What I’m long on:
Ice packs
Medical appointments
Acorns (thanks to Sweetpea, who loves them)

What I’m short on:
Sleep
Downtime
Writing time

A thousand ice packs and one MRI later, it turns out that the back injury is um… a little more complicated than I’d hoped. I should recover in time, but meanwhile it’s put a damper on pretty much everything, sleep and acorn-collecting included.

Actual writing has been hit particularly hard, mostly because it’s difficult to sit to write or dictate. But that’s not all bad. After I read through my latest draft earlier this month (something I could do lying down — yay!), what I most needed was a chance to mull things over (again, no need to sit at a desk).

Now my wonderful first reader has given me even more good feedback. But there’s plenty more work to do, and in the odd free hour I’ve started blocking out the key changes I want to make in the next draft.

It’s painful to axe whole scenes. Giving entire characters the axe hurts even more. And in this next draft I’ll be doing both. Ouch!

But I’m reminding myself that when they’re gone, this story will have room to grow and deepen. Already I can see how to forge tighter connections among the scenes that remain, and how to build on them to explore emotions and consequences that didn’t get enough attention the last time around.

The work is slow-going, all the more so because my writing time and energy is so limited. But it’s satisfying to feel the book coming closer to what I want it to be. It has an honest-to-goodness spine now, and I can see how the parts connect (at least most of them).

So here’s to spines, of books and backs both, and to the ways they come together even when we’re not looking. And to long paths and short ones — whatever keeps us writing.

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