure) did it, and why anybody who reads it will care! The Muse speaks to me when I’m at the keyboard but rarely lets me know where it’s all going. If I had the challenges you are currently facing with the move, the remodelling, the furniture moving, they’d find me hiding out in a padded room. I admire you (and your talent) so much! You go girl. It will unfold beautifully, as always!

    • Dottie Dantzler, yes, Catholics celebrate Halloween. Is it possible you are thinking of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

      Judy, I love reading your blogs, as I admire (and love to imagine having) your energy and focus and drive! Thank you so very much for all your story-telling. Am pretty sure I’ve read all your stories in every series you’ve written. Sending all my best . . .

  5. Personally I am thinking a month long cruise is due about now. I know that moving even if it’s into the same house is a daunting experience. Especially at our age group that’s not saying we cannot do it it’s just harder.
    I sincerely hope your husband’s health problems are being solved Please give him our prayers
    Our daughter and granddaughter have come for a visit to see this beautiful AZ country.
    Have a wonderful week with Ali don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers. Visit with you next week Jan

  6. Sounds to me from your plot beginnings that something has happened to Sister Anselm! Love your books and now the blog. Good luck!

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