Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hello, April!

**

I don’t know about you, but I am really glad to see the back of March. In the past month I have: finished my fifth Sebastian book, What Remains of Heaven; seriously injured my eye; slogged (one eyed) through my editor’s requested revisions on my second thriller, The Solomon Effect; lost one of my cats; caught a nasty case of bronchitis that provoked a porphyria attack; and slogged (bucket within reach) through massive editorial rewrites for What Remains of Heaven. I’ve also participated in the presentation of an all-day workshop for aspiring writers at our local Barnes and Noble; had my youngest daughter home for spring break, and presented a luncheon speech at the Metairie Literary Guild. I started plotting my sixth Sebastian book, tentatively entitled What the Dead Tell (I know I won’t be allowed to keep that one), and then, yesterday, I sat down in a white heat and wrote the first chapter.

Coming up this month, I need to finish nailing the plot of the Sebastian book and write the first 35 pages and synopsis; plot the third thriller and write that proposal; and participate in the Jubilee Jambalaya conference down in Houma, where I’m presenting a workshop on plotting. It’s still a lot to do, but this is the part of writing that I love. Unlike (cue morgue organ) the dreaded edits.

Why do I hate edits so much? Because at that point, almost every book I’ve ever written strikes me as a piece of cr*p. I am painfully aware of the story’s warts and weaknesses. But time (or my own talent) has run out: this is as good as it gets, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s never good enough.

But the proposal stage (cue bird song and time elapse photos of spring flowers unfurling) is a time for falling in love, when my story idea is still a bright shiny bauble toward which I reach with excitement and wonder. There is no book, only an idea, and as we all know, falling in love with an idea is so much easier than loving a reality!

5 comments:

Sphinx Ink said...

Wow, just reading that list makes me feel exhausted!

Re your hating edits because you become convinced that whatever the ms. is, it's a bunch of cr*p, let me say this: After meeting with you weekly for nearly 8 years in our Monday night writers' group, I've learned the more convinced you are that your work is cr*p, the better the final product is when I read the published product!

Steve Malley said...

Jeez, and I thought I had a rough month. You're one hell of a trooper!

And I'm with SPhinx- feeling inadequate is all part of the process. The sucky part.

Glad you're feeling better!

Charles Gramlich said...

Methinks you are quite possibly burnt out about now and need a little break.

cs harris said...

Sphinx Ink, I know I always say it, but THIS time....

Steve, thanks. And I think you're right, feeling inadequate is part of the process.

Charles, methinks you are right. Unfortunately, the copyedited version of Heaven landed in my inbox this morning, along with an email from my thriller editor telling me the copyedits of Solomon were on their way. I almost burst into tears. I'd left those out of my "things I must to in April" planning.

liz fenwick said...

I am exhausted just reading about your March!

Good luck with April and the copyedits!

Steve is so right that the crap bit seems so much a part of the process.
lx