A question to strike terror confusion that’s hard for any writer to answer, I think. What am I working on? What am I not working on? 🙂

It’s been a long time since I last blogged about my writing. I actually do have a new work-in-progress. For reasons that I can only ascribe to dividing my attention between books and screenplays (not to mention marketing, the podcast, my online courses, blah blah), it seems to be taking forever to finish this damn novella.

What I failed to appreciate when I decided to write a story about a female Marine with PTSD and an opioid addiction was that I not only had to research what those two conditions we’re really like, but that I had to become way more familiar with the tiny details of a military subculture. Bearing in mind that the military comprises a subculture in general, I also had to drill down through the generalizations and tap into that which is unique to Marines. And female Marines, on top of that.

To say that I’ve been sweating the details is understating things quite a bit. But the idea of research doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the notion that I could get important details terribly wrong. Either that or fall back on lazy stereotypes.

Whenever I can, I’ve tried to talk directly with people who actually know about these things. Some of them are people I know from my everyday life, some I have “met” online through a group email or a referral. But like many other writers (I’m assuming), I try to soak in as much information as I can from reading.

My reading has included numerous articles about a wide range of subjects, including women in the military and Marines, in particular. And here are some of the titles I’ve read and which I highly recommend to everyone’s reading:

The Lonely Soldier by Helen Benedict (see my video review)
Sand Queen by Helen Benedict (see my video review)
Beyond the Call by Eileen Rivers
Shoot Like a Girl by Mary Jennings Hegar (see my video review)
Ashley’s War by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Although not each of these books got a video review, they are all examples of five-star reading.

Which was why I was super-excited to attend a recent event at the Odenton Public Library. In this very room where I worked a volunteer PA {production assistant) on a film project nearly a year ago!

This is NOT the event. It’s a film prop! 🙂

Here’s the boom mic!

Here’s Eileen Rivers answering questions about her book Beyond the Call. And generally being a really cool person.

Eileen Rivers on the right, being cool! 🙂

I told her about how I was writing about a female Marine, etc., etc. And how I also graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism.

Me and Eileen Rivers at the Odenton Library.

PS: Turns out we’re both huge fans of libraries. What a surprise, huh? 🙂

PPS: Go mighty Terps!

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