I'm coming out (I think) from an extended writer's block. That doesn't mean I haven't been writing anything, just that I haven't been finishing anything. There's a difference.
I've also been reading, not so much my usual diet, but some amateur attempts, trying to compare the quality of my own writing with others. A part of that's been ego massage -- some of what I've been reading has been outright crap. There's been a continual stream of stories with too many (and too descriptive) sex scenes. There's been lot's of misplaced apostrophe's on display, pronoun approximation, and misspelings. Lots of heroines have been saved by millionaires and vice versa.
On the other hand, there have been a few that I've liked. One is Island Mine, which was recommended by a friend of mine. It's a science fiction story, nicely paced, with sympathetic characters and a nuclear blowoff. Some agent should pick it up and make some money.
How far will governments go when you have something they want? All Waylon Eckermann wanted to do was to go to college and figure out the rest of his life. It wasn't going to be that easy, not even with a little extragalactic help.Then I read two other stories the same guy wrote and I was disappointed. I hope Island Mine is the third work, and not his first effort.
Tangent by Gina Marie Wylie is nearly as good, though it's fan fiction, using the story line of H. Beam Piper's Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen. It follows a man and four young girls stuck in a world where North America was settled by Indo Europeans, rather than Indians, with a later migration by the redskins so they can be battling the Aztecs.
The Mountain, recommended by a (another) friend, was a surprise, found on an erotica site. There's sex in it, but it's part of the story and it's not described stroke by stroke. It's also part of the story -- they think they're going to freeze to death. It was very well written, nice story line, and well worth the time. It's another story that should make some agent rich.
Then there are my own efforts.
Poor Del's still stuck, as they're about to chase down the criminal mastermind just as the empire is about to strike back. It's time to kill off a few sympathetic characters and I'm hesitating to pull the trigger.
When we went on vacation to Canada last year we stopped at a steakhouse. In a booth behind us there was a deaf old man who'd been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (he was discussing this on his phone so loudly we couldn't hear out own conversation!) So now I'm also writing Grampy, which is his story, set in about a year. He's got the death sentence, and he has a granddaughter Francine, whom he wants to marry his partner, John Ward. Frankie and Johnny don't like each other, so the romance will span the last days of Grampy's life.
Then there's the romance of Lenie and Ben Cooper, back in Palo Pinto County. I think I'm going to change their names, since I started it as a prequel to Dolly of Palo Pinto and now the characters have taken on different personalities and they're strong enough to stand on their own.
I'm also going to rewrite the first part of Mistress Peterson. Actually, I'm going to delete it. The story stands on its own without it, and parts of it would fit in Cinderella and the Devil better.