Monday, June 22, 2015

Pleasant little burglaries

I've been staying productive, I think. Yesterday I finally, finally finished the editing process on the fifth book, and earlier that week received a release date of September 1. There've been some policy changes so the cover is getting done last. I think all in all, I made some progress professionally. There was a snafu with my editor of choice, so the editor in chief ended up working with my on my manuscript. I might have mentioned it, that becoming a positive interaction. She even went so far as to say that she would "be happy working with me on my future projects," which I took to be a positive sign. Even if it was a little thing like I was easier to work with, that means something I think.

Someone suggested that I start a fictionpress profile, as a way to garner readers. I didn't really get it, but this person had more readers than me, so I could hardly write the advice off. So, I did. I'm still working on getting everything sorted out. I put up the prelude story that precedes the first book in the Where Shadows Lie series. Maybe if anyone ends up asking if there's any more to the story, I can direct them with a link. Though, that feels like it's essentially me saying "Sure, give me money." Another friend recently picked up my first book, in the midst of a concussion recovery no less, saying that I deserved to get paid for my work. That was really nice.

Also, I've been interviewed again for that first book, also. That was also more luck. I got an email last night from the writer who hosts, and I had completely forgotten. I did the interview before it was hot outside, so several months ago. Maybe it's fortuitous that things are occurring in such close proximity. I really hope I get to discover how it all works. From the outside looking in success seems to be equal parts preparation and luck, with preparation being composed of bits of networking and diligence. I'll let you know when I know.

Last weekend I struggled out half a chapter for the sci fi novel. I wasn't happy with it, as one might imagine, but I was happy that I started. I got it to a turning point, where all I have to do, in theory, is bring it home. It was more difficult than I had thought to keep that momentum up while I was starting and stopping edits on the other book at random intervals. I realize that I really am one for schedules. The day of, I resent my past self for bargaining my time away, but it's much better than feeling robbed on a sudden whim.

The work with  my colleague has been interesting as well. Interacting with someone who's purpose it is to write a story, or counter narrative wrapped inside the epoche concept, that has no real understanding or practice of what the elements of a story are, or could be. I've been told, in our meetings in stylish about town coffee houses, that I could present myself as a dissertation doctor. The concept seemed oxymoronic, not having a graduate education myself, but I accepted the compliment, as I do with any positive regard.

Sometimes I look up and wonder at how my weeks wrap around one another, serpents of time eating one another's tails. I'm happy to say that I haven't grown any negative feelings about it though, like useless appendages. I guess a little tired for a lot of work is better than equitable trade.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Broken stride

Two things recently coincided. I stumbled, and failed to keep up a consecutive week of writing, and the second round of edits for the novel began. I received the file middle of last week, the very same evening when I reminded myself to email my editor the following day, because it had been some weeks since I last heard from her. The email the file was attached to was warmer than the first, even complimentary. She said the novel was close, had very few problem areas left, and that she enjoyed working with me on it. When I finally opened it and started working on Saturday, I saw what she meant. It was almost as if the hands that had touched that edited version were gentler, and more accepting. It felt like she was beginning to understand, and that felt great.

Then on yesterday I stumbled. There were lots of moving pieces to a social weekend, but I know, looking back, that I had enough time to sit down and commit. I just didn't. In that regard, despite to what extent I enjoyed myself, I came away disappointed in my effort. I was in a good rhythm, and now it's going to be another uphill battle to get that back. The one good thing I can say is that never once have I thought about putting it down, or hanging it up, whatever the metaphor.

Which is one of the main reasons a former co-worker reached out to me in request to help him with some writing he's doing. It's academic, so that's that, but still, it is putting words on a page. I recently went to a lecture of a friend who studies in the sciences, and I have a better understanding of the writing that they do, which is mostly a clever and strategic organization of a lot of someones else's words, very little of their own, so I won't compare it to that. But when I asked my colleague why me, because I correctly surmised that he knew other writers, he told me because of all the writers he knew, I was the one who had stuck with it. Which is not how I would describe it, but I took the compliment anyway. It was nice, at least, to be perceived as someone that hadn't yet given up, no matter what else was going on in my life.

Thus, in regard to attaining my earlier pace, I have a few conflicts. This extra work for my colleague should take some concentration, and of course the game is progressing into its third week. I can say that the second round edits will be done before this weekend though. I worked for hours and hours on Saturday and Sunday so that I would be able to accomplish that, and I only have about a third of the manuscript left to peruse. It's cleaner this time. I've been amazed, and finally comfortable, with the fingerprints an editor leaves on a manuscript, how a specific person creates clarity and conciseness. This one has a thing with the word however (I do use it alot) but has no problem apparently with a bit (which a different editor despised). This editor uses the long dash-- a technique I never quite developed. Previous individuals I worked with, not so much. So, yet another journey.

Summer is setting in, and with it, the memory of where I was and what I was doing when I needed a jacket to go outside. Time moves on in apathetic fashion, and I am off again, attempting to catch up.