#navbar-iframe { display: none !important;} The Naked Page: January 2009

The Naked Page

Author Jamie Sobrato's Diary


Cough, Cough

I'm still trying to get over the flu. As January passes me by, in my heavily medicated haze I'm only vaguely aware of the time lost. I almost have to laugh at how motivated I was at the start of the month. I had resolutions, and a long list of goals so detailed I had to subdivide them into what I would accomplish monthly, weekly, daily, and hourly. And I was working through that list diligently, accomplishing things like crazy, somewhat amazed at my own wildly productive state.

I was, perhaps, overdoing it a bit. Maybe putting too much pressure on myself. And so, me and my long list of goals ended up with a weakened immune system. Is the virus nature's way of reminding us that we with our detailed goal sheets are not really in control?

Did you set goals for this year (and this month and this week and today and an hour from now)? How's that working out for you?


Come Chat with Me at EHarlequin

Oh, the flu. Cough, cough. Woe is me. I've mostly been in bed for the past week, and I'm starting to go a little stir crazy.

I'm chatting this week over at Eharlequin, and the message board is pretty darn quiet right now, so come on over and post a comment! Pretty please?

The topics I'm discussing are balancing contrasting elements in stories and writing for different lines. Here's a link:


(I noticed my original link wasn't working properly, so I'm trying the one above now...we'll see if it works.)


The Ever-Shrinking Novel

I started reading a Madeline L'Engle book, Many Waters, with my kids recently. It's a much longer-than-usual novel, especially for kids, with meandering chapters and small print. And while I consider myself to be a reasonably literate person, I have to admit, I find myself looking ahead and thinking, when is this #!@&! chapter ever going to end?

That's not because it's a young adult book, either. I love reading YA novels. I'm also re-reading one of my all-time favorite books, The Poisonwood Bible, and a friend remarked to me the other day when I mentioned it that she thought the story went on way too long. Indeed, it's quite long, but in this case I savor it--I don't want the story to end. It's a rare book I can say that about.

Meanwhile, my own stories tend to be spare, and I always strive (thought don't always acheive) to write fast-paced page-turners. I like this as both a reader and a writer. I'm part of the trend of the ever-shrinking novel, I guess.

Publishers cite printing costs and competition with other media as the reasons for novels getting shorter and shorter. Do we even care? Is anything being lost as novels get shorter?


A Change of Pace

My first Harlequin SuperRomance novel, A Forever Family, arrived in stores today. I'm so busy with other projects and life in general that I haven't done anything to celebrate, but I should. This book probably saved my creative life last year when I wrote it.

After sixteen novels in a row (not counting the ones that weren't published) all in the same style and tone, I was getting more burnt out than I imagined possible. I was beginning to think I had nothing left in me when I sat down to write each day...and often couldn't write much at all.

Then I started working on this book, and all the exhiliration writing once brought to me came back. I remembered why I'd dreamed of becoming a writer in the first place.

When I re-read A Forever Family now, I see things I would do differently if I had the chance to write it again, but it still represents a...dare I say it...joyful (yes, joyful) process for me, and for that reason among others, it's my favorite of any novel I've written.