OK, so, remember how I said I’d be back in a week, like, three weeks ago, and then I wasn’t?
Yeah. That may have been some species of lie.
It wasn’t deliberate. I didn’t set out to deceive you all. Well, when I say all, I mean whoever-you-are who reads this blog, because presumably someone does? I mean, it gets hits, so I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that at least some of you aren’t turning up here by accident after taking a wrong turn at Google. The point being, I’ve been absent. And now I’m trying to be…less absent.
So, by way of quick explanation: I was, in the first instance, sick. Two weeks ago, I took the Monday off, went in the next morning under the impression that I was cured, and then collapsed beneath a coworker’s desk while waiting for someone to sign off on my Sick Leave form. As in, I fainted. One minute, standing, the next…on my back, with a very bruised arm from where I’d cracked it on the edge of the desk, and trying to figure out how I’d got there. Sufficed to say, the sight of several concerned editors standing over me discussing what to do with my feet was rather alarming, especially given the fact that one of them was reading out loud from the First Aid manual. In the end, a friend drove me home and I stayed there until Thursday.
Then came a furious spate of work on The Key to Starveldt, which I’m hoping to hand to the publisher before the end of the month. This may be outrageous optimism on my part, given that I’m still not happy with the structure and flow of events in Act Three, but then again, I’ve met far crazier self-imposed deadlines in recent memory, so why the hell not? Since my recovery from the Fainting Flu, and taking into account the number of words I’ve also chopped out, the manuscript has grown by about 20,000 in a bit under two weeks. With the exception of two small scenes near the beginning, I’m almost 100% happy with the way the novel works up until about Chapter 17, at which juncture I am currently stalled. This is due almost entirely to the fact that the current version of TKTS is about the fourth major draft I’ve produced, each one being significantly different from its fellows, and while the ending has never changed, there are now about six scenes leading up to it that either have to be dropped entirely, massively sleeked to fit the flow or else recombined in a different order. That’s my goal for the next two weeks: thanks to a thoughtful lunchtime deminap under my desk today – because I have been known to sleep on the floor a’purpose, and not just after my immune system goes flonk – I’ve suddenly realised two very simple, obvious-in-retrospect Things I Can Do To Make The Third Act Work, which is extremely helpful. With the end in sight, I’m taking the deep breath before the plunge in preparation for my traditional mad dash to the ribbon. Wish me luck!
As for the rest of the time: I’ve had work, and extracurricular writing projects, and the discovery of romance novels, which is a whole ‘nother blog post in and of itself. Also, I may have played a bit of Wii Tennis and Super Mario Galaxy while rewatching all of Firefly with Toby. I know, I know. But now I’m back, so let’s have a digital hug and get on with business as usual. Rant, anyone?