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the bitter end of tired

Yesterday, as I wrestled with the several dozen remaining significant Daughter of Hounds editing problems, some of them annoyingly significant, and as I also wrestled with exhaustion, Spooky stepped in, interceded between me and me, and pointed out that it's very clear that I've lost all objectivity with this ms. That is, I cannot see the forest for the trees. That is, the big picture is lost to me for the moment. I have been so immersed in this novel for so long now, and I could not offer any convincing argument that she wasn't absolutely right. It's time to call it "finished" for the time being, provisionally "finished," time to step away and send it to my agent and my editor. I'll have another chance to polish things in a month or two when Liz (my editor) sends her editorial letter. Maybe by then there will be enough distance between me and the book that I can make decisions I don't change my mind about before the ink is even dry.

The conviction that this is my best book to date, and that it is also my most "accessible" book and the one most likely to gain me a wider readership, these things are playing a considerable factor in my dithering over the details. I feel, as I almost always have upon finishing a novel, that this is my last chance to get it all right. Though, I admit, it's never been half this bad, the dithering.

Nor has a novel ever left me this tired, which is truly saying something, as they always leave me wiped out and bleeding from my ears. So, today I'm e-mailing the ms. to Merrilee (my lit agent) in her office on West 21st Street that was, once upon a time ago, one of John Astor's bank vaults. And me, I'm going to attend to a last bit of business regarding Alabaster and then I'm going to rest. I'm going to rest until I no longer feel, as Bilbo said, "thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread." I'm only a writer, not a rock star or a business exec or even a lowly rocket scientist, and I'm not even a particularly successful writer at that. I do not believe that being a semi-successful author should bring one, regularly, this near the end of one's tether. So, yes, as much as possible, until it's time to begin work on Sirenia Digest #4, I'm going to rest. I'm going to read books and eat food that's good for me and stay hydrated and undertake as much of a detox as I can manage. That is what I mean to do. Also, I may be scarce on LJ for a week or so. With luck, there will be nothing much to write about.

My thanks to Amanda Downum for sending me tix to the Sisters of Mercy show, and to Sissy, for another package which has just arrived. And I should remind you that this is Day 6 of the letter S auction, and you cannot win if you do not bid.

Not much to say about yesterday. I worked on the ms. until about 7 p.m. After dinner, I lay on the sofa, flipping back and forth between the Olympics and a Miami Ink marathon. Then Spooky read to me from Brian Jacques' Redwall until I began to doze.

Postscript: The "final" word count on the typescript of Daughter of Hounds is 147,251 words, with a page count of 692.

Comments

( 15 comments — Have your say! )
laserbitch
Feb. 21st, 2006 05:06 pm (UTC)
Postscript: The "final" word count on the typescript of Daughter of Hounds is 147,251 words, with a page count of 652.

Holy crap!!!
greygirlbeast
Feb. 21st, 2006 05:10 pm (UTC)
Holy crap!!!

Actually, there was a typo which I've corrected. The page count is 692.
moonwiggle
Feb. 21st, 2006 05:09 pm (UTC)
I'm looking forward to this book. It's strange, reading something that you've been blogging about for ages- it's like your friends raving on and on about this person or that person and then finally getting to meet them and going, "Oh, wow, they really are the cat's pyjamas."

I felt rather like that with Murder of Angels, like it was some long-anticipated meeting that actually lived up to all the hype- and with none of the embarrassing bad habits (picking one's nose at the dinner table, biting the waiter, etc) that you would have been expecting.

I'm putting the analogy down now, I think. :D;

(I've always thought your writing was accessible- you don't write without vowels and you use punctuation. Surely this is accessible?)
tactileson
Feb. 21st, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC)
The conviction that this is my best book to date, and that it is also my most "accessible" book and the one most likely to gain me a wider readership, these things are playing a considerable factor in my dithering over the details. I feel, as I almost always have upon finishing a novel, that this is my last chance to get it all right. Though, I admit, it's never been half this bad, the dithering.

Resist the urge to "Santino" your book to death right now. I think that's the best option. Enjoy the time away and just relax the best you can. You deserve it.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 21st, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC)
Resist the urge to "Santino" your book to death right now.

Very well said...
phaedrine
Feb. 21st, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
Have a good rest, you've earned it.

Enjoy SoM - I saw them here in Albuquerque last night, and they were truly excellent.
z0mb1e
Feb. 21st, 2006 05:30 pm (UTC)
You completely deserve the rest. And you should try to do something fun on top of all that detoxing.
smu
Feb. 21st, 2006 05:47 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on finishing what will probably be another amazing novel. It sounds like you really put a lot of yourself into it and I hope you enjoy your rest, because you definitely deserve lots of sleep and to half-watch/half-ignore bad television.

(You're also so lucky to get Sisters tickets. Positively green with envy. Wave at Eldritch for me)
cucumberseed
Feb. 21st, 2006 11:06 pm (UTC)
That's a lovely icon
smu
Feb. 22nd, 2006 12:42 am (UTC)
Thank you very much, I made it myself.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Feb. 22nd, 2006 02:27 am (UTC)
Do you [info]linkfrenzy?

No, but it's kind of fascinating...
sovay
Feb. 21st, 2006 07:11 pm (UTC)
Rest well and may it be fun detox. I'm looking forward to Daughter of Hounds.
scarletboi
Feb. 22nd, 2006 01:37 am (UTC)
Sorry that package took so long to arrive... I made the mistake of trusting my mom to ship it, and she's on so many different meds she can barely remember my name, half the time.

S
greygirlbeast
Feb. 22nd, 2006 02:25 am (UTC)
Sorry that package took so long to arrive... I made the mistake of trusting my mom to ship it, and she's on so many different meds she can barely remember my name, half the time.

No problem. Thanks!
stsisyphus
Feb. 22nd, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
I'm going to rest. I'm going to read books and eat food that's good for me and stay hydrated and undertake as much of a detox as I can manage.

Might I suggest some Edward Gorey, in honor of his birthday? Pictures might be a little less brain-intensive than having to deal with more words. Ease into your "vacation" a little bit.
( 15 comments — Have your say! )