Finished Frida!

Finished the second Jane in St Pete mystery! Wrote it, read it over, edited on hard copy, took notes on what needs to be added (not much). I dislike going from hard copy to computer but there’s not much of that. I have hung on to this computer despite all the problems; my treat once I submit to editor and finish edits is a new computer! One that works better with Word. I don’t have an idea for the third artist. I was thinking of a 1960s era feminist, like Judy Chicago.

The happy way to sustain a series is to have a theme you love and a symbol too. The theme for me is art and the artist is new with each book. I’m planning a trilogy but we’ll see. If things go as usual, I will be working with my editor for several months.

Finally got a title on the last day of writing! Body on the Bayou. My books are often released in November/December. That would be a dream.

I’m shocked that WordPress accepted my personal photo. It’s a jpeg. My artist for this book (every book has the large theme of art and the personal symbol of a particular artist) is Frida Kahlo and I just happened to come across this snap from years and years ago. It easily folded itself into the narrative. This one has been a joy to write and I look forward to revising, even with the labor of revision with hard copy and computer.

In other writing news, I tweeted the blogette again last Monday. I really like the form. I don’t usually have much to say on Twitter, so this gives me something to contribute.

Research Rewards

This is one of the books I’m using to research my second book in the “Jane in St Pete” series. When I decided on an amateur sleuth series, I made Jane a retired art lecturer because I thought the research would be fun. And it is. I’ve read three books about Frida. A biography, then a book of her portraits, and finally this one, her diary. The diary plays a key role in the mystery.

But my interest in Frida Kahlo goes beyond researching my novel. I’m a devoted fan of her work and admire most everything about her short, painful life. There’s a painting, watercolor with colored pencils, from the diary that shows Frida consumed by fire in the midst of greenery. The title, Te Vas? No. Alas Rotes, translates to “Are you going? No. Broken Wings.” The diary Frida kept in the last ten years of her life, when for medical reasons she was mostly confined to her home near Mexico City, is a made thing. There are drawings, paintings, and poems along with some actual diary entries.

I’ve just ordered a few more research books, not on Frida, because in the Jane in St Pete novels, I don’t want to overwhelm readers with art. As with all research in fiction, you don’t want to do an info dump. This can be tricky, as I always find one more thing I want to say about Frida. A light touch works better for the reader and the book.