Friday, July 5, 2013
PROJECTS THAT LIVE IN MY DRAWER by Muriel Jensen
Good Morning! Happy Friday! (Does everyone else feel like it's Monday because of the holiday, or is that just me?)
Like all writers who 'can't not write' I find myself playing with ideas between deadlines. And because category romance has guidelines that must be adhered to, I love to work with thoughts that are outside the category box. I haven't sold any of these, mind you. I haven't even taken any of them to completion, but I love knowing they're in my drawer. (I love the Heartwarming premise and all it allows us to do, it's just fun to do other things when I'm on a break - or I'll have to clean house, or cook, or something.)
I have an idea about a young woman who wrote contemporary romance, then was out because trends had changed. She moved to a place on the coast of Mass. to plot a Regency, just to see if she could do it. At a church bazaar, she finds a cache of furniture from an old estate belonging to a parishioner and buys a Regency corner chair that's been in the attic for 150 years because the estate's owner, who inherited it from the relative to came to the U.S. from England, thought it was too ugly for the parlor. My heroine puts it in front of her French doors into the garden, takes a shower, then comes into the bedroom wrapped in a towel and is shocked out of her wits to find a Regency-period gentleman sitting in it. He was shot in the back in it all those years ago and is stuck in it until he can find out what happened to the woman and baby he left behind. He helps her with research for her novel, and while she's researching, she tries to find out what happened to his family, and why he was killed.
A single mother in her late thirties takes her teen daughter to visit her family in the mid-West. While they're looking down on the town from a hill behind it, they're struck by lightning. The daughter dies and the heroine is left with the gift/curse of seeing into the future. Destroyed by the loss of her child, she quits her job in the mayor's office, breaks up with her long-time significant other who is the deputy mayor, and wanders aimlessly at night, unable to sleep. Until she has a vision of a man locked in the trunk of a car, on his way to being murdered - and realizes it's her ex. She finds him again to find out who is out to get him, He, of course, is determined to get her back.
As a good Catholic, I'm not supposed to believe in recycled people, but I think occasionally something happens that we can't explain that seems like reincarnation. My research into it reveals that there is such a thing as groups of people who can reconnect through time over and over. I believe they're called soul units. Often a traumatic event they've endured together is responsible for this. The interesting thing is that gender and age can be different when they reconnect. A man in one life can be a woman in the second life, and an old man can be a child. So, I can see four young men who work and play basketball together on weekends, who gradually discover they were spies during the Civil War - three of them for the Union, one for the Confederates. I think it has great possibilities, but I'd need three months in a cottage in Bermuda to work them out and that just isn't going to happen. At least not this year. But can't you see the complexities? (The idea came to me when a friend's precocious little girl said to her very seriously, "Remember before when I was the mom and you were the little girl?" Gave me goose bumps.
Anyway - just sharing in case none of this ever sees the light of day. I'd like someone to know that I have a drawer full of good ideas. What's in your desk drawer? Or your idea file? Or on your mind?
(A little parting aside - sharing the office with me at the moment are two critters on a little bit of a high. Cheyenne (Husky mix) has been sedated because the fireworks make her absolutely crazy, so I put something from the vet in a bite of hot dog and she's been snoring on my futon since 8:00. On my desk, with his hind foot on my laptop's number pad is Stormy (Tabby cat) who ate all the dog's food because she was too foggy to want to eat, and he's now lying on his side in a tight ball, except for the protruding foot, and the mounding stomach. I love my life.)