Because I don’t like to put down a book until I finish it, and that can keep me up until the middle of the night reading, I  mostly listen to books on disc in the car (and yes, sometimes I sit in the garage for a little while when I get home).  GRIT, by Angela Duckworth is the book I’m listening to right now.  Angela suggests that perseverance and passion are much more likely to make you successful than mere talent and luck.  In other words, how much “effort” you put into a project makes a difference.  There may be folks who are a “natural” at something, but more people get to the top by hard work.  I think that might apply to my success, since at the beginning of my career I worked, nose to the grindstone, writing five books a year (1850 pages a year) for five years.   I’m down to one book a year now because, quite honestly, I’m not working night and day like I did those first five years I was a full-time writer.  However, I still have a lot of stories I want to tell, and my goal is to work harder and be more productive over the next couple of years.

Here’s a short scene from BLACKTHORNE’S BRIDE that I wrote this morning.  I revise a chapter many many times before I move on to the next one.   It may be interesting to compare this scene to what ends up in the book.

Josie felt unaccountably nervous and searched for something she could say to break the silence that had fallen between them as they waited for dessert to be served.  She finally came up with, “Harriet is a wonder.”

“Oh?” Blackthorne replied.  “Miss Carpenter, you mean?”

He hadn’t criticized Josie for putting herself on a first-name basis with the housekeeper, but he’d refused to call Harriet anything other than Miss Carpenter.  Josie continued determinedly, “Harriet found the cook who made this wonderful meal.”

Blackthorne merely lifted a dark brow, which was the same reaction he’d had when he’d first been introduced to their new housekeeper.  Josie had been relieved to see that Harriet’s chin remained up when she’d met the duke, although the young woman hadn’t been able to control the blush that rose on her cheeks.  “I know she’s young,” Josie said, feeling the need to defend her choice, even though the duke hadn’t attacked it.

“She’s a veritable babe in the woods,” the duke agreed sardonically.

“I like her.”

“That’s important,” the duke conceded.

“Yes, it is.”  Josie wanted to argue, but Blackthorne wasn’t giving her much of an opening.  She’d been feeling increasingly on edge the closer they got to the end of the meal, which was to say, the closer they got to bedtime.  Would he escort her to her bedroom door?  Would he kiss her good night?  Would he ask her if he could join her?

Hmmm.  What comes next?

My grandkids are visiting for 10 days, but since I’m so far behind on BLACKTHORNE’S BRIDE, I gave them them option of going to a day camp this week.  Meg chose horseback riding and Logan chose mountain boarding.  They seem to be having a great time and I’ve been able to write all day.  Win-win for all of us.  More tomorrow.