Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It’s like falling, only twistier


I finished another round of revisions last night and I celebrated with a good stretch on the floor and some Olympics watching. Synchro diving, men’s gymnastics, swimming and “the end.” I was in my happy place.

Even though I’m a bit numb to the story at this point, I’m pretty darn pleased with the changes I’ve made to my manuscript. I cut out a character, made a key relationship much stronger, added a new adventure and gave a favorite minor character a larger role in the story.

I feel lucky that I was able to pull this all together. The solutions came to me so fast, I could hardly believe it. My agent Linda is magic, I think. Every time I talk to her, my brain lights up with ideas.

So the ideas came easy, but the writing? That was hard work. I spent about three months on this round of revisions and I learned so much along the way. I really feel like I know how to write a book now. (Not that there are absolutes in this business, but I know myself better now, I know my style, what I need to get the work done.) It took years of hard, lonely work. I’ve been obsessive, possessive and emotionally raw because of it. And it’s been the greatest experience of my life.

So if you’re trying to find an agent or finish that first draft, keep going. Don’t give up. I’m not even on the podium yet, but I know I’ve done something that I’m proud of. And I know that I’m a writer.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tiny literature

So I've been reading my re-writes from the night before on my iPhone as I commute into work. And I have to say, I like my stuff so much more when it's teeny tiny. (And more still when it's single spaced.) It feels cozier somehow, and almost secretive. The screen so close to my face, my whole book fitting into my palm. It's a totally absorbing and rich way to read. Who knew?

I used to be skeptical of iPhone reading. I was worried that my eyes wouldn't be able to take it and that it somehow cheapened the reading experience. Until I read Patrick DeWitt's The Sisters Brothers in teeny tiny font.

I had a job interview at Kobo so I downloaded their app for research/sucking up purposes. And to my surprise, even though the app kept crashing, I fell in love with the font size, the scrolling and everything teeny tiny I've already gushed about. (The book too, of course. It's perfect.)

What about you? Do you like reading off your smart phone? And have you ever read your own manuscript in teeny tiny smart phone font?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

One chair to rule them all!

Can we all just take a moment to celebrate the awesomeness that is my new chair? My shlumpy posture and "thinking" pajamas aside, does not this beauty look exactly like the kind of chair from which great books are read and good books are written?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Editing hibernation

It's lunchtime so I'm eating smoked tofu on a dusty gluten-free bun. I'm sitting on a marble bench in downtown Toronto that I forgot to scan for bird poop. I'm reading On The Road and am kind of disappointed. In Kerouac, sure, but mostly in my own expectations.

I just moved to a shadier spot because it's hot out here. Not the HOT HOT HEAT that the newspapers are crying about, but warm heat; the kind that hugs my overly air conditioned body in all the right places. I want to take this heat back with me to my cubicle. I want to hold it in between my shivering purple knees and never let it go.

Today, this perfectly warm Tuesday, is the day I go back into hardcore editing mode. (Today is also the day after my birthday in case you want to buy me something pretty or practical.)

For the next two weeks I'll be reading through my revised manuscript one more time before sending it off to my agent. I hope I love it as much as I did two weeks ago when the story seemed so fresh and the characters so punchy and real.

I'll keep you posted.