Originally I intended to title this post “What Deadline did to my Fingernails,” and to start it off with a photo of said fingernails, accompanied by raggeder-than-they’ve-ever-been cuticles. Only once I actually took the photo, and looked at it, I realized this was Something Nobody Needs to See.
Suffice it to say I’ve bitten the living heck out of my fingernails in this past month, and couldn’t even spare time to file them into short-but-even shapes, so they look… well, you don’t want to know.
The month before deadline turns out to be a little like the month after you bring a baby home: things you’d thought were essential (yard work, social obligations, personal hygiene) just fall by the wayside.
And naturally it turned out to be a hectic month on the homefront, including two birthdays (just in the past two weeks), an unplanned wisdom-tooth extraction for one of the kids, and, to wind things up with a bang, a cold that kept both kids home on alternating days of this past week before striking me.
As with A Lady Awakened, I got about three-quarters of the way through the book when I realized there was no way all the stuff I had planned was going to fit in the word count that remained. So I had to rethink, and cut stuff as I went along, and then go back and cut some more. Continuity turned out to be a bear with this book, too. Partly because of how much earlier stuff I had to cut, and partly because part of the plot revolves around winning money at cards, and I had to keep track of how much each character had at any given time.
Anyway, my editor is expecting Will and Lydia’s story on October first, and day before yesterday I sent it to my agent, who will read it and tell me if there’s anything glaring I need to address before it goes on to editor Shauna. Agent Emmanuelle (doesn’t that just sound like she should have her own action-movie franchise?) called this morning to say she’s not finished with it but so far she’s loving it, so I’ve permitted myself one or two or three sighs of relief. (It could still go bad. I fear I may have gone over the top in places, and some of those places are near the end.)
So now I’ll take a week or so to tend to all the real-life things I’ve let slide the past month (this morning I took our vacuum cleaner to the repair shop – if I were cruel I would post a picture of our hasn’t-been-vacuumed-in-over-a-month floor), and then I need to roll up my sleeves and get started on the next book, which at the moment is terrifyingly nebulous.
Oh, great. The vacuum repair shop just called and our v.c. is broken beyond repair. So before I can start researching the next book, I have to research vacuum cleaners. How anybody manages to combine writing with family with a full-time job is utterly beyond me.
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