Rambling post since I can’t seem to edit at the moment…

Argh, I absolutely hate it when I have an opportunity to get some work done and I can’t get my head into it! Baby 2 is sleeping at the moment (though perhaps not for much longer, he’s already been down for far longer than usual) and Kid 1 is sitting on the couch playing a video game with the sound turned off. I started editing while Kid 1 was playing outside but only got through one page before he had to come back in. Well, I thought naively to myself, I’ll just park him in front of a game and continue until the baby wakes up. Naive indeed. My brain is just not interested in doing this right now…everything, absolutely everything is distracting me. The back and forth ticking of the swing. Kid 1’s incessant coughing and muttering to himself about the game. I could remove myself to another room and, if the baby does stay asleep by the time I’m done this post, I probably will. Of course, that should guarantee that he wakes up.

I have managed to keep up with my editing quotas for the past few days but that has meant going to bed far too late. Far far FAR too late. We usually try to watch a show once Kid 1 is in bed, even if the baby is not yet asleep. For some reason for the past few days, we’ve been starting these shows later, which means that I’m not even beginning the edit until about 11pm. By the time I’m done, it’s midnight. Then I still have to get washed up and into bed, which often takes a while. And then the alarm goes off at 6. Writing on no sleep is one thing – I’ve done it a million times and the nice thing is that you can always polish it up once you’ve rested. But editing on no sleep? I have a sneaking suspicion that things are catching up to me. So my plan at the moment is to carve out that hour earlier. Only a little. Maybe 9 to 10 or 10 to 11. We can do our one TV show right before or maybe right after if I do 9-10. But somehow I need to get more sleep. I have a baby that actually sleeps through the night most of the time (touch wood), so I feel that there’s pretty much no excuse for me to be dragging myself through my days feeling like I’ve had to get up with him every two hours like I did in the beginning (or with Kid 1 when he was a baby). This is leaving me with no energy to edit, no creativity to work on those rewrite sections and no patience for dealing with a five year old boy.

Oh and I’m still hoping to cram in yoga. Somewhere. Oy.

A last side note – at my writing group last week, we did a writing-prompt exercise and the prompt I did has actually inspired a short story. This is so rare for me that I felt I needed to call it out. I have absolutely no idea when I’ll ever have time for something like that (2025, I’m thinking) but I’m trying to keep it on one of the closer backburners so that I can give it some attention sometime soon.

I truly want it.

I’ve recently decided to join this century and get a Twitter account. And by ‘recently’ I mean a couple of weeks ago and by ‘decided’ I mean a friend talked me into it. So I gave it a shot and discovered, much to my chagrin, that “Fictional Impulse” is one character too long for our friends at Twitter. As such, my Twitter account is @FictionImpulse (and eventually this blog might change to reflect that depending on how it goes). So please feel free to come follow me. And I do update it more often than I do this blog. I promise.

Last week (I think, the days are starting to blur), I also finished the first edit of the manuscript! I settled in to edit a single scene and when I realized how close I was to the end, I decided to just keep going. That meant that I stayed up far too late, but I stay up far too late most nights anyhow – and surely this is a better reason than watching TV. This does not mean, in any way, that I’m about to be sending my work off to a publisher. There is a lot of minor rewriting to be done (highlighted paragraphs here and there that need reworking) as well as one major rewrite section (Chapter 2). I need to go through it with a broader comb now and look for content edit questions. And I also need to put it through a few readers, only one of which I’ve selected. Oh, and I’d like to have all of that done by the end of the summer at the ABSOLUTE latest. What with all of my free time, that’s a totally realistic deadline. Right?

Since I finished that first pass edit a week ago, I’ve also done the first draft rewrite of Chapter 2. Am I thrilled with it? Well, I’m not sure. I wrote it whilst killing time in a bad mood with a few glasses of wine and haven’t looked at it since. But even if it needs to be completely rehashed, I do know that I like the *idea* that is now committed to paper (screen) and that’s most important for me. I can massage the words themselves later. It was the idea that needed to be reworked.

Other writing related stuff…my crit class is done until the fall but in the meantime several of us have decided to run a little writer’s group over the summer which I’m quite enjoying. I’ve received a few more copies of my rewrite of Chapter 1 back and everyone seems to think I pulled it off and pulled it off well.  And scenes from Book 2 are slowly starting to pull themselves together. On the one hand, I’d like them to pull themselves together a bit quicker. On the other hand, I don’t see myself having time to even start the thing until September.

Despite all of the time I spent worrying about how on earth I was going to write while Kid 1 was on holidays, I can already see that that’s not going to be the issue. Kid 1 will leave me alone for an hour if I ask him too. He knows how to play by himself, he just doesn’t always want to do so. The problem is going to be my sweet little baby who I love to bits and who has decided that napping is for suckers (that being said, he is napping right now for once, which is why you’re getting a post).  He’s teething, of course, and is therefore more often miserable than he has usually been. And when I can manage to get him down for a nap it’s usually not for more than half an hour tops. Even less if I happen to get him napping in his crib. He does sleep most nights though, so I suppose this is what I get for having that luxury.

To top it all off, I’d really like to get back into painting. I’ve been feeling a rather desperate need to re-centre as well, which means I should start exercising and taking yoga again too. I feel like, especially with the writing, I need to carve out a time to do it, but every time I settle down and try to figure out how I’m completely flummoxed. Get up really early like 4am writer or go to bed really late? Neither seems doable…I’m not a morning person at all and by night I’m just exhausted. I do stay up  too late most nights but I tend not to expend any more energy than it takes to watch some television. But the days are so unpredictable. Even if I do get the baby on a schedule, how much am I going to accomplish if he only sleeps for twenty minutes??

This is my mantra right now and believe me when I say I’m clinging to it: If you truly want it, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.

Wandering in

Aside

*Wanders onto blog*

*Looks around*

Hello?

*Hears crickets*

All right, all right, I guess it’s been a while. I’ve been meaning to update for weeks, (really!) but every time I get around to doing so, something stops me. For instance, Baby 2 has been taking a nice nap and now I can hear him starting to squish. So we’ll see how far this gets…

Writing update first. The editing is going well – better than I would have expected at this point. I’m on page 184 of 221 and most days I am managing my daily five page quota. This is just a first-pass edit – if there is a section that requires a rewrite or much more thought I’ve merely highlighted it to go back to later. That way, these sections can simmer in my brain and perhaps by the time I get back to them I’ll be able to whip them off no problem. My feedback has also continued to be quite positive. I had an intense critique of my opening chapter a few weeks ago – we spent over an hour on it and I wound up having to revise a major detail, but, even then, the overall reviews were very good. And the feedback on the rewrite of that chapter was even better. One of my readers sent me a fabulous screamy visceral response that I go back to and read every time I’m feeling discouraged. That kind of review is *exactly* what my confidence needs.

And my confidence does need a bit of boosting these days. I’ve received nothing but resounding silence from a contact that I’d hoped to get some advice from (to be fair, I may have used an inactive email address, so I’m going to send a follow-up to the other address this week). But there is also the lingering fear of reaching the final stage in a project. And by ‘final stage’ I do not mean that I’ll finish up the first-pass edit, or even the major rewrite sections and say that’s that. But I am reaching the end of the first-pass edit stage. Which means that, at least once the rewrites are done, if I want to do something further with this story I’m going to have to, well, do it. And that thought is vaguely terrifying. I think that part of my sudden lack of confidence in the whole thing is the fact that the great maw of attempting publication is yawning before me with its contingent of monsters including rejection letters, editors telling me to change major details, bad reviews, etc etc etc. But if I decide I’m no good at this, I can just walk away, right?

Except that I can’t. I did walk away once, for a time. Not because I didn’t believe I was any good but because I didn’t have a major project to work on and I had a toddler keeping me busy most of the time. So the writing fell away. And I was miserable for it. I’d been writing my entire life and that was the only significant break I took from it. Yes, the yawning maw is scary. But it’s what I’ve worked towards for my entire life. So, likely in the next two weeks I’m going to have to get out my rappelling gear and start slipping down into the unknown.

Okay, that was the writing update. Onto the baby update! Baby 2 is wonderful and HUGE. He’s just over two months now and he’s already 16 pounds! He’s also my little wonderbaby – almost never cries, was able to hold his head up on day 1, was able to roll over at 6 weeks, sleeps most nights, plays with his toy on level 2 (for sitting babies, which he doesn’t yet do but is far more interested in that level). He has a little baby cold right now, which has turned his squeaks (his trachea hasn’t completely closed yet) into snuffle squeaks which are insanely cute but also very heartbreakingly sad. I have a cold too, but that’s far less important.

And, continuing proud mama time, Kid 1 is reading! He brings home these little readers from school that he’s never seen before and he reads them to me! It blows my mind to see this world opening up before him. Seems unbelievable that a mere five years ago he was as tiny and helpless as his brother. Nothing makes time fly quite like having kids.

There! I made it through a post. At this rate, maybe I’ll be able to unload the 158 pictures that are sitting on my camera from the past two weeks, catch up on some of the blogs that I follow, or do some editing for one of my dearest friends who is also a brilliant writer.