And by complete, I mean that I have finished my first draft of Steel-Toed Blues, and I am fully cognizant of the fact that there is a LOT of work to do before this manuscript is beta reader-ready, let alone good to query. Still, it’s been a long road from there to here.
In November of 2013, I decided that despite the fact that I had no plot, no characters, and definitely no time–in fact I was PCS’ing from Kuwait back to Fort Bragg with some block leave in New Jersey thrown in there–I was going to do NaNoWriMo. I even wrote this blog post about how I could totally pants the thing because I was soooOOoooOOooo experienced with narrative. Of course I was going to be able to handle it…
Cue maniacal laughter. And tears. Both from future me.
Anyway, just some of the things that have happened since then:
- Moving back to the States
- Getting off active duty with the Army
- Having a child
- Starting a small business
- Taking command in the Reserves and traveling back and forth to NJ from NC every month
- Getting ready to have another child
- Picking up a new instrument/Getting involved with a local theater group
- Trying to write all the things at once.
S0, yeah… It’s a complete mystery why it took three years to finish this thing…
And yet–in some aspects, taking my time with the project has been a good thing. I’ve written a number of short stories, been involved with a few anthologies, and had a chance to let things sit and percolate and that allowed some things to intensify with the characters that wouldn’t otherwise have broken through.
One of the things I love to do is bake bread, especially bagels. Now, the important part of bread baking (other than making sure your kitchen is warm so the yeast activates well) is making sure the dough has enough time to ferment. When making bagels, you proof them in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours, just to make sure that the glutens have enough time to do their thing and get to the place where you can pop them in the boiling water and then bake them up and have a little taste of home.
And now I’m hungry. Let’s move on from this metaphor.
Back to my story. While it would have been better to write faster and be on the third or fourth novel for which I have notes floating around my desk/journal/laptop/five gajillion notebooks, this is a good time to have Steel-Toed Blues finish up.
Since I’m drinking for two, I decided to forego the normal celebratory Scotch, and instead my spouse and I took the Ladybug out to dinner, followed by some shopping at the bookstore, which is a pretty good Thursday night in my book. Tomorrow, it’s back to getting things done, cranking out words.
And also, plotting the next book, because plot outlines are awesome, no matter what the 2013 version of me told you.
Happy New Year!