On Monogamy

Dear Future Publisher,

I’ve been cheating on you.

But here’s the thing.  I never promised to be exclusive.

I love what we share.  I love weaving worlds with the written word.  I love everything I do for you, for us.  Every minute of it.

But when I swore I was passionate about this, I never promised I had no other interests.  I didn’t vow to be monogamous to writing, to put it before all other interests and deny myself all other pleasures.  I didn’t say, “I will love this and only this.”

I want to please you, but I also have to please myself.

I know what you’re thinking – what is she getting at?

I cheated.  It’s true.  I cheated with theatre. Continue reading

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On Progress and Polish

Dear Future Publisher,

One down.

Today I finished my first round of edits on the WIP.  I’m down almost 8000 words, which, as I’ve expressed before, is a really big deal for me.  And more importantly, of the remaining words (all 114,803 of them), a higher percentage are now good words, and fewer are poor words that need to be eviscerated and die a miserable death.  I am far happier with the manuscript as a whole, have mended some problematic scenes and deleted some unnecessary ones, and can see the complete picture more clearly.  It is a book.  It works. Continue reading

On the Olympics

Dear Future Publisher,

Confession:

I love the Olympics.

Like, really love the Olympics.

I don’t like (most) sports.  Especially the ones for which people get paid obscene amounts of money.  I find it impossible to sustain interest over the course of a whole season.  So the compressed nature of the Olympics, the fact that results are immediate or nearly immediate and the whole thing is over before you blink – that suits me.

But the real reason I love the Olympics, the real reason it draws me in and inspires a nearly obsessive focus in me, is that the Olympics are a hotbed of narrative possibility. Continue reading

On Books I Have Loved: Harry Potter

Dear Future Publisher,

With Harry Potter and the Cursed Child coming out in print in less than a week, there seems to be no better time to write of my love for the Harry Potter series.  I’m sure it’s unsurprising to you, given what a phenomenon the series has been and given that I was a young avid reader in the target demographic when the first one was released.  I was seven when the first book came out, and from that time until this, with no reprieve and no abatement, I have been obsessed.  My mom read it to me first – to me and my sister, curled up all in a bed at night before dispersing to our separate rooms and turning out the lights. She read and I closed my eyes and let the words transport me and I saw it all.  It was so vivid, so magical.  So captivating.  I was hooked. Continue reading

On the Construction Site

Dear Future Publisher,

Writing a book is like building a house – it is done in stages, beginning with the skeleton, and then adding layer after layer to that frame (walls, a roof, cabinets, stairs, and then paint, trim, decorative features), building and rebuilding and finishing and refinishing and decorating and redecorating until the end product is complete and beautiful and right. Continue reading

On Baldness and the Triumphant Return

Dear Future Publisher,

Did you miss me?

I know I disappeared for a while, and I hope you will forgive my negligence.  I found it unsustainable to continue blogging while drafting.  I had only so many words a day to give and I wanted and needed to give those to my WIP.  Apparently I am not a bottomless trough of unmitigated genius (alack and alas).  At the end of a long day of drafting, I felt completely unequal to writing more words.  I had used them all.

The good news, of course, is that I’ve finished drafting.  The first draft of the current WIP is complete (hurrah!) at 122,419 words (which is way too many words for this project), and I am all set to begin the long process of extensive revisions and pulling my hair out while questioning my life decisions.  And during that process, I plan to use any spare words to re-enter this world of blogging if and when I can – to save some words, dear, dear publisher, for you.

So, I’m back!  They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder – do you think it’s true?

-Signed,

Author

On Sanctity and the Voices of the Dead

Dear Future Publisher,

Sometimes I wander the stacks.

Have you ever done that?

Sometimes I reach out my fingers and run them up and down the spines of so many silent voices.  There is a weight to all those words.  Those waiting volumes are sanctified.  They are relics, like the limbs and bones of saints, broken up and stored in matching cases in churches where the hush of devotees honours their presence, and honours their holiness.  Each book a piece of the author that wrote it, each one a relic of some person who chose those words with care.  Each one a single piece of flesh, a lone bone, a strip of muscle from the being of the author, laid out in a row on a shelf, so many holy relics with so many different names.

I honour them all. Continue reading