Just a short note today, since I am so close to the end of Damage I can almost taste a few days off. Usually I have a long doldrums in the center third to four-fifth of a book before lunging to the end; this particular story began gathering steam at the halfway point and is full speed, arm the torpedoes, pass the butter and devil take the hindmost, amen.
Which also means I’ve had the usual “this book is shit, I am shit, and everyone who depends on me will starve to death because of it” in fast-forward, compressed into a smaller length of time but not at all ameliorated. Instead of the usual endurance match it’s a battering on the ropes.
Fortunately, I’ve stubbornness and experience on my side. And icepacks for my damn heel; I’m going to have to get some dixie cups and ice my forearms after this as well. Taking care of one’s hands is de rigeur for a scribe, and my fingers are a little tired. Normally I break in the middle of the day, shifting between two projects; spending all my time focused with white-hot intensity on one is giving me aches I could do without.
I might be pushing so hard on this book because I can’t run for a short while–plantar fasciitis is a bitch–and I need something to keep my brain from eating itself. Yoga sadly doesn’t cut it.
So it’s ice, and ibuprofen, and swearing under my breath every time I have to get said icepack out. This draft is extremely lean; that’s all right, I think it’s more a category romance than anything and the leanness of the draft will give me plenty of room to add the necessary touches and still be under wordcount limit.
Of course, if the category publishers don’t get off their rear ends and move in a reasonable amount of time, it will no doubt grow to a different proportion and be brought out through my own inimitable services. Either way a reader wins. I’m getting less and less willing to wait for trad publishers to, in my grandfather’s pungent phrase, shit or get off the pot.
Meanwhile there’s coffee to suck down, ice to put under my heel until it stings and grows numb, the dogs to walk while I wince and step carefully. The rain has retreated for now; the sunshine is unpleasant but at least it’s not gasping-hot anymore. Summer’s spine has broken and autumn has ascended the throne.
It’s got to be enough.