I think my book is too tame.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s hardly G-rated. There’s sex, violence, and profanity. Kidnapping and substance abuse. Desecration of public lands, for crying out loud. But sadly, nobody has banned No Time for Kings. Too bad, because apparently, banned books sell like hotcakes. If you really want to ride the top of the bestseller charts, you’d better offend a whole lotta people. The worst I can say about my novel is, it isn’t grandmother-approved. Both my grandmother, rest her soul, and Tara’s read my book…and neither were comfortable with the subject matter. I have to admit, hearing that kind of made my day. But it was never meant to appeal to the crocheting contingent. I’d much prefer a general uprising, one in which bonfires are lit and copies of my book are piled on top while angry mobs are chanting “Off with his head!” or something along those lines.
At its heart, No Time for Kings is a love story—albeit one infused with murder—and while I won’t divulge the ending, it isn’t likely to cause anybody to lose sleep.
The follow-up, which has been in editing limbo for years, probably won’t be banned anywhere either. It’s a trippy sci-fi/parallel universe thriller in which Elvis Presley is resurrected. Kind of. I like it, but life has just gotten in the way of doing anything more with it. Soon, I promise.
In the meantime, I’m beginning to toss around the idea of a sequel to NTFK. The characters I created are strong, and there is plenty of potential for additional stories. I have one in mind that would be set right here in South Dakota and revolve around the missing and murdered indigenous women movement, a hot button issue in the Native American community. The bottom line is, after not actually writing fiction for several years, I’m starting to feel that itch again.
I’d also like to dabble in short stories, but I’ve always been too long-winded for that. Might be a good challenge for NaNoWriMo this year, though.
Today, I’ve taken a rare PTO day. Once upon a time, we were supposed to be in the midst of a long-planned family reunion this week, but COVID forced everybody to cancel. Almost everybody; my parents are here for the duration. We’ve had a nice visit so far and I wanted to spend a little extra time with them.
And catch up on blogging, apparently!
It’s a shame the reunion fell through, because the weather this weekend was perfect. Mid-70s, with brilliant blue smoke-free skies on Saturday (which is certainly not the case in the PNW!).
We went to Keystone for lunch at Ruby House before heading out for a nice drive through the Black Hills. Our destination was the Needles Highway. Unfortunately, that was everybody’s destination. Typically, the crowds disappear after Labor Day, but naturally this weird year appears to be the exception, because there were about a million cars out and about, all of them with different out-of-state license plates. I appreciate tourists and know that our economy is dependent upon them, but dammit, it sure makes doing things more complicated. We had to scrap our hiking plans because we couldn’t find a place to park, and we didn’t want to deal with crowds anyway. Tara and I much prefer our scenic wintertime drives, when we can count on one hand the number of passing cars.
Crowds notwithstanding, we were still able to enjoy some great scenery.
Sunday, we hit up Belle Joli Winery for Sunday brunch. The food and mimosas were great, but there was one very annoying woman at the next table over who actually had the gall to lumber over to our table the minute our food was served and say, golly gee, I was so gosh darned hungry when my plate came I didn’t have time to take a picture of my food, would you mind if I photograph yours? I mean: come on, lady! Really?! We were so taken aback we just let her, but the server was mortified and I was seconds away from saying something rude as she was standing there, leaning over my dad’s plate of French crepes with her phone inches from his food. In this COVID era, no less.
People are stupid. This was pushing the boundaries of rudeness, correct?
After brunch, our plan was to take my parents out on the boat. We’d finally gotten her registered and spiffed up a bit, so we made our way to the lake. Backed the truck up, got her into the water, and then when Tara turned the key in the ignition, nothing happened.
The battery was dead.
Par for the course, 2020. You know what they say about the best-laid plans and all that jazz. We’ll try again next Saturday, provided we can find a trickle charger and get the battery topped off. At least the weather was pleasant.
Today, on the other hand, it’s just hot. We’re back in the 90s; last week’s snow is already a distant memory. But the days keep growing shorter and this heatwave promises to be short-lived. Before long, it’ll be too cold to even think about boating (not to mention impossible, with an iced-over lake).
Today also happens to be our 7th wedding anniversary. We’re planning a weekend trip to Sioux Falls in a couple of weeks to celebrate.
But tonight, it’s the Broncos on Monday Night Football. Which, of course, is reason enough to celebrate!