Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Literary Collapse

I did it. I finished rewrites. I sent off my manuscript at noon today. There will be more edits. It goes to a copy editor now. I'll catch more stuff when galleys are made and I see it closer to book form. For now, I can rest. I go back to work next week. I might be able to go to a movie two and have some semblance of a vacatin. I have to sleep now.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Literary Pressure

I'm working on the last 80 pages of my novel. It needs to be in by Wednesday. I thought this would be a breeze, but I just spent three hours rewriting three pages! I'm not a perfectionist, but I kept trying to get just the right feel to a scene. All because of an editor's note in the margins of the page, that read: "I guess I don't know where this is coming from." I thought the purpose of the scene was clear, but I was wrong. So, I'm clarifying. All last week was about cutting, now it's about fleshing things out. A simple comment from my editor like "This character needs more motivation for him to react this way" caused me to go into a late night writing fit finding more motivation for a character to do what he does. Ah, the writing life.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Literary Havoc

My novel feels like this torn up piece of parchment. I'm done with the small little edits. Barrel through, I kept telling myself. Now, onto the big stuff.

For the last coupla days I'd been struggling with restructuring the first part of my novel. It's been playing havoc with my head. I'd leave my apartment and think about: HOW THE DREK AM I SUPPOSED TO FIX THIS?!?!

It got so bad that I began to vigorously clean. Anyone who knows me knows that things must have gotten really bad with rewrites if Noel turned to cleaning.

Just when I was about to crash my car into the nearest oak tree, it somehow came together this evening. Let me tell you that I felt this incredible lightness overtake me.

Rewrites are due by the end of this month--which ain't too far away. Back to cutting board.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Literary Vacation

You know what I like about this guy in the photo? He's seems to be having a great honest to goodness vacation. He's out in nature, proud at having caught a fish. He looks like he's known a good meal or two. A cigar in his mouth. Me? My vacation time is usually spent on my creative endeavors. Right now I'm using vacation time to do rewrites on my second book. In the past, I'd use vacation time because I had a show. My last two "vacations" were attached to creative projects. I vacationed in New England because I booked a show there. I vacationed in The Philippines because I was a journalist writing for a travel magazine. Someday, I'm going to have one of those vacations when I plan two weeks and just go away. (Then again, I'd have to pay for flight and lodging myself.)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Literary Dullness

I'm feeling dull about my rewrites. I'm happy to be doing them, but my head hurts working on them right now. I can't give them my full attention. I have a major report due at work. (Ah, the day job) All of my mental energies are going to that. My writing has been primarily technical ("For Objective One, the collabortive membership had not changed from contract year one...."). I want to get it done before I take my vacation next week. I'll have two weeks that will allow me to concentrate only on my novel.

At this time, I'm doing the easy part of rewrites like replacing a comma or fixing some bad word-choicing. I'm reserving the big changes (like cutting out a major character and making the story still hold water) for next week.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Literary Shreds

I had a very good discussion with my editor this morning. It was something I looked forward to and dreaded at the same time. I'd digested his comments and needed more clarification. After talking to him, I felt much better. I am more clear. Something we talked about was changing the beginning. I was beside myself when I read this suggestion. After talking to him, I understood. In one fell swoop, the first chapter went to the shredder. It's gone.

Chapter Two is the new Chapter one.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Literary Cover

Let me begin by saying that in most cases, authors don't have a say on their covers. My editor sent me the cover of my next novel. It's lovely, literary, warm, romantic. And it's another photo of a guy's back side!

I wrote an e-mail to my editor and actually said, "Can we cover his ass more?" I asked that the emphasis be focused on his upper back and face. Otherwise, I think the image conveys a beautiful sense of dreaming--something that I explore in the story.

The cover of my first book....
When I was unpublished I hated when I heard an author whine about his covers. In the back of my mind, I thought: shut up already--be satisfied you've got a book. Now, I'm that author. (Life Lesson: Be careful who you curse. You become who you cursed.)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Literary Breathing

Notes from my editor came in the mail for "Talking to the Moon." He wrote a three page, single spaced letter with his suggestions. He also sent back my 382 page manuscript with his mark-ups in red ink.

I was overwhelmed with his comments. It was like sending my beautiful child to school and having him return all beat-up, scarred, and told he doesn't play well with others. I had to call some novelist-friends of mine to calm me down.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in.

I put in my request for vacation days.