I’ve been reading a particularly interesting book recently, The Enlightenment by Anthony Pagden, all about how the European Enlightenment began and why it still matters to us today. I’ve been sucked into the 17th and 18th century and philosophy because my husband and I became obsessed with Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos on Fox. I wanted to know more about these thinkers and scientists, and especially the women who played significant roles but were almost always ignored or overlooked.
I was never one of those children obsessed with science, the solar system or the way atoms worked. I used to joke about my inability to understand Chemistry and how my father didn’t want to tutor me through Physics because of all the math involved. But, when I was in college I took Geology as my science credit and became fascinated with how the Earth formed and how we know what we know about it. Cosmos fascinated me in similar ways. I loved learning about the history of how we know what we know about our universe.
While watching this show, learning about the history and the women involved, my storytelling wheels started spinning. I had been reading Eloise James at the same time, and was impressed by the intelligence of her characters and her writing. Just like me, she is a scholar of British literature, and you can tell from her work. She delights in working in a reference to a playwright from the Restoration Theatre, or a line of Shakespeare. I started wondering why I didn’t take my love of learning and combine it with my love of romance stories. Thus, was born my second novel, about a scientist and a poet. I can’t wait for you to read it!
This morning, I was reading Courtney Milan‘s The Countess Conspiracy, which is like Ms. James’ novels, in that her characters are witty and incredibly intelligent. I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying it, even though I am only halfway finished! Anyway, all of these divergent thoughts have a point. And that point is, that while reading Milan’s book, I finally had pictures in my head of this second novel. Just little glimpses, but enough to get me very excited about fleshing it out. One of my other favorite, non-romance writers, Anne Lamott says that she has a one inch frame on her desk as she writes because writing is like peering through and seeing one inch of your story at a time. Even though I plot my stories out, I know what she means, and I have that one inch view of my scientist-poet love story sharp in my mind!
However, even though all of these ideas are burning in my brain, all of this literature and history making the wheels turn ’round, like the water in a flour mill, I have the last few scenes of the first novel to finish! And I have a pact. I can’t start a new story until the first one is told. So, with the thumping heart of my second one ready to burst onto the page, I’m fast at work at the first. Luckily, much like procrastination, new bursts of creativity make the words flow faster!
So, I will bid you adieu and get back to it! I just wanted to stop in and spill my enthusiasm.