greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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"...are we so devoted to these wretched, selfish motives...."

Yesterday, the edited ms. for The Red Tree went back to Manhattan. And now, it really is finished. I typed THE END way back on October 24th, but, of course, I knew then that it wasn't truly finished. The manuscript I sent back to my editor yesterday was 100,860 words long (424 pages). The ms. I sent her in November was 95,815 words long. So, there was a net increase of 5,045 words during the editing process. And I do think it is a better novel now, for the past two weeks or so of tweaking, no matter how frustrating and tedious the process might have been.

Mostly, what baffles me is how any sense of accomplishment continues to elude me. I know I've done a good job, and done something few people can do, and that even fewer will ever actually do. But this is my eighth novel (not counting Beowulf, which I don't), and I have yet to feel any genuine sort of achievement. When Silk was done, I thought I would feel it on the day that I finally held the printed book in my hand. That day was May 11, 1998. And on that day, holding the book, which I'd begun in October of 1993, I felt...nothing. And I thought maybe I might feel it with the next novel, but no. And so on. Sometimes, I feel a sense of pride in the material object. I will appreciate that, as was the case with A is for Alien, I have produced a very fine-looking volume. But that's not the same. And, often, I sit and wonder what some favourite author of mine might have felt, in my place. How did it make Angela Carter feel? Or Shirley Jackson? Or John Steinbeck? Was there joy for them? Did they ever know, in that moment, fulfillment? Were they even remotely satisfied? Did they celebrate? I've never yet have the nerve to ask another living author this question.

So. It's done. Sure, there's still the CEM to come, but, as I've said, Spooky's handling that this time. For all intents and purposes, my part in the writing of The Red Tree is done. And I am still waiting to feel much of anything at all, aside from the fact of it being finished, or the fact of having done a good job. I am still waiting on...something else, something far more substantial, even if it's far less concrete.


Congratulations to Allyson Bird of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, who had the winning ticket for my contributions to the Shirley Jackson Award lottery.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, if you've not already. Thanks.


Sometime in the next few days, or next couple of weeks, I will be posting what will likely be my final words on Second Life. They will not be kind words, and I want to choose them with great care.


As for today, well, I need to begin a piece for Sirenia Digest #39. I have something in mind, I just hope I can find my way in without too much trouble. Also, I fear this issue may come out a day or two late (March 1 or 2, perhaps). There was all that editing to get done, and February is a short month. Regardless, I do apologize.
Tags: a is for alien, editing, publishing, second life, silk, sirenia, the red tree, writing

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