Strange and Norrell Help Me…

blog 2-15 strange and Norrell

I’ve tried to keep blogging about writing to a minimum—there are many blogs for writers written by experts, of which I am not one. You can find some of those blogs at

I was at a writers retreat almost two weeks ago—nothing fancy, just some local writers getting together for a few days, to work, to critique, to do research—and to drink wine. It was great, I had fun, I got some writing accomplished (about 3000 words), and I did research on a short story.

But now, about eight days later, I’m down in the abyss of “why the heck am I doing this?” Include the following: “No one reads my crap.” “And that’s what it is: crap.” “Why did I ever think I could be a REAL writer?”

I know most writers go through these times. But coming off a great retreat? Or is it just (JUST?) my clinical depression talking? :Shrug:

To counter that demon talking about my poor writing, I’ve been reading. Now, that’s like a painter having issues painting, going to an art museum. You either get inspired or you throw the canvas (all of them and your paints) in the trash.

I’m reading (sometimes slogging through but most of the time fascinated by) Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell. I do not mind a long book, if I get “into” it immediately. However, I admit that the “getting into” this book did not happen until Mr. Strange appeared. The tone of the writing is definitely Regency—Regency leading into the Victorian era. I love that era, so that doesn’t put me off.  Sometimes the narrative just moves a bit slowly. I’m sticking with it, especially since Wellington has just won at Waterloo. And the story made me find The Madness of King George and I spent a lovely afternoon watching the wonderful acting of Helen Mirren and Nigel Hawthorne.

Blog 2-15 The_madness_of_king_george_02
The Madness of King George

I know it’s a great book when it leads me to other areas and to Googling Uskglass. Check it yourself or else, read the book.

Add that 800+ book to Sarum, Edward Rutherford’s Michener-like tome on the history of the Salisbury Plain of England. This one I read before going to sleep. I have yet to dream about Stonehenge or Roundheads—but hope springs eternal.

blog 2-15 stonehenge
The Guardian

Two very different books—very different books. One is alternative history and one is minute history. However, I’ve received inspiration for stories from both books—stories that could go into “my” geners: paranormal, romance, horror, women’s fiction, and mystery.

blog 2-15 cute demon

Demon: Aha! Mitzi, maybe THAT’s your problem. Maybe you write in too many genres?

Mitzi: But I enjoy reading and writing in those genres. Those are the stories that want me to…er…write them.

Demon: But…but…but

Mitzi: Just STFUP. If no one reads what I write, so what? What I want to do is write. I need to get the stories out of my head.

Demon: But…but…but

Mitzi: Just writing this blog has made me feel better.

Demon: Phooey!

Mitzi: :Goes back to writing:



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