I just got back from Joshua Tree with mjp and Gemma. We were only there for a few days this time and we did a whole lotta nuthin. No art. No writing. We mostly just starred off into space and watched the jackrabbits pass by.
It was definitely relaxing. I read a little bit, took naps, watched a lightning storm, and listened to the wind. It even rained the day we got out there, so the desert smelled fantastic afterward.
I did plan to maybe work on a few watercolors while I was out there. There’s an artist’s studio there after all, but I didn’t even go in there. I took a few photos and made a couple of personal sketches and that was about it.
Here’s a mixture of one of my sketches and a photo – something I’m playing with:
I took a break from my book because I had been working non stop on it for the last few months and I really needed to take some time off. I’m of course, right back on it again. I made much progress before I left. I finished the entire first draft, and then some. In fact, the first chapter is totally done. I sent it to my editor already and it’s set in stone. It came out perfectly and we are both very excited about it. I also have the first 12 chapters in their 2nd drafts and have been cutting as much as I possibly can – which is really hard. I’m hoping I can still use what I’m cutting as future material for something later down the line – maybe some short stories or something like that, but I’m not sure.
It is really difficult to cut content out of the book. Not because I’m in love with my writing or anything, but to take out the information. It seems like it all feeds the narrative and I’m still unsure if my book will wind up as two books instead of one very fat one. Who wants to tackle reading a book that’s twice the size of most others? No one. So it might be two. Well see what Lisa, my editor thinks, or what the publisher thinks once I get one. I’m getting pretty ahead of myself.
I’m just so excited since I have it written now! It’s all in place – the order, the beginning, the end, all of it. It just needs a good rewrite. No more banging my head against the wall; the rest of the process is actual “writing,” meaning it’s the part where I get to make it “good.” (If that’s possible anyway.) I don’t have to relive these events again. I just have to focus on how it reads now. That part of the process – the process of getting it out of my system – is over and I can’t tell you how cathartic it all was. It was really beyond explanation. Mjp had to live with me through all of that. Maybe he can tell you what a living hell it was. Now I am FREE and I can move on.
Freedom is an interesting thing. I feel like I’m half way there. Publishing the book will be like finally stripping myself in the nude and bathing in the light. I am like Nastassja Kinski‘s character in the Hotel New Hampshire – dragging around that bear suit. I can’t wait to take it off. My courage to publicize my manuscript will be like my new shield for whatever is going to come my way. Bring it on! I know it’s not going to be easy, but it’s time that I speak my truth and fight for it if I have to. At least I’ll have support.
Until then, I’m still hiding out as always.