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And now it’s just… summer as far as the eye can see

July 26, 2012

I finished the third draft of the first draft of my latest manuscript. Sort of. I keep thinking of things to add or change, but I've hit the point where I'm no longer sure that adding or changing things will make it better. It's kind of like making a huge pot of chili, you know? At some point you topple off the precipice of yummy cumin-flavored meat stew and you get an overcooked mess of face-numbing sludge. So, yeah. I'm trying to avoid creating face-numbing sludge. A feat that I am failing miserably at in regards to this blog post.

See? This is what happens when you're in the throes of having just finished a draft. You forget how to write nice things, and instead end up blogging about meat sludge. My brain is in an unfortunate place.

HOWEVER, this time a week ago, my brain was not in an unfortunate place. It was in a lovely place, as was the rest of me. Specifically, my brain and myself were at my agency retreat in Port Ludlow, Washington. There was good food, even better company, a bald eagle sighting here and there, and weather that required a sweater… what more could a girl ask for? A jacuzzi tub? Yeah, had one of those, too. A fireplace? In my room! Time with my agent that may or may not have included sleepaway camp antics at 2 am? This, too, was a thing.

My brain was happy. The rest of me was, too. In fact, I am STILL in a kind of post-retreat afterglow situation, even while I wage an epic battle against face-numbing brain sludge. (Side note: was afterglow a weird word choice? I'm feeling that it might be weird. Oh, well. TOO LATE. THANKS A LOT, BRAIN SLUDGE.)

Anyway, what was this blog post supposed to be about? I can't remember. Probably something about how when you write a draft and never feel like you're done, that's OK, because what you really need to learn is when to relinquish it to someone else to read. Of course, you also have to learn when NOT to relinquish it to someone else because it's not ready yet. I guess the obsessive-compulsive problem of most writers is trying to find that pre-face-numbing window.

Basically, what I'm telling you is that when you're ready, throw your chili words through a window – directly at your agent – and hope that your timing is right so that you do not burn off his/her face.


Manuscript out of my hands for now. Retreat over. Still a month of summer before the kids go back to school.

It's time to read some books, isn't it? I think this blogging idea might need to be revisited. Also, I am feeling compelled to make a big pot of chili.

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