Waiting

A good friend of mine who is going through some hard times, tweeted me today and said that she “knows changes are coming but it’s the waiting that is hard.”
And I thought, YEAH, I get that!

Because things move slowly in the writing life. Like snail on an emery board slow.

Writing a book takes a long time. Even thinking up a story that can hold up to book length takes a long time. It’s not like we’re snoozing in the apple orchard and the most amazing tale just drops into our head. Oh, except for that Rowling woman, of course. Most often (at least for me) I get a little flash of an image in my head. Could be a girl (or a boy) doing something like….discovering a portal under his dining room table or cutting the head off a recently deceased snapping turtle.

Or it could be a place…a dark room filled with hunched figures over endless rows of desks or two girls on top of a billboard. Or it could just be that I finish one of those “wouldn’t it be cool if?” thoughts that I sometimes have.

Somehow I have to extrude 80-90,000 words from this glimmer of an idea. It’s sort of like that magician trick where he pulls meters of colored scarfs out of his mouth, only not as effortless.

Revising it takes a long time.

Finding an agent, getting a book deal, editing with an editor, waiting for the book to be published, waiting to see if it sells….
And the above scenario is not necessarily the one that happens.
It could be write a book, sell it, sell a few copies, write another book which doesn’t work, write another one that isn’t quite there, stick head in sand for a few months.

Write another book.
At the moment ASHES ASHES is at a fun stage. All edited, cover artwork getting tweaked. I’m just waiting on the page proofs. I should be receiving them in the next week or two and I hope they send them by courier because mail in Nova Scotia is delivered by decrepit whale and it takes over a week and a half to receive anything from the States.
(That’s from the East coast. West coast mail has to come by flightless bird (emu?) and then must bide time for the next decrepit whale heading north-east, which is why I’ve been waiting almost two weeks for something important from my agent in Los Angeles.)
I’m about 15K words into my current WIP but as I mentioned before that is slow-going. Things usually don’t start to pick up for me until I’ve completed about 40-50K words. Just after I break the hump in the middle and start the downward spiral. So although I’m having fun writing about Max and Skif and all, it’s not exactly making the hours whizz by.
11 days left in August….Has this always been an extra-long month?
I ask this because although I know I should be enjoying the relative leisure of just working on the new book, I am anxiously awaiting September.
In September (for the first time) both the kids will be in school, although the little one is only doing Mon-Wed-Fri.
In September, Super Agent Man (S.A.M.) and I are conferencing with editor re. marketing plans for ASHES. Also I’ll be chatting with Publicity person. And finishing up the aforementioned proofs. In September S.A.M will begin super secret discussions with other super secret entities. Can’t talk about that right now, but a plan is being formulated. Yes, a plan!
And all these exciting things will be going on in the 9th month
So from where I’m standing, August= bleh (of a sort) and September = a treasure trove of amazing and wonderful events.
The awful thing is, I always seem to be waiting for something that is just off in the not-so-distant future.
The danger is that I won’t appreciate what’s happening right now, in the now man!


But seriously life is mostly made up small amazing moments rather than big WOW moments, and I should try and remember that.
Waiting (brooding) never made that whale swim any faster.

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4 Responses to Waiting

  1. 15k words sounds great to me, so well done! I've spent all summer getting to about 1,400. In between househunting for my mum – and, now, moving her.

    Waiting, I am glumly beginning to suspect, is what life is all about.

  2. Jo Treggiari says:

    Moving is a horrid experience all round.
    I bet your 1400 words are all the right ones.
    It is funny how months will go by at their slow pace and then all of a sudden there is a mad eruption of activity which throws everything into chaos and then subsides.
    I need to remember to be careful what I wish for.

  3. Yes, you've had your share of moving this summer! Hope thedust is beginning to settle?

  4. Jo Treggiari says:

    It is on the home front and now the kids and writing areas are starting to get crazy, but all in a good way!
    I'd rather be busy than not unfortunately. Can only stand the idyllic pace for a few days, longer if sharing lots of walks and talks with friends.