overcast - mountain behind the house encased in cloud - sticky day - temps 22
One of those funny sort of days where it's humid and cool. My body is confused - not for the first time.
but my head and heart are in agreement!! This is a magnificent day! I finished the third draft of book 8!! I also want to just clarify that this is not A TRICK OF THE LIGHT - that was finished many, many months ago. books really have to be, since there're all sorts of publishing decisions that need to be made - like cover design, final edits, publishing date, advance copies, marketing.... so a book needs to be at the publisher almost a year before it will actually get into your hands.
The book I've been working on this year - and finished the third draft at 5:30 last night - is the next one. Book 8. Which, god willing, will come out a year from now. Book 8 (do you just love the title?) is the one set in the monastery. Very fun, as it turns out, to spend much of the year with monks wandering around in my head. bumping into all sorts of unsavory thoughts. Poor ones.
Of course, finishing the third draft doesn't mean they aren't still up there....whispering things I should have done with their characters - lines I could change - small edits, slight smoothing. Chatty for men who've supposedly taken a vow of silence.
I've sent the manuscript - electronically - to my agent. This is actually the first time I've been able to do this since she now has a kindle. How things have changed! Up until now it's been all mailing of printed copies. I wonder what the next ten years will bring? I know it's a scary time for publishers and especailly booksellers. I don't have a kindle - have no need. But Michael does - he actually has a nook. He loves it for travel, but continues to buy and read printed books at home.
so we've found a balance - an alliance - between the two.
So now I wait - and try not to stress out completely wondering if Teresa's reading the manuscript. Where she might be at. And why - after 12 hours - haven't I heard from her? Clearly she hates it. What was I thinking? it's a mess. I'm a mess. A disaster...
As you can see - most of the fiction never reaches the printed page, but squirrels around in my crowded head. I might have to put the monks to work, cleaning out up there. I think insecurity is just part of the package. I don't like it - but I suspect it's far better than being cocky, or taking it for granted I've nailed the whole thing. I think it's what makes me try always to do better.
If I'm not vulnerable it means I haven't risked enough. haven't strayed from my comfort zone. Haven't opened up. And perhaps, don't care enough.
This is only true of me. I'm not in anyway saying other writers/artists/performers who are confident haven't risked, or opened up. I'm sure they have, and still manage to be confident. But after all this time, I realize it's just who I am. Not a good thing or a bad thing. Just a fact. And I can laugh at it now and make some peace with those insecurities. and vulnerabilities.
But for today - life is amazing!!! Book done - and trying to have a day with nothing on the agenda except what I want to do. Oddly, that often means I'm quite productive. Little things like throwing out the old flowers and getting into the garden to make new arrangements. Calling animal control to see if they can live-trap the porcupine and relocate it deep in the woods. There're some details - like making notes of power outlets - for the construction. It happens when I'm on book tour. It's just nice to have one day when I'm not being told I have to do something. but do it because I choose to.
What a surprising and blessed life. Made all the better for starting something difficult. And finishing it.
Once Teresa reads it she'll send the book to my editors, Hope and Dan in NYC and London - and they'll make their notes and tell me what they think. so this is far from the last draft. But it's as close as I can get, and now I need their thoughts. When the team is great and healthy and collaborative and mutually respectful, this is a simply sublime experience. And I'm extremely fortunate in the team.
I can hardly wait for you to read A TRICK OF THE LIGHT - about Clara's art show. Less than a month now!!! Hope you're enjoying your day.