My New Normal
Too much has changed in the past month for my life to ever return to normal. I lost my father. But the end to his suffering and his inability to do the things he wanted to do prevent me from being sad. Mostly, I feel a profound sense of relief–like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. The end turned out so much better than I ever would have expected, and for that I will always be grateful.
Then I got the life-changing e-mail message from Dreamspinner Press. That was five days ago, and I’m still firmly anchored to Cloud Nine. My cheeks hurt from the giant and ever present grin on my face. I don’t think I’ve been this excited before, about anything. The closest is the excitement I felt when I was maybe nine or ten on Christmas morning. But that was fleeting–lasting just a few hours. This has lasted for days with no end in sight.
My partner made cakes-in-a-jar for me to take to the writers group meeting. Two other writers brought treats when they got book deals, so I think it’s a rule. If it isn’t, it should be. The treats did not prevent them from ripping to shreds two of the scenes I’d submitted for critique. We’d made it almost all the way around the table with mostly positive comments and a few suggestions for minor changes. I thought I was safe. Then one of the last to share suggested a major change.
As always happens, the writer (me) immediately shot down the suggestion. Given a minute to think about it, the rest of the writers agreed with the suggestion. Though vastly outnumbered, I struggled valiantly to defend what I’d written. It’s a knee-jerk reaction and everyone in the group does the same thing.
Then we think about it for a while. Depending on who it comes from, I might ignore one person’s suggestion. But when everybody agrees a change is a good idea, I have to pay attention.
When I’m working on a manuscript, I highlight words, sentences, and/or paragraphs that need more work. On the outline I’m following to write After Christmas Eve, I marked the two chapters in question weeks ago as something I needed to rethink. Hmmmmmm.
I started on revisions Saturday night and, except for a few hours here and there, worked more or less straight through Sunday. The revamped scenes work MUCH better than those they replace. The changes also caused me to rearrange a few things that take place after the revised scenes. My outline is free of highlighting and I’m ready to tackle the last eight or ten chapters.
Getting Until Thanksgiving published is priority number one. I’m going to bust my butt to meet or beat any deadlines in hopes of an early December release date. Having to wait until after Christmas is okay, too. Either way, I still have a book.
Life is good here on Cloud Nine. I’ll come down sooner or later. But until then, I’m calling this feeling the new normal here in…
My Glass House