I’m nearing the end of my week away from writing and editing. Though I wish I had learned how to sleep in a little better (old habits die hard), it was nice getting up in the 6 o’clock hour instead of the 5 o’clock hour.
This week I finished a book from start to end. I spent time in the sunshine. I celebrated the birthday of my mother-in-law and stepson. I played with the dog. And I spent a lot more time being a part of the family.
My poor husband always gets the short end of the stick when I’m writing a novel. I have not yet learned how to put the characters and their dilemmas away when I close the computer. Instead, I find they consume my every thought, or at least stick close enough that they mingle with all that I’m doing in my day to day. Towards the end of the novel, I was getting anxious at resolving every bad scenario that had just been conjured up. All of life was standing in my way – my job, my kids, the puppy, my husband…
Once the story was done, I immediately went back through it to edit it. It is said to let it sit for a little while before diving into editing. But there were a couple glaring mistakes that I needed fixed before I could set it down. If I didn’t, I’d be dwelling on them. So I read through it, changing a bit and deleting a few things until I was satisfied that I had a working rough draft.
And then I set it down.
The nice thing about walking away from it for a short while is that I was able to realize a few things that need to be fixed in it – things I didn’t see when I was too close to the manuscript. I’m sure I’ll see more when I read through it again. But marinating on it, I can recall a few scenes that need a little more oomph on paper to match the scenes that were in my head as I wrote. This was especially true when I read other people’s writing – inspired by emotion drawing scenes or picture painting description. (This is why you absolutely cannot be a writer if you are not a reader)
To make it a full week, I shouldn’t touch the manuscript until Wednesday morning. But I think I’ll still dive into it tomorrow, just because I miss it and want to start putting all my ideas for the improved parts of the story to action.
In other news, I also used my time to give this website a small redesign. It’s not much, and I am still working on it. But I’ve changed it so that the landing page tells a bit about me and the books I’ve published. For the blog, you have to click the “blog” link above in the menu, or just go to https://crissilangwell.com/category/blog/. I wish there were a different way to do that and still have a landing page. To have to keep it under a category looks clunky. But I’m no web designer, and can’t really afford one. So unless one of you has a better idea, that’s how it is for now.
You’ll notice under the books area that there is another book mentioned – “Everything I am not saying’. Back in 2008 I wrote a ton of poetry to get my creative juices flowing. I’ve dabbled with poetry all my life, but never took it seriously. But the poetry I came up with that year was kind of amazing. I don’t say that to toot my own horn, but it helped me to break through a ton of writer’s block and hone in on my descriptive writing, as well as work out a few matters of the heart. The poetry is all pieces of my soul, and I am dying to get it all captured in one publication.
I’m unsure of a publication date as of yet. I want to add photo art with the poems, and that might take a while. But I’m both excited and nervous to share this personal collection of writing with you.
I’ll end this post with a sneak peek:
The sky is a rosy pink
lit ablaze by strange fires
flush with a romantic glow.
I sit here with my pen
looking out at the hazy sky
wrapped up in a bathrobe
having washed your scent from my skin
and feverish from the heat
not to mention the shock
from the longing that won’t rub clean.
I didn’t see it coming
and I am suddenly silent
unsure of the words
that will wrap around
whatever it is they need to cover.
The sky is on fire and surely it is my fault.
The tangling of my breath and my soul
that was carried out on the sleeve of your jacket
left me vulnerable in a way I’m not quite comfortable with.
But I watched as you walked away
keeping silent as you turned the corner
overcome with regret
either for not speaking up
or for being so careless in the first place.
And now all I can do
is watch the sky turn from pink to purple
and then fade to black as our scene ends in your mind
and hits replay in mine.
- Editing techniques to make your prose sing (onewildword.com)
- Writing Poetry as Therapy for a Broken Heart (thepoeticsproject.com)
- Before I Got My Agent (katebrauning.com)
- How to Start Over (in 1939348573948 easy steps.) (kaitlinandmichaelbranch.com)
- Poem (njwdragon.wordpress.com)