(Behind the Scenes)

There are things going on behind the scenes that I can’t talk about just now. It’s better not to, I think, better to hold it close and then look back later and see how it all turned out.

But in the meantime I’ve left a lot of silence around here—and my commenting on others’ blogs has fallen to the wayside, and the promises I made to read certain pages of certain people’s work and send comments has been put off another weekend, and… I have a lot to get back to.

But in the meantime of that meantime, I got ARCs (advance reader copies) of DANI NOIR and I have an extra with your name on it. Well, someone’s name on it. I think I may have a contest here and elsewhere on the internet so someone can snag a copy before September. They’re really pretty, I have to say. (I can say that, I’m not the artist or the designer.) I just hope the words inside hold up!

And my new novel—it’s got its grips on me and now neither of us can let go. So that’s a good thing. I love writing this one; I just wish the words would spill out faster. It’s one of those voices where *every* *single* *word* is important, so it takes a lot of considering and picturing and carving and recarving. Don’t blame me, blame my narrator. That’s just how she talks.

Other than that, what else can I say? I’m still alive. Working hard, you have no idea. Trying in ways I have never tried before. Being hopeful, trying that emotion on for size.

Here are some questions I answered on the Simon & Schuster website. It was fun to do. Like a meme. And you know I love those.

Down, Down and Up, Up

Ups and downs this week.

Down—started the week caught up in that prolonged patch of discouragement I’d been carrying around even though—Up—I saw the whole jacket design of my book last week and wow is it gorgeous. But—Down—I think I was in the mood because I could barely write anything all weekend and I felt like one of those writers who walks around saying “I’m a Writer, my Novel is about World Peace, aren’t I Brilliant?” and yet doesn’t write a word. Then, something happened and—Up—I began writing my new novel, like really really writing it. Something clicked and the voice just came out of me, the scene really taking shape. And that—Up, Up—lasted days. Even though—Down—we sent in our taxes this week and paid a big chunk we’ll be reeling from for months. Still, I was—Up—writing, every morning before work, writing. Then Friday came and I made a mistake at my day job and felt like an imbecile and—Down—began to question my existence. While this was happening I heard from my editor: the 1st pass of my novel was ready. She could overnight it or I could come get it after work if I wanted. Up, up, up, up. Then—Down—the mistake I made at my job was worse than I thought and I wanted to cry. But—Up—I think I really am publishing a novel: pages of it exist already. And—Up, I think?—an editor I’ve done work-for-hire writing for contacted me to see if my time has changed and I haven’t maybe changed my mind? That’s not really an Up or Down, I have no idea what to do if you want the honest truth.

Mood swings, anyone?

Anyway, the week ended like this: I couldn’t wait. I had to get my 1st pass in person. (The 1st pass / galleys is the first time you see the layouts of your novel, designed and in the font and size it will be in the actual book.)

There was the moment where I met my editor and she handed me the 1st pass. This stack of 272 pages held together by a rubber band. I was afraid to look at first. Then I did. Slowly, carefully, I flipped through the pages.

Oh my god.

1stpass-sm

It’s really real, I think I said. She was watching me, to see what I thought, and then we met eyes and she smiled and I was sort of wordless and all I could manage in that moment was, I love it. And, Thank you.

So I most definitely ended the week on an Up.

chapter4

Yeah, that’s an Up. Undeniably an Up.

Physical Limitations, Personal Regressions

A visit to the doctor, multiple vials of blood drawn, a referral I have to call in, an appt. with the nutritionist I have to make, another one of those disgusting glucose tolerance tests to take… no wisdom yet on why I’ve been so unseasonably worn out. The best part of my doctor’s visit, though, was her genuine excitement over my novel that’s coming out this September. We’ll get you in shape for September, she promised. She’s usually so no-nonsense and serious, so her reaction about the book news was pretty cool. The worst part of the doctor’s visit was agreeing to a random tetanus shot—simply because I haven’t had one in a long while—and, man, does my arm still hurt two days later! I have no idea why I said yes. Another example of how I am too easily talked into things. OW.

In the meantime, I’m just dragging myself around, piecing together my novel, sometimes on paper with an actual pen—it seems to help—plus spending much time flattened on the couch, two rejections so far from my latest batch of short story submissions… loads more to go. Maybe an acceptance, if the stars align just right? One can hope.

I’ve been reading a friend’s incredible manuscript; I’m amazed at the depths to his imagination. Where does this stuff come from, and how does he eke it out? I feel like my own imagination is so limited, so tied up tight with what I’ve only seen. I need to open myself up more, become a better writer.

Not to mention a faster writer. Another friend is sending me the first draft of her novel that I swear she just started a few months ago. In awe of her. Not to mention that I think the idea for this novel is truly brilliant—talk about high-concept—and the first chunk of pages I read really floored me. I can’t even be jealous. Just happy to get a sneak peek!

And, in the interests of full disclosure, I will tell you: I saw the Twilight movie at long last. And I get it now. I get it.

That is all.

Now to drag my aching de-tetanused arm off to work. The weekend is soon approaching and I am hoping for enough energy to attack this novel with ferocity like a, ummm, sparkly brooding vampire boyfriend intent to avenge you… oh, shutting up now. ;)