Monday, May 03, 2010

A Particularly Odd Writing Day

I've been splitting my time today between a freelance edit for a friend and my own revisions for my WIP. (Remember how I promised myself it would be ready to submit on May 10th? That's one week away, and I have two field trips I'm chaperoning between now and then, plus a book signing. YIPES!)

So I've had two windows up on my computer all day, and I've been swapping back and forth between them (and that's between attempts at conquering the mountain of laundry and dishes and other sundries).

Sometimes I'd click on one window, thinking it's my book but get confused when I'm reading about something totally different, only to realize it's my friend's book.

Can we say "brain fry"?

And then there's the fact that I'm pulling out stacks of critiques from my group (things I should have addressed and rewritten months ago but sorta didn't get around to because of other things like, oh, Whitney judging, reading Whitney finalists, preparation for the Storymakers conference, chocolate cookbook photo shoots . . .).

I've been grabbing a stack here and there of critiques and working through whatever's on top.

So far today, I've been at chapters eighteen and nineteen, near the end. Later I hit chapter fifteen. Then fourteen. The next stack begins on page 65. It's a bit of a time warp to be revising your work so out of order. I hope the story isn't getting all redundant or wacko in the process.

It works in my head, and yes, of course I'll do a thorough read-through from start to finish before turning it in, but for now, it's sure been weird to fix stuff that happens in the last fourth of the book and then suddenly be working on a scene from the first fourth and then hop to the middle.

Some of the changes are really small (extra adverbs, clunky phrasing, an inadvertent POV shift). But there was one scene in particular I dreaded rewriting, to the point that I was messing around on Twitter this morning to avoid it.

When I read it aloud, everyone in our group (including me) agreed that it just didn't work. On more than one level.

So I knew the scene would need a serious overhaul, and I've been putting it off. (Much easier to fix an errant comma or missing word.) The great news, though, is that I found a relatively easy way to fix that scene. Yes, a lot of it is new, but as fixes go, this one was easy. Best of all, the scene is much truer to the character, emotions, and events, and now I like it. Yay!

Other notables from the day that likely no one but me will care about:
  • Made a great Costco run today, writing down what everything cost as I put it into the cart. This time, the total wasn't a surprise, and it was under what I wanted to spend for the trip. (I know! Call Ripley's!)
  • I washed, sorted, and folded four loads of laundry. This is particularly notable. Plus, there's one load washed but not sorted. At least we have underwear.
  • Bought kitty litter but didn't change the old stuff. I mean really, there's only so much I can be expected to accomplish in one day.
  • Brought the vacuum to be fixed. It should be done tomorrow sometime. Fourteen and a half years ago, we splurged on a Kirby. For a long time, I thought it was a stupid thing we'd done, but in hindsight, I'm thrilled we did it. That's been the best vacuum ever. It really keeps the carpets nice and is sturdy. This is the first major repair we've ever needed. (And it's not on the motor or anything like that; the accordion tube split. Easy fix.) I didn't realize what a bargain it was until I realized that most people replace their vacuums every few years. Our Kirby will be running for years hence, I'm sure.
  • Taught a daughter to grind wheat flour. She's decided that any time we need more, she gets to grind it. (Fine with me! One more thing off my to-do list.)
  • Got to do some rewriting while eating cake with chocolate icing . . . made by my husband, not me. Oh, yeah.
And now I'm tired and want to read a little before bed.


Kristina P. said...

You grind your own wheat? I am just going to have my name taken off the church records now.

Anonymous said...

Hey, at least you're still getting writing done! Good luck on the deadline...

Liz H. Allen said...

I constantly have windows open on my computer as a reminder of what I should be doing, they eventually get buried by everything else though.

What sort of grinder do you have? I've been wanting to get a vintage wooden one for the kids. We LOVE making bread and I've really wanted to grow and grind our own wheat.

Lara Neves said...

You make me tired, girl! I think I'll go to bed now.

PS I'd love to hear more about your wheat grinding, though. Seriously.

Rebecca Blevins said...

I am very impressed at all you got done!

Congratulations on your chapter edit!

And I will have fond memories of my first Storymakers ever! Getting to meet you was better than meeting any television celebrity. I admit to being a little starstruck by you, Tristi, James Dashner, etc. You were so nice to chat with me and James after class!

LisAway said...

Phew! You definitely deserve cake and a good book!

I sometimes like to tally in my head as I go shopping (most often when I have only a certain amount of money with me to spend), rounding everything up or down randomly. I'm almost always off by about 10 złoty and almost always it's less than I calculated. Love that.

I still remember singing into the handle of our OLD Kirby like it was a microphone. That old vacuum lasted forever (and weighed probably 50 pounds).

T.J. said...

I'm tired after reading all that. Somehow, I'm seeing you making the face on the cover of "There, Their, They're". Good luck on all that you're attempting. I'm sure you'll get it done!

Rebecca Irvine said...

I work on reports for work that same way and often get mixed up on which one I am currently in as well. But somehow it still seems like a good idea.

Sarah M Eden said...

My daughter does our wheat grinding too. She loves it!

I'm so glad the fix ended up being easier than expected--those are the nice kind of surprises!

Alyson | New England Living said...

Holy cow! You sure like your plate full. :) Good luck with meeting all your goals!

Jessica G. said...

Your husband BAKES? Well, no wonder you are such a happily married woman!

Myrna Foster said...

First, my husband has never made me cake. You're a lucky woman.

Second, congrats on loving your easy fix. Those are the best. Sometimes my easy fix is the delete button - I didn't really need that scene anyway. ;)

Melanie Jacobson said...

I so, so sympathize with you right now. I have a huge revision to do and I've been slogging through it but I pushed to hard last night and couldn't think straight, thus ending on a negative note. It makes me totally not want to touch it today. I wish this fix were easy, but it's not. I'm doing way more re-writing than I want to right now. Blech. Now I need chocolate cake.

Cluttered Brain said...

Seriously?? A mystery novel??
Annette, SLOW the heck down, I just got your Tower books..LOL.

I hope when I crank out my book to perfection it reaches as many people as your books have.


You will make your deadline.
And I wanna review ANY of your latest books that come out. Any of them. Please? :)

How's the sequel going for Band of Sisters?
Love that book. So appropriate for people RIGHT now.

i just read a book by Braden Bell,--"The Road Show" It was AN AWESOME book. 128 pages of sweet goodness. My review will be up when Braden wants it up. The book is not OUT yet until June. And he signed up to be a LDS storymaker 'cause he though it was neat. Isn't that so cool? I told him ALL about the conference...He is awesome. Do you know him? He contributes to MMB.


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