Dirty Laundry

Spring Cleaning… in the Fall

So, I hand in the latest draft of my new novel on Monday and promptly get to the spring cleaning I have been putting off… well… since the spring. I try to keep on top of all my junk the best I can. Try to sort through books, clothing, other stuff to donate, throw away, recycle. To keep my office from become a hoarder hole. It’s an ongoing battle as I tend to… well… collect a lot of crap… and I seem to be able to focus on only one thing at a time. For the last long while that one thing has been my book.

All this to say, many things have gotten neglected. Cleaning my car. Work on the house. Exercising. Shaving. This blog (in case you missed the date of the last one… it was a while ago).

Anyway, I was happy to see the book off with the knowledge that my editor would take a few weeks to read it. Get back to me with her notes maybe mid-October. I was pretty happy with this latest draft. Thought I’d addressed most of the concerns in my editor’s last editorial email. Even though it took me longer than I’d wanted it to. Always takes me longer than I want it to. I’ve said it before but writing is hard slow work. At least for me it is. There is satisfaction and fun there, for sure, but mostly it is squeezing ideas from your brain like water from a barely moist sponge. Sometimes it takes a lot of wringing to get just one drop.

Well, so, I sent the book off. And I was nervous. As I always am when I release the manuscript from the safety of my documents file into the big scary world. Nervous, but satisfied. Content that I’d done my best this round. Excited that I would have some breathing time. A chance to play NHL 15 on my Xbox. A chance to catch up on TV shows (finally saw True Detective and boy that was great fun). And an opportunity to clear the stacks of pages, and bills, and books, and Post-It notes, and cables, and… everything from my desk, my office floor, my bookshelves.

I got a nice start on Monday. Kept going on Tuesday. Several bags out to recycling. Several boxes of books to donate. A couple of sacks of garbage. Wednesday I played a lot of video hockey. Thursday I got back to the gym. And today I got my car detailed. The guy at the car wash laughing at me, saying he was going to call the cops and report the grow-op that was sprouting from my side mirrors. And he was joking, sure, but there was stuff growing on my car. That is how dirty it was. How long it’s been since I washed it.

I was feeling pretty darn good about what I was accomplishing. Didn’t have to think too much. Nothing to wrench from my imagination. No plot or character problems to solve. Just straight cleaning and organizing. Which usually would sound nightmarish to me but I was enjoying it. Felt like I was unburdening myself.

And then, today, an email from my editor, Kaylan. She loved the new draft. Got to it right away. Had a slew of great ideas and suggestions. I was so glad she liked the manuscript, was excited enough about it to get through it so quickly. But still… five days! That is a lightning fast turn around. My wife was laughing at me. She thought for sure it would be several weeks before I’d hear back.

So, here I am. Blogging like I promised myself I would. Dipping my toe back into the light of day. Only to have to go dark again.

I’ve got four weeks to get this next revision done. And so… well… don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me for another month. Though I will try to come up for air more often than I have been. The exciting news is that the book is coming along nicely. And I think it’s going to be a good one.

And if my office has to stay half-organized for another month and I see the treadmill on a less-than-regular basis, well, I think it’s going to be worth it.