Crazy times here in Casa del Deadlyjelly.
By ‘crazy’, everything is relative. Husband didn’t go on the rampage with a chainsaw – although that may be just a matter of time. I have not resorted to licking the walls – most likely a matter of time too; or a natural response to Andrew coming at me with a live chainsaw. Jed is madder than a barrel of frogs, but relatively speaking? No change there.
The copyeditor came back to me with her feedback on About Time, so I’ve spent the last few days clenched onto my laptop trying not to smear it in blood, sweat and tears. Mostly tears, which are at least more sanitary than the other two.
Apart from the time pressure (not all self-inflicted – I spoke to my editor the other day and she sounded mildly panicked about getting About Time into production) I’ve actually enjoyed revising the book. Which is a first for me: reading through my own work and not thinking it sucks lemons genetically modified for extra acidity. I actually felt quite smug. Not sure I’m over it yet.
Now we’re about to embark on a little road trip to the Coromandel. Normal service will resume on Sunday.
The second book should have been easier.
After all, it took seven years to complete Smart/Casual. That’s a fair apprenticeship. If I had trained as a doctor instead, I could be performing three open-heart surgeries a day by now.
Anyway, the second book. Obviously, it was going to be better – much better – than Smart/Casual. After all, I had made my mistakes. Not only that, I had LEARNED from these bitter lessons with detention and corporal punishment and the writing of hundreds of lines. My craft was honed to a fine point.
The key, I now knew, was planning.
Also, writing. (Quite important, that one.)
I would establish a routine. I favoured a Spartan model: austerity, abstinence, light diet. I would be a shining beacon of discipline.
So that went well.
Despite all my best efforts, I still swing between thinking About Time is:
a) so heinously awful it actually results in a net decrease in the amount of meaning present in the universe; or
b) a work of extraordinary literary genius, but for two words. One of which is ‘shinsplints’.
(Still can’t figure out what the other one is.)
I have to write acknowledgements and dedication pages for my first novel.
Before I even started Smart/Casual, I used to lie in bed at night composing my acknowledgements. Just to put this in context, I used to also draft my Oscar acceptance speech, my Olympic gold winning address, and my rock concert introduction. The latter went: “HELLOOO <INSERT LOCATION>! YEAH! ALL RIGHT! Bones, hit it. ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR! <first number>.”
The acknowledgements for my book were more eloquent. In fact, they were a mastery of eloquence, running to roughly half the book and featuring passages of heartbreaking poignancy, sub-plots, themes, villains, twists, and character arcs.
Now that I have to write the thing, I am experiencing a mental block the size of Slovakia.
I have got as far as ‘Thanks’.
At least I have the dedication page sorted:
I hope we don’t divorce