Stephanie Plum does the numbers

Last night we had a lovely party for my husband's mother with cake, way too much food and, of course, chocolate. Today I am hoping the driving rain we had most of yesterday is over. The Swedish family is off to Canada's Wonderland to ride roller coasters. I can't attend because of a funeral. Although I didn't know the departed, I am very fond of his brother, a sort of 'uncle,' to me.

Making the best of things, naturally I will be spending as much of this morning as I can catching up on the novel-in-a-month project. So far, it's been worth the effort in writing lessons learned, if nothing else. Why else do these crazy challenges?

I could have signed up for a writing conference this summer (expensive!) but there is no guarantee it would have taught me more than writing (so far) 31 000 words. Many people would argue that making connections, meeting editors and so forth is much more productive for a beginning writer who wants to get published. Maybe, but what is the point of shaking hands with editors and agents if you can't show them a manuscript? This will be my fourth novel (if you count my YA manuscript, my 3-day novel and my very first fantasy manuscript which was written in six weeks before I had even heard of timed writing challenges). How can my writing not be improved after the fourth? I'm trying for a light tone, a little bit like Janet Evanovich. My Mother loaned me one of her fun, Stephanie Plum numbered novels at the start of the summer.

I suppose a review is in order although I believe Janet Evanovich is such a best selling author, anyone who would like her has already heard of her. Her Stephanie Plum stories are about a skip tracer who is terrible at her job and her comic romantic adventures. There are a lot of stereotypical Italian mobsters, played for humour as well as suspense. The sexual tension between Stephanie and her cop crush and Stephanie and the mysterious and powerful Ranger is one of the main attractions. The humour derives mostly from character and there is a parade float of colourful characters here. Excellent beach reading!

Happy reading/ writing!

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