Today this memory came up in my Facebook feed from 4 years ago:
And this one from 8 years ago:
Funny how 8 years on this post is still just as pertinent as ever — 4 years on I’m still working on that same book!!!
At least I’m consistent 😀
In the spirit of wet weather and cuddling up in a cosy jumper and sneakers (yes, after days and days of plus 30 degrees heat, it’s actually raining here today and only 19.9 degrees!!!) I pulled on my jeans and favourite Harvard T-shirt before heading down to the office. To those not in the know, I love anything Ivy League (I’m even plotting an Ivy League thriller) and on a whim decided to search the net to see what sort of Harvard University-related gear I could find 🙂
Much to my delight, I came across this cool website:
Apparently it’s run by none other than the students of Harvard themselves!
I just love how they add at the bottom of each item’s description: All orders designed, packaged, and shipped by Harvard University students.
Some of my favourite items would have to be…
We had a long weekend last weekend and I spent most of my Friday and Saturday tucked away in my writing room, sneaking out every now and then to watch movies with the kids and play board games (we discovered our old copy of the board game Zathura tucked away, so we introduced the kids to the movie and then played our very own version which was super fun 🙂 so much so that Musketeer #3 decided he wants to be an astronaut when he grows up).
I haven’t had so much fun writing in ages! I was totally in the zone and it was wonderful 🙂
You see, since the end of last year I’ve been stuck on the two last scenes I need to finalise before I can move on to the next section (which involves writing 12 brand new scenes). The reason being that these two scenes are pretty good but they’re written from Boudica’s perspective, and a big part of me feels, in this new dual-POV version, they should be written from Aiden’s perspective. So, as I’m sure you can appreciate, a huge conflict has been raging inside me, between that part of me which thinks I should just leave them as is and move on, and the other part of me which is adamant I should get it all right RIGHT NOW!
According to the first part of me – the one which thinks it’s okay to move on – the scenes are good enough to stay the way they are for now. It’s far more important to finish the book than to keep messing around with things over and over again. I can always go back and change the POV once the rewrite is done. But the second part of me – the part which is naggy and whiney (let’s call her Marge) – disagrees with this logic profusely and will not allow me move on until I’m completely satisfied with every scene that has preceded.
Well, over the weekend, Marge finally won. So I put down my metaphoric pen and printed a copy of my manuscript. Then, with a newfound determination blossoming inside my heart, I combed through my rewrite, scene by scene, making changes as I went and refusing to set aside a chapter until I was convinced I’d done my best.
Now, this may sound like a bugger of a thing to do, but I absolutely loved it! It was so gratifying to polish a scene to satisfaction, stick a smiley face sticker on the print out, and then move along to the next. So far I’ve finished 16 of a total 36 scenes. Once I get to those last two pesky scenes, I’ll attack them with gusto and transform them into Aiden-POV scenes Marge will be proud of.
And then FINALLY I’ll be able to charge forward with no regrets 🙂
That’s how many words I’m into the rewrite now.
That’s 54.66% of the way, if I calculate on the basis the novel will be 90k words (its current length).
6 scenes to go until I get to the diary entry scenes, which is the point I was hoping to reach by the end of the year. So I’m not too far off track 🙂
Then I’ll only have 12 new scenes to write before I get to the finale.
THE best part of all.
Today I’m feeling pretty damn fine…
I just finished scene 22, which was a brand new scene to be slotted in amongst the others. In total for this rewrite now, I have completed 30,179 words of my 90,000 goal. This means I’m just over one third of the way done!
At the start of this year, I set a goal for myself. In the earlier versions of my book, a series of diary entries appears at the end of Act 2. By the end of 2017, I wanted to finish rewriting all of my scenes up to those diary entries. Right now, I’m 14 scenes away, so if I can get one scene finished a week (which isn’t too unreasonable), I can potentially reach my goal before the end of the year, with 6 weeks to spare! Those six weeks are wonderful to have up my sleeve because they allow for any of those unexpected interruptions life likes to throw into the mix.
This is a great feeling, because back in February I had sort of reconciled myself to not being able to write much this year at all. But now that we have our two amazing Settlement Superheroes, and David has offered to drive the kids to school two mornings a week so I can squeeze in some writing time, I am back on track, baby.
At this rate, A Whisper of Death should be finished sometime next year and I’ll be able to participate in the exciting world of pitching again 🙂 Gosh, I miss that.
I’ve set up a toolbar in the dropdown menu above, showing my progress as I rewrite A Whisper of Death. The day it finally reaches 100% will be a day for celebration! I can’t wait.
One thing I can say about writing… and David Lynch – they certainly teach you to be patient…
And all I can say is YES!!!
Finally, after many months of not writing I am back 🙂 And it feels awesome…
I hadn’t actually realised how long it’s been since I last blogged until I checked just now. More than 16 months!!!
It’s incredible how fast time has flown…
Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t been sitting around twiddling my thumbs. I’ve been super busy.
2016 was all about work – working in our business and working on my writing.
I entered many different writing contests throughout 2016 with quite a few resulting in places. Seven, to be precise.
I was awarded first place in four contests:
Utah Chapter RWA Great Beginnings Contest – Paranormal Category
Chicago-North Chapter RWA Fire & Ice Contest – Young Adult Category
First Coast (Florida) Chapter RWA Beacon Contest – Young Adult Category
West Houston Chapter RWA Emily Contest – Young Adult Category
Second place in two contests:
New Mexico Chapter RWA Rebecca Contest – Young Adult Category
Chesapeake Chapter RWA Rudy Contest – Paranormal Category
And third place in one:
Missouri Chapter RWA Gateway to the Best Contest – Young Adult Category
It was certainly a boost to my confidence to receive such accolades.
And the feedback was invaluable. That is by far the best thing about contests – the insight you receive into your work by readers who are judging your writing on merit alone. They don’t know who you are, only the story you are telling.
The other thing that eclipsed my time throughout 2016, and all the way into 2017, our business. Business boomed and it boomed big – so much so it became a 10 to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week sort of affair, which, when you have three kiddies, tends to suck the life right out of you. Well, at least any semblance of life you might have.
But there was light at the end of the tunnel. Finally after months of hard slog, we bit the bullet and hired some staff – super spectacular mind-blowingly awesome staff 🙂 And for the last few weeks I’ve actually been able to finish work at a reasonable hour, spend quality time with my stooges, and dip my toes back into the pond of literary creation.
It has been absolute heaven…
This weekend I even completed a scene that has been hanging over my head for months now 😀
So with this newfound life-balance, I fully intend to throw myself back into my rewrite and get the thing finished.
I can’t wait to keep you updated on my progress!