Revisions on ALA were due to my editor January 25. The first real deadline of my writing career, and a chance to demonstrate that I can understand and execute requested changes (I hope), and hold up my end of the bargain deadline-wise, and generally that I’m not a flake.
So naturally a huge, difficult project fell into my lap at the day job, with a deadline of January 25. I am not exaggerating when I say I have never been this busy, and this stretched-to-the-limits-of-my-ability, in ten years at this job. I went in to the office all three days of the Jan. 16-18 holiday weekend. And I never go in to work on weekends. I write on weekends.
On top of that, a stomach virus entered my household, and family members went down like dominoes. It leveled everyone but me, which was partly a blessing, and partly meant I had to be the one getting up in the middle of the night when the kids got sick. (And getting up again, early the next morning, to go in to work.)
But everybody got well. And I finished the day-job project on time. And then spent pretty much all of this past Saturday taking my sporty 13-year-old to a tournament in which her team went farther than expected, requiring her presence for a lot more of the day than we’d planned.
So I got as much done on Sunday as I could, and then buckled down hard on Monday (a regular day off from work). And… I finished. And went to the computer to send the file off to Bantam. And was met by a “cannot connect to server” screen.
Aghhhhh! Dammit, I finished on time and I want credit for finishing on time!
Adamantly unwilling to accept defeat, I packed up the laptop and went up to the library, where they have wi-fi. And I uploaded the revised manuscript, and I sent it! Mission accomplished!
Something I learned in this process is that it’s really hard to work on revisions for one book at the same time you’re trying to write another. I found I needed about a day to shift gears from one to the next. So I’m crossing my fingers now that these revisions will be sufficient, and that I can finally put Martha and Christopher away.
I’m not sorry to have revisited them. I think I made their story better; fleshed them out in useful ways (both my editor and my agent have been really spot-on in pointing out the areas that can be improved). But Will and Lydia are tugging at my imagination these days; they’re the ones I think about in those warm groggy moments before I drop off to sleep; and I’m looking forward to devoting my attention to them, and finding out all those things about their story that I don’t yet know.