This has been a weird week. One of those ‘lull’ weeks while you wait for things to come together. Max was here at the cabin for a couple of days. He’s heading out to Ohio to spend time with his family. This was a first stop. He took some pictures around the area and there might be a couple more book covers there. I can’t write or create when people are in my space. They wear me out. Apparently, my brain needs a lot of quiet in order to be creative.
Busy-work creativity is easy. I sewed. That felt good, too.
Before Max got here, I completely re-arranged my work space. I feel like I’m in a cockpit now. It’s awesome. I think I have everything where I need it. I’ve spent the last few days tweaking things, adjusting and making changes. It feels good.
While I was waiting for the next part of this journey to kick off, my beta readers finished sending in their manuscripts. I will start digging through all of those edits this weekend. Working through this process isn’t easy. I giggle nervously at the stupid mistakes they’ve caught, stress out over continuity problems they see, struggle to deal with rewrites they recommend and manage through areas they don’t like. Putting your soul out there on paper and then asking people to find errors is enough to turn a person inside out. I probably need to buy extra chocolate to get through this. It’s painful! But in the end, it makes a better product and so I dig in.
So … lull-week. It’s over.
In the next two weeks, it feels as if a million things have to happen. On Saturday, the 27th, I drive to Omaha and then to Lincoln for my niece’s wedding. That day feels like the end of a storm that is about to happen.
I thought it was going to be crazy, but this morning I opened my email and discovered the manuscript for my brother’s next book. He’s been in the middle of a month of chaos and sees no sign of it ending either, but he managed to finish writing and has gone through his first round of personal editing and re-writes. I will go through this and edit from a very high level. Then, he’ll go through it again and back to me before sending to his beta readers. But yep. His first edit is on my desk.
Next Friday, I am kicking off Bellingwood’s first Wine / Trivia Night (on the Facebook page). I’ve gotten most of the prizes in place and need to find twenty-five (or more) trivia questions from the first nine books. It’s going to be a blast and I can hardly wait, but I have nine books to read this week.
Once I am through the beta readers’ edits, I dig into the manuscript and find many more inconsistencies and errors. No matter who reads this manuscript, errors, typos and problems still exist. I have eleven readers at this point and none of them find exactly the same things. It always surprises me and always makes me grateful to have such a wonderful group of people. But, the final is on me. I will go through my book quite a few more times before it actually hits publication. And I’m relentless. I have no critic that is harder on my work than me.
On the 25th of June, the next email newsletter comes out. The big release announcement will be there, as will another vignette. I need to get that written. Those newsletters take a lot of time to create. It always surprises me. I’ve been writing and creating newsletter most of my life. It shouldn’t take that long, but it does.
While all of this work is going on, I find that my mind often runs away to Bellingwood. I’m eight chapters into Book 11 and Polly has found a body (surprised?). School is about to start for the kids, the coffee shop is ready to open, they are hiring like crazy (lots of new characters) and that has Sylvie, Jeff, Polly and Sal working to get everyone trained and in place.
My brother also talked to me about a side project he is working toward, which means writing a story that is far from Bellingwood. I can hardly wait and my imagination is spinning like crazy.
So … two weeks. The countdown begins tonight. Because this afternoon I need to get out and do laundry so that I don’t have to think about it for a while.
And just in case you feel an urge to worry about me or feel sorry for me … don’t. This is when I’m happiest – when I have a million things to do and a short time to do them. I am completely in my element. I might whine and complain a bit – just pat me on the head and give me a little encouragement. Then tell me to get back to work.
June 25 will be here before you know it! Polly and the gang can hardly wait to tell you the next part of their story. It’s a doozy!