Question: How do you know you're getting a little stale in the creativity department?
Answer: Well, first you start saying things like creativity department and then, when your blog template prompts you to "put a catchy title here", you type, Back in the Saddle. The most original, never-before-used phrase to announce to the world that you have returned from hibernation.
So where the hell have I been and what's going to stop me from disappearing again? Well, I've been immersed in the thirteenth major revision of my second novel. And, honestly, I probably will drop off the face of the internet again one day because I just don't have enough time to write a novel, work a full-time job, raise two kids, run a blog, and drink beer and eat pizza. Something's got to give, and I can tell you right now it's not going to be the beer. Or the pizza.
But with the novel in great shape (at least until the next agent holds up a magnifying mirror and points out all its little pimples and stray hairs), there's finally a sliver of space in my day to make a triumphant (or at least a decent) return to blogging.
So let me tell you a little bit about what I've been up to, because I'm really proud of this newest novel. For now let's just call it SS...
SS is the tale of two friends who made some bad choices in college (and I'm not talking about perms or one-night stands with boys named Chad or Thad or Brad, although those might be sprinkled in, too). No, we're talking about two likeable, good people who did some unthinkable things because that's what happens sometimes when you're a human. Now, twelve years later, when they're married and on the cusp of being mothers and successful career women, an anonymous tormentor threatens to reveal all. Of course, there's way more to the story than that, but that's all I can reveal for now!
The story deals with the complexities of friendship and sisterhood, marriage, trust, and regret. And of, course, the ending is satisfying, but in a dark and untidy way.
I'm so happy with the manuscript now, but SS has come a long way from the first draft. I wasn't exaggerating when I said it's undergone thirteen major revisions. I've put these characters and story lines through the ringer, and I'm pleased with how it's turned out. I even still enjoy rereading it for the hundredth or so time, as I constantly tweak and improve.
And - exciting news! - I got a request for a full manuscript from an agent who represents one of the biggest names in thrillers. She ultimately declined (wah-wuh) but her interest is a big boon - and she gave me some fantastic feedback that took the thirteenth revision to the next level. Her biggest piece of advice? Cut out a lot of the backstory. Sounds easy, right? It's not. Maybe that saga will be the subject of a future post. I can title it something really catchy and novel, like Trimming the Fat.