So I experienced some challenges this week. But, you know what? That’s okay. Because they were productive challenges. I either learned from them, and/or pushed my way through them. I’m lacking sleep, but, strangely, I feel pretty okay. (For now. Ask me again around 2:00pm when I finally pass out, buried in paper, stickies, and Ninja Katz.)
For one, I recently experienced another flare-up of a health issue I contracted about a year ago. Suffice to say it was my own fault—I hadn’t had an attack in probably six months, and I got complacent. I ate something stupid, paid the price, and now I’m dealing with the residual consequences. But I did my homework, picked up some supplements and remedies (for preventative maintenance and on-the-spot treatment, respectively), and now feel that I can better manage the situation. But it was a rough week until I was able to reboot my system, so to speak.
Since stress is a mitigating factor, however, keeping calm and going all Zen Master on my condition can often compete with what I’m writing. And I reached a crucial juncture in The Minstrel’s Daughter this week, y’all. Namely Plot Point 2, when hell has broken all sorts of loose on my poor little town and her characters. In an epic and desperate struggle to take back their home, a few of the good guys have perished. It was necessary, being a war, and all. But dealing with all the deaths and then the aftermath means going to a deep, dark place where the abyss doesn’t so much as look back as BITE.
One of my greatest resources as an author is my theatre background. This is where I received my training in characterization and emotion, and expressing both the internal and external consequences of those things. But to do that, well, you have to tap into the Big Nasty that exists in all of us to some extent. But you can’t overplay your hand. One of my director’s favorite sayings when she caught us overacting in a fervor of intensity was “Save it until you need it!” You can’t hit your emotional 10 in every scene—for where is there to go when you hit the climax?
Besides, the Big Nasty is a tar pit of skeletons—no one wants to go there more often than they have to. (Unless, of course, you’re Dexter Morgan, but I digress.)
I put my little story town and my heroes through a physical and emotional ringer. On the emotional amplifier scale of 10 I went to 11, and now I need to breathe, to reset my equilibrium–and to grieve with and for my characters.
BRIGHID’S MARK (In Production): Keepers #2 is officially out of editorial rounds and is in Final Line Edits. After this comes copy edits and then release–we’re in the home stretch! W00-hoo! I’m not sure how much time I’ll have until the Line Edits come in, but I’m guessing around the three month mark. This means I need to take the time to finish up various other sundry projects, namely:
THE MINSTREL’S DAUGHTER (Drafting): Acts I & II are tagged and bagged. Dealing with the emotional fallout of Plot Point 2. Can I finish the final nine chapters in the next 10 days? We shall see. I’m beefing up my daily word count goal to basically a chapter a day.
KEEPERS–ORIGINS #1 (In Revision): I decided to add an epilogue at the end told from either Declan’s POV or The Agent’s (my Romantic Interest and Antagonist from Keepers #1, respectively). The current ending seems lacking. This needs to be polished and ready to go this week, if I’m going to meet my self-imposed deadline.
KEEPERS #3 (In Revision): Editor Awesome is more than willing to take my submission on Keepers #3 before Keepers #2 is out of the gate–beyong being polished to within an inch of its life, I need to make sure I eradicate Every. Single. POV. Issue. Editor Awesome was very clear on this fact. I can tell I’m going to have to do a pass just for this alone–hopefully ONLY one. If anyone has any advice, feel free to leave them in the comments.
Oh–and Happy Festivus everyone!