I finished my copyedits for The Castle Behind Thorns last night. They’re due tomorrow. Today I’ve been doing fun things like pondering “Do I really need to start 24 sentences with ‘there was’?” (Answer: I do NOT.) Likewise the 88 occurrences of “it seemed”? (*hides under the bed*)
This is the trade-off. Write fast, and the sentence level work suffers. Write slow, and I may be engulfed with self-doubt. Or blow my deadline.
In any case, this weekend was Independence Day, and I worked (writing-work) 2.5 of my 4 days off from my dayjob. Writing is truly glamorous! Previous weekends were also spent working: last weekend I was at the Young Author’s Conference Friday and Saturday (note: the 8-12th grade session is still taking applications!); Wednesday before that I had a reading; the weekend before that I taught a class at the Ann Arbor Book Festival; the weekend before that I was in North Carolina for a mini-high school reunion and gave a reading there as well. Next weekend I attend Mythcon 44, as The Princess Curse is nominated for a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature. I have no actual work to do there except to be able to lose gracefully.
Happily, after that, I can actually take a weekend fully off! Though I must say, all the writing and author-related work is invigorating and relatively stress-free. I thought my book talk on that one Wednesday was rather disjointed, but I also tried to be as entertaining as possible. When you don’t have a cohesive narrative, you may be able to rely on your voice. That works in fiction as well as presentations.
(I once got a fabulous critique from someone about a story of mine that’s never been published that said, “The voice on this is wonderful! It led me down the dead-end alleys and over the plot pot-holes so smoothly I never noticed them until my second read through.” This is not the first time I’ve gotten such critique, but it is the most eloquent version of it.)
In any case, I had worked through about half my copy edits before this weekend. The other half I worked on at the dining table at the lake, which has a nice view but poor ergonomics. This year I solved the ergonomics by resting my feet on an encyclopedia and a cloth-wrapped brick. This kept my hips from falling out of their sockets which is what it feels like when I spend any amount of time at the dining table otherwise. Apparently my husband’s ancestors had much longer legs than me, because only my toes reach the ground in those chairs.
Now we are back home, ostensibly to get our yard work done, but really, my husband has napped and I have dorked around on the computer and petted cats. Well, it all has to get done, doesn’t it?
Looking forward to some level of lazing during the rest of this summer! The only thing left on my plate this summer are the galleys for The Castle Behind Thorns, and I won’t see them for a little while. And, oh yes, figuring out what I am writing next. Oh, and of course, reading for the Norton Award!