WIP Tag!

“You’re it!” Marian Beaman said as she tagged me in the 2014 Work in Progress (WIP) Blog Tour, offering authors the chance to share a small, but tasty morsel of their Works in Progress. “It’s really simple,” she continued, “there’s just three rules:”

1. Link back to the post of the person who tagged you (in my case, Marian Beaman).

2. Write a blurb about — and type the first sentence of — your next book’s first three chapters.

3. Tag four other writers to do the same.

Typically, my writing is in the non-fiction arena, but one of the books I’m currently working on is Creative Quill, a work of fiction in the mystery/thriller genre. Intended as a series, the setting is a writer’s retreat where each month four different authors arrive and stay in individual rustic cabins to work on their manuscripts. In the first book, one of the guests is a psychopath posing as an author. Why? You’ll just have to wait and see…

Chapter 1:
Like a brilliant, multi-faceted gem nestled snugly on the ragged hemline of the northern Pacific coastline, Creative Quill—a wooded retreat for writers—sits zen-like overlooking Bellingham Bay in Fairhaven, Washington, holding space to unleash possibility.

Chapter 2:
Arriving at the baggage claim with time to spare, McPherson’s piercing green eyes drank in the details of his surroundings, a habit he’d picked up on the force; a habit that had kept him alive.

Chapter 3:
Having parked in the area reserved for handicap pickup, Mick didn’t have to jockey for position as he deftly pulled curbside, both side panels of the van silently slid open for the waiting guests, one of whom was in a wheelchair.

“Life is about showing up, so is writing. That’s why I sit at my desk every day and dance my fingers across the keyboard.” — Laurie Buchanan

Now it’s my turn to tag four writers for the 2014 WIP Tour. Please check their websites, you’ll be glad you did!

Julia Munroe Martin lives in southern coastal Maine and loves to get hands-on with a camera. When she’s not out taking drop-dead gorgeous photographs, you’ll find her at her dining room table, where she’s happiest and most comfortable with her family — including black Lab Abby — or when writing or researching her next story.

Christine DeSmet (my writing mentor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) writes mouthwatering mysteries featuring fudge or fowl (two different series). She mixes in fun, little-known facts, recipes about fudge, a bit about Belgians and the culture of Wisconsin and the Door County Peninsula.

Melissa Crytzer Fry steps outside her front door smack-dab into southern Arizona’s breathtaking Sonoran Desert, often with camera in hand. A full-time freelance writer and novelist, she was a 2014 semi-finalist in the William Faulkner William Wisdom Writing Competition for her novel, The Quickness of Life.

Dorothy Sander orchestrates Aging Abundantly where she brings the wisdom of women together in one place, offering insight, support and a helping hand to people wherever they are in their journey. Her focus is on transformation and metamorphosis at midlife and beyond. Her most recent work is, Finding Hope: Inspiration for the Midlife Journey.

And though none of these authors are under any obligation to play tag, I sure hope they will because it’ll be fun to sneak a taste of what they’re cookin’ up next!

Book or otherwise, what’s your current Work in Progress?

© Laurie Buchanan

Find me on Twitter @TuesWithLaurie
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60 thoughts on “WIP Tag!

  1. My WIP is an essay for a book on the vocation of teaching, a subject near and dear to my heart twenty years ago. The essay’s giving me fits. Come to think of it, most writing gives me fits at some stage. 🙂 Haven’t yet decided on whether or when to write a second memoir after BLUSH. I wonder if there are others who are lying fallow between projects right now?

    • Shirley — Let me tell you straight up that I will never, ever, think of you as “lying fallow.” The essay is simply in the germination process and will unearth the moment it’s ready for daylight 🙂

    • Arlene — Yes, indeed. Writing in a psychopath character’s first-person voice is rather “edgy” work. It’s taken a lot of unpleasant research to even begin to approach it with a sense of accuracy.

  2. Laurie, hats off and a deep bow to you for having the inspiration and perseverance to take on such a daunting task as writing a novel. For me, that would be equal to building a house on my own, no help at all! I see the Cat has leaped out of the Bag and is now sitting calmly in the open, waiting for what comes next. So am I!

    • Sandi – Because of my schedule, I apply myself in daily “snippets” to one of three different manuscripts: “Creative Quill,” “The Business of Being,” or “Carriage House Journal.” If nothing else, the act of writing is therapeutic.

      And if you ever do decide to build a house, please let me know. I’m actually rather handy with a hammer and nails 🙂

  3. I don’t know which to comment on first, your lovely writing space (I notice you have a cushion for each “cheek!) or your WIP. You had me from the title: Creative Quill. Your gathering characters together at a writer’s retreat allows for so many interactions. I’ll be first in line when you release your mystery-thriller.

    Thank you so much too for playing tag, Laurie. One of your followers from the UK clicked on my name/blog, read some posts, and now is following me too. I love when that happens! I know only one of your “tag-ees.” Eager to check on the others’ websites.

    Keep dancing those fingers across the keyboard – we hear the music!

  4. Nice to see another aspect to you Laurie. You’re writing is enticing and a joy to read. When you’re hoping to finish it, or am I now being intrusive? :-).

    • Don — I’m simultaneously working on three manuscripts so I’m not sure which one will get finished when. Because of my schedule, I can only apply myself in daily “snippets.” Trust me, when any one of them is ready for the light of day, I’ll let everyone know 🙂

  5. Your writing space is so neat! My desk is always a hodgepodge of papers requiring future attention, papers for scratching out notes, papers to be filed (have I told you how much I hate filing?), papers I really should just throw away. . . . Please put me on your pre-order list for Creatve Quill.

    • Carol — As evidenced by the writing on your blog, you clearly thrive at your desk. My brain is much too simple to have distractions around so I work with an almost bare desk. I have a little aloe plant, and I always burn a scented tea light when I write. Today it’s “baked apples” — yum!

  6. Dare I say I needed a kick in the butt?! Accountability, responsibility, order out of chaos, simplicity…joy, openness, expansiveness, daring, confidence…you and your space say it all…an ever-widening circle of creative expression, universal support and love…ah, acceptance, tolerance, the absence of judgement. My impression of you and your cyberspace home. Thank you. I am on a journey of bringing my inside out and once again the universe has offered me another opportunity…a challenge to feel the fear and do it anyway. Sending you love, Laurie Buchanan.

  7. Hi Laurie thank you so much for introducing me to new authors… having lots of fun learning about them and I will read their books…you can also be sure I will read yours.

    As I think you are aware, I come from an area known as ‘The Black Country ,’ It gets its name from its industrial past . I am writing a fairy / magic story set in the Black Country .
    I wrote the original story a year or so ok . My husband loved the characters so much he asked me to write a summer special …that I did and now I am writing a Christmas edition .
    It’s good fun to re visit your own characters, that you have made up, just to see what they are up to .

    • Julia — Arriving with your sanity still in tact at the midway point in NaNoWriMo is a BIG deal, and even more so when you cross the finish line. I can hardly wait to hear about your final product! 🙂

  8. Hi Laurie
    My work in progress is developing a systems framework to deliver universal abundance, universal liberty, and universal security.
    I want every person on the planet to have a reasonable chance of living as long as they want in good health and with the freedom and resources to do whatever they responsibly choose.

    Freedom in this sense is freedom of action and not freedom from the consequences of action.
    Freedom at this level implies being responsible for taking reasonable action to mitigate any negative effects of the consequences of actions upon others, including the ability of the ecosystem to sustain life generally.

    Responsibility and freedom seem to me to be two sides of the same coin.

    We seem to be developing the technical ability to fully automate the production of all essential goods and services for human survival, and an exponentially growing class of other goods and services, which makes the concepts of work, markets and money essentially redundant.

    Within the bounds of responsible choice, it delivers an environment that is essentially “ask and thou shalt receive”.

    And getting people to appreciate this possibility, when money and markets are such a fundamental part of the culture they exist in, is difficult – quite the single most difficult aspect of the “work in progress” 😉

  9. Well Laurie, you’ve been very supportive of my current ‘work in progress!” I am again doing my Caldecott Medal Contender series at my site, WitD. It is always a challenge and somewhat time consuming, but always a lot of fun! Your post here is spectacular!!!

  10. I’m not doing any major writing right now. When I am writing it tends to take over my life and I get all out of balance. So now I’m getting back to my first love — my artwork. Currently I’m working on a series of small (4×6″) fabric art pieces. I like to work really BIG so this is a little unusual for me. So for now I’m spending a lot of time in my studio which faces the street. People in the community going by my window wave and when they see me later ask what I’m working on. It’s actually kind of cool to be known as an artist around here.

  11. My work in progress is STILL my memoir, but I AM making steady, if slow, progress. However, I can’t help but mention what a HUGE fan I am of your office photo! Wow, stunning, my friend.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Kathy — The few little snippets I’ve read of your memoir point to a best seller! And coming from someone as artistically creative as you are, your compliment about my writing space is HUGE — thank you!

  12. Your blurb has definitely peeked my interest, Laurie.

    ‘Like a brilliant, multi-faceted gem nestled snugly on the ragged hemline…’
    Well done. Your writing sings on the page.

    As usual I have a number of WIPs. But upper most in my mind currently is my play due to be staged next Thursday, Friday and Saturday on my remote island home (Mayne Island). It will appear with four others–the connecting theme is life on the Southern Gulf Islands.

  13. Dear Laurie. I am so glad I clicked on your blog post. I have been immersed in writing two books.
    1. “What Color Is Your Brain?When Caring for Patience”, which will be published in February.

    2. “Purr-fect Pals: A Kid, A Cat & Diabetes”, which was published (with my publisher’s blessings) on Amazon’s CreateSpace on November 7th, so I could donate 100% of the book sales to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundations.

    Life, is very exciting and I am also looking forward including some of my “normal” routines, again.

    Laurie, I hope you are enjoying you new life, thriving in your new home, and experiencing prolific and joyful writing in your beautiful writing space!

    Cheers and hugs,

    • Sheila — Oh how fun to see you here. Thank you for stopping by, Goodness, gracious, sakes alive — you’ve been whirlwind-busy! CONGRATULATIONS on your two most recent books. My hat is off to YOU!

    • Thank you, Laurie! If are ever in need of a blog post about diabetes. Please let me know. I would love to share “Purr-fect Pals: A Kid, A Cat & Diabetes” with your readers. Diabetes is an epidemic and approximately, 26,000,000 American children and adults have diabetes. I am sure that many of your readers live with or know someone who lives with the never-ending challenges of diabetes.

  14. I really enjoy a creative mystery series, so here’s to you finishing your project. I’ll look forward to it. I think my creative effort is going into transforming a little cottage in our backyard…we are thinking of downsizing on our very own property. It’s taking a lot of planning and energy, but it’s also great fun! 🙂

      • I’m so interested to learn that your new home is 600 square feet! I think our little cottage is certainly no larger! I’ve been enjoying documentaries and some articles on how many people are choosing to live in very small houses and I’m intrigued. It is definitely feeling more and more right for us! Thank you for sharing about your new home! Debra

      • Debra — Our previous home (where we lived for 20 years) was only 988 square feet. But we felt it was time to pare down. And in our case it turned out to be “right sizing.” You’re going to love right sizing 🙂

  15. Laurie – SO honored to have been chosen in your game of tag. And I hate to be a party pooper, but I don’t have enough written to participate. I’m working on a contemporary-historical hybrid and have spent nearly a year now doing intensive research. I’ve got some things scratched here and there, but nothing worthy of others’ eyes just yet.

    Now YOUR fiction (so excited to learn that you’re writing fiction) is lovely. That first sentence was drinkable with its prose. Can’t wait to hear more. Thank you, again – SO very much – for thinking of me.

    And, confession: even if I were ready, I’m a bit tight-lipped about my new work. 🙂

  16. Laurie, thanks for the tag! I’m in the middle of teaching at “Weekend with Your Novel” at University of Wisconsin-Madison this weekend. My next book is Five-Alarm Fudge, coming out in April 2015 and part of the Fudge Shop Mystery Series set in Door County, Wisconsin. The first chapter is previewed in my book that came out this summer in the series, Hot Fudge Frame-Up. Your blog followers might like to look up the recipe for my character Ava’s “Cinderella Pink Fairy Tale Fudge,” and they’ll find it at a great blog for mystery readers and writers called DYING FOR CHOCOLATE. –Christine DeSmet

  17. work in progress: reading and writing 2 more book reviews this week – so I can go on vacation, rest my eyes, watch the waves come and go, and hug my children.
    I was actually able to chew a piece of chicken and swallow this week – my new massage therapist is doing wonders on my jaw and I am enjoying seeing a possible end to this long year of recovery ( fractured jaw with infection in January)

    • Patricia — I think my eyes would fall out of my head if I read as much as you do. I read a lot, but you read circles around me! I’m glad you’re ramping up for a vacation — Whoohoo! And I’m tickled pink that your jaw is on the mend 🙂

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