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Friday, October 18, 2013

Uncertain Ground

Starting on a positive note, I delivered a copy of "The Dreamer Gambit" to the Itasca Community Library near me and talked about the possibility of doing some appearances there, possibly two. If it all comes together, this will be a great chance to reach out to the public and maybe gain some readers.

Now, that uncertain ground. In "Mongan Manor," Stefanie is getting her first look at the family portrait gallery which will be crucial to solving the secret puzzle. I've already prepared the reader with the knowledge that the paintings do not cover the entire family, but this idea of presenting various players in the action all at the same time. Most of them are deceased anyway. I know I can't focus only on the ones with key roles in past goings on, because that could give it all away. And I don't feel purposely tossing out red herrings is fair to the reader. Whatever gets presented should have some meaning overall. Thus far, I'm interspersing descriptions and possible clues with Stefanie's observations and reactions. We'll see how it turns out.

The other issue is the character of Stefanie. She's an unusual character with her strange allotment of traits. Her psychic abilities, her eidetic memory, and her skills at solving visual puzzles make her feel estranged from nearly everyone. Her ongoing struggle is to accept herself as she is, but while working on that, she is a self-exiled outsider. The problem is that I find it so easy to get into her head. No, I am not psychic, and I'm lucky if I can remember what I had for breakfast much less everything I've ever experienced like Stefanie does. I'm fairly good at puzzles, true, and have a limited artistic ability, but that hardly seems enough for me to be able to step so smoothly into her shoes. Does this mean I'm as weird as she is? I suppose my imagination has always made me feel apart from other people, too, and perhaps that explains it. I can only hope that her behavior in the novels is relatable enough for readers, that they understand her mood changes and thought processes and empathize with her.

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