Doing a little dance whilst I hide under the bed

Draft Two is finished! I’m not entirely certain whether I should be dancing around the room or hiding under my bed. Well, I probably don’t need to hide under the bed until I send it to readers so, for now, I’ll do a quiet little dance in my head.

Finishing this draft did not go as planned. Originally I’d hoped to finish it by last Friday and I probably could have except I started getting paranoid about some dialogue. One of my characters speaks somewhat more formally than the rest (he’s royalty, leave him alone) and I started worrying that I’d made his dialogue TOO formal. So in typical writer-who-is-not-willing-to-finish-her-draft fashion, I went back through every bit of his dialogue to make sure it sounded natural. In doing this I discovered that I don’t actually use a lot of dialogue. And so, by the end of Friday night, I’d checked up on half of it. I figured I’d be done by the weekend then.

Nope. Weekend didn’t go at all as planned. I was supposed to attend a friend’s wedding shower, spend the remainder of the weekend with my parents and get home relatively early on Sunday. Instead, I went to the shower, came home, we decided to go to my parents’ place for Sunday only instead. Any writing time I would have had on Saturday night was taken up by Baby D and his decision to stay up until midnight and on Sunday morning the kids let us sleep in (of course on a morning when we wanted to be up early), so we didn’t get to my parents’ place until the afternoon. And then we got home late. I got a little bit done last night but otherwise my writing productivity for the weekend was terrible. But this morning, lo and behold, Baby D has slept in. And I not only got through the rest of the dialogue, I also went back over what I’d looked at last night because I wasn’t sure I’d done a very good job.

And so, it is now 9am and Baby D is still sleeping and draft two is done. As a friend just told me: “there’s no escaping it now.”

And as I told her: “Gah.”

I wonder how many days it will take me to ramp up the courage to send it out to readers? 😉

So now I guess it’s on to working on that short and ramping up my productivity with editing my friend’s manuscript. I also have writing class and my writing group starting up again next week, so I don’t know that my workload is actually going to decrease at all but I do feel pretty awesome to have passed that milestone.

And on that note, Baby D is up. Perfect timing.

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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…