That blasted novel

There was a time I used to be able to sit myself in front of the computer and just let the fingers fly. Stories were easy. Writing was easy. Now I find it hard to steal time from a day to let that creativity bubble up and flow. It’s taken me nigh unto five years to get where I am with my current work in progress, The Rose Guardian. My dear cousin keeps nudging me. My dear friend keeps nudging me. I eke out a few pages at a time. I find myself thinking and rethinking, probably over-thinking this damned novel. I get stuck at the most unlikely of places, scenes I already know and which should just flow from brain through fingers to screen.

But I find I pause. I think: but what if. What if she doesn’t really think that way? What if that occurrence is too contrived? What if it should be afternoon instead of morning? And then my brain stutters. My fingers stutter. And the whole mess stutters to a halt. I think to myself, oh for god’s sake, Lorina, just shut up and write the blasted thing. Just shut up.

By then the damage is done and I lose all faith in what I’ve written, in what I’m planning to write, and so I stagger, hit Ctrl S, click the X in the upper right of the screen and go read Facebook, or deal with a layout question for Five Rivers Publishing, or make up that invoice for Five Rivers Glass which is the business we run that keeps us afloat. And another day goes by. And the novel still isn’t finished.

And I’m so close. So blessedly, damnably close to being finished. It’s maddening. I find myself maddening. I don’t ever remember having to work this hard for a story.

Still, I do hold out faint hope I may be finished by close of summer, or at least by close of year. Then I can stew and fuss and fret about the cohesiveness of the story, hang on to it in an attempt to revise and polish. If I’m truthful that process is likely going to take yet another six months to a year, given all the demands on my time, publishing other people’s dreams. But I have to believe this wretched novel will be finished soon, soon being a relative term. Then I can fire it off into space in the general direction of Lethbridge and dear Robert who will lovingly eviscerate the thing and send it back to me bleeding and weeping and begging for an insightful hand to give it life and voice and manna. Robert, of course, will have been exacting and brilliant in his insights. I, of course, will fuss and fume for a while and then approach the keyboard carefully. Because the keyboard snarls, you know. The keyboard hisses when you don’t demonstrate respect and willingness and determination. It knows. It bloody well knows.

How long will that revision take? Dear god, I have no idea. I used to have a feel for these things. No more. Not about my own work.

Anyway, enough whinging. This comes to you mostly by way of FYI, a belated update. Do trust, dear reader, I am working on the novel, albeit sporadically. But I am working.

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