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.

Look! A post!

Baby 2 just spontaneously passed out in his chair so there is half a chance I might actually be able to complete a blog post. Or at least start one that I will post a week from now when I happen to be looking at my page and realize that there is something in ‘drafts’. So we’ll see how this goes.

Believe it or not I have actually kept with my plan and have managed to make some headway with editing the WIP. As I suspected, one or two pages per day didn’t happen…that being said, today I completed editing page 36 and Baby 2 was born thirty-four days ago, so it is averaging out. 🙂 There is some temptation to keep barrelling right along but instead I’m going to pause and give those 36 pages at least one more pass-over. I have a few reasons for doing this:

1. Two of my friends who decided to move much too far away are coming to visit next weekend. While they have made it clear that they certainly don’t expect me to have any writing available for them to look at, they have also made it clear how happy they would be if I did.

If you’d like to acquaint yourself with said friends, they are here and here. If you do acquaint yourself with them, feel free to suggest they move closer to me.  😛

2. My next long piece is due for critique class next week. I’m considering giving the opening chapter, since last time I gave a piece of chapter 2 and was met with clamours to know what had come before (which was damn nice, I must admit!). I like the opening, it just needs some slight changes since some of the details have changed in my head even over the past few days. I was also considering giving a later piece – this scene is quite dark and the previous ones I’ve given were dark also, so I thought I might go for something different. But then my husband pointed out that…

3. Even though the publisher who wants to see this WIP wants to see the whole thing, depending on how it goes I might have to start by giving just the first three chapters…or if I have to present it elsewhere, it would be with the first three chapters. And the first 36 pages are, in fact, the first three chapters.

This means that I also might just post my Lucky Seven meme.  You know, if I like what’s on page 77.  😉

**

Juggling life with two kids is still proving to be a challenge, and I’m awaiting  the summer holidays with some trepidation. With any luck, we’ll be into some semblance of a routine by then and perhaps that will make things easier. At the moment however, I feel like I’m still flying by the seat of my pants…and, as I’m only one month into this mom-of-two-kids thing, I think that’s more than okay. I’d be willing to give myself even more time to get organized if I wasn’t worried about the aforementioned holidays. Nevertheless, settling into this is actually going far better than I had anticipated. Baby 2 is a very good baby – he naps (though not in his crib, unfortunately) and the nights haven’t been TOO bad (yet), though I do stay up far too late for no good reason on most night. And Kid 1 seems to have adjusted to the new reality. So, all things considered, I’m sure as hell not complaining. Now that the weather is nice, I’ve started going for long walks again and I intend to re-start yoga in the next week or so. Now I just need to find some way to carve out daily writing time…

Must…not…edit… – okay, maybe just a little.

Since finishing the first draft of the manuscript last week, I’ve been finding it very difficult to keep my hands off of it and not start editing the hell out of it. I know that you are supposed to let a draft ‘rest’ for a time, but I’ve never been very good at that – often I edit earlier sections before the first draft is even done. The only reason I didn’t really do that this time was because I was so desperate to get the draft finished before going into labour. Letting this draft rest is a good idea. First, my brain can subconsciously work on some of those content issues that I know are lingering in there. Second, Kid 1 is on March Break so how much time could I actually devote to it this week? And third, how far am I really going to get before I have no choice but to shelve it for a while?

Oh, I also have a copy of a friend’s first draft and I really owe her some editorial commentary…

So yes, shelving it for a while is clearly the best plan.

At the same time, though…

My husband suggested that perhaps I just look at the first three chapters, if I’m that desperate. After all, that’s usually all an agent or editor wants right away. I resisted this at first – the interested party I have wanted the whole thing when it was done. I did consider the idea though, since there’s a possibility that that won’t pan out and I’ll have to go elsewhere. So, just out of curiousity, I popped open the first three chapters.  At which point I made a rather surprising discovery: the first three chapters wound up being SIXTY-ONE pages (of a 256 page, 22 chapter whole).

Excuse me?

Upon further investigation I found that Chapter 1 is about 4 000 words. Fine.

Chapter 2 is 12 000 words.

Chapter 3 is 10 000 words.

Oops. So yes…if I do find a chance to put in any work on it this week, apparently my first task will be determining where the first three chapters actually should be and maybe then putting in a bit of editing time on those.

Critique Class continues to go well…I’ve now also had my short piece reviewed and once again received very positive feedback. This was a 900 word piece that I read aloud to my smaller group, none of whom had heard it or seen it before (unlike the long piece which was emailed a week in advance to the entire class). A couple of people even told me that they liked it better than the longer piece! So I came away feeling very happy (and validated!) once again. Prepping this short piece also at least allowed me to do a tiny bit of editing, which helped my twitchiness about it. Now I’m off the hook until the second half of the class, as far as presenting my own writing is concerned.

Prep for baby 2 continues at a pretty frantic pace. I’m feeling (marginally) less panicky now that the nursery is painted and we’ve bought most of the things we’ll need for the baby and the hospital stay. Eleven days…crazy. I don’t quite believe sometime in the next two weeks I’m going to have two kids!