Goodness me, but January was productive. I finished rewriting A PERILOUS UNDERTAKING and turned it in to my editor–thank heaven! And I’m even more grateful that she loved it. She gave me some fantastic notes when I turned it in, criticism that I took to heart. I dug in on December 1, and with only four days off, I handed in the book on January 13–with approximately 90,000 new words. I ripped that book to PIECES and stitched it back together, eliminating some characters, blending another pair into one, and tightening the whole thing up. I packed in MUCH more action, pushing myself and the main characters much further than I originally expected. And it was a fabulous experience.
Here’s the thing–we gripe about the work and with good reason. It’s demanding stuff; it leaves you feeling like you’ve been through an emotional and physical wringer at the end of each day. I was deeply gratified when a pal who works on the editorial side of things recently mentioned that in the course of writing his own book, he found himself utterly and unexpectedly exhausted. Writing a book has been likened to composing a symphony, and that is apt. It challenges you on every possible level, and if you follow writers on social media, you will often catch the pungent whiff of our despair.
But it’s also BLISS. There is a tremendous rush that comes when you are making a book work, when characters and plot and dialogue and pace and prose all come together. It’s like doing ballet on a tightrope. It shouldn’t be possible, but there you are, pirouetting above the abyss, and you are unspeakably grateful that for just that little while you get to dance with the angels. Because you know it isn’t going to last. There will come a day when it’s back to pushing yourself to work to the deadline, meeting your obligations. Those are the days that discipline and your work ethic get you through, but what also gets you through is the glimmering possibility of more magical days when the click happens and you are humming along in that wonderful, mystical universal groove of creativity. So, while December and January were exhausting, they were wonderful too.
I still have about a day’s work of little tweaks to finish by the end of this week, but then it goes off to copy editor and I don’t have to think about it again for weeks. I also agreed to do a SECRET PROJECT that I can’t talk about yet–boo!–and I have planned a wee little secret project of my own that I can’t talk about either. Boo again! But they are fun things, and they mean more for you to read, so hopefully that will bring joy to your hearts.
While I was completely rewriting A PERILOUS UNDERTAKING, I wrote the proposal for Veronica’s third adventure which is currently in my editor’s hands, and let me just say I LOVE THIS potential book with inhuman devotion. It’s going to be great fun to write, so fingers crossed we get approval!
I also wrote February’s newsletter which will be going out at the end of this week, so if you haven’t already signed up, DO. The widget is just there —–>. This one is chock-full of book recommendations, and we can never have enough of those, can we?
So, on tap for me right now is a ton of research and reading, perfect activities for chilly February!