Finding my way back to my book

2016 has been a wild year for me so far. I’m going through quite a few changes in my life at this time, and it hasn’t felt right to blog about really any of it. I wanted to share something, though, since it’s been about 4 months since my last post.

I’m finally working on my book again, the one I wrote for November 2012’s NaNoWriMo. I began revising it quite some time ago, and made it to almost the 20k words mark before I realized I wanted to make a huge change. I struggled with it for a while, not sure whether it was the right change to make, afraid of how people might react. I procrastinated for a long time before deciding to simply go for it.

I have altered the main character quite a bit, and thus had to go back and make those changes in what existed of my second draft so far. I just now (a few minutes ago) finally caught up to myself in my second draft, making my character changes and editing a few other things along the way, so that where I left off editing the first time is now exactly where I am with my new changes, too.

That means I can go back to my three-ring binder of my original manuscript and go at it with a red pen again, which was my first step earlier. After I finish a section, I type it up onto the computer, so all the transformation I’ve been doing of my abbreviated second draft has been on the computer. I’m looking forward to curling up with the paper copy again.

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My writing group is still going strong, with a few drop-outs and some new additions, and I like the people we have right now. I like our dynamic, I like our routine. I value the opinion of everyone there, and feel comfortable giving honest feedback.

It’s been really good for me to do this (almost) every week. Their feedback and encouragement has inspired me to get back in the saddle and make this second draft happen. I want to have it finished by the end of 2016, so I can send it out to an agent.

That seems like a fantasy sometimes, but I believe it will happen, and I believe that eventually someone will want to take my book on as their project, too, and help me release it into the world. It’s scary and exciting.

That’s where I’m at right now with my writing. It’s been a little difficult to focus on it, because of all the other things going on, but I’m going to make it a priority now. The universe has been giving me little nudges that this is what I need to be working on, and I agree with the universe (on this as well as most other things).

I’ve been enjoying doing some gardening in our tiny yard and our raised bed that a neighbor has graciously allowed us to place in his yard, and of course I’m always on the lookout for wildlife photo ops, so here’s a little taste of that:

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As far as social media goes, I shut down my Facebook page, and I don’t tweet much, but I’m active on Instagram for the time being, and I also have gotten into Pinterest, so if you’re interested in what I’m up to, check out the links on the side of this page to see my profiles (assuming I put them up there correctly).

That’s all for now. Now I need to get out of my stifling office and go sit by the fan downstairs.

I hope everyone who is reading this is having a happy, fun, and safe summer!

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Three Matthew Quick Novels

I haven’t reviewed or posted anything in quite a while, but I felt compelled to talk about this author.

Elizabeth Editorializes

I recently went on a Matthew Quick kick. I had already seen the film “Silver Linings Playbook” more times than I can count at this point, and I was discussing it with my friendly local librarian. She suggested I read the book. I had avoided it because of some Goodreads reviews that made it seem like I’d enjoy it less than the movie, but I decided to trust her.

(I’m glad I took her advice. They are very different from each other, and both excellent, though I am frustrated about some of the changes David O. Russell made with the screenplay.)

She also recommended that I read “Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock.” Since the library had that one available, I took it home and read it right away.

Soon, the library acquired an interlibrary loan copy of “The Silver Linings Playbook” for me, and I read…

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Recent reads and the company of literary-minded others

I’ve mostly been writing book reviews lately, so this blog has been a little neglected. If you’re interested in checking them out, here are my most recent ones:

“Magic or Madness” by Justine Larbalestier

“Half Bad” by Sally Green

“Sisters of Shiloh” by Kathy and Becky Hepinstall

“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

I did also finish the newest one by Tracy Chevalier, “The Last Runaway,” which I haven’t reviewed yet, but about which I’m going to have some very good things to say.

You may notice a theme here. I’ve been on a spree of women authors. It started out innocently enough, but when I noticed it, I decided to make it a thing for a while. I’m currently in the middle of two other books (well, more than that, but two that are getting my attention on a daily basis). Both are also written by women.

I’m reading “The Fair Fight” by Anna Freeman for my own pleasure, and since my book group is finally meeting again this month, I’m also making my way through September’s pick, “We Took to the Woods” by Louise Dickinson Rich.

I’m not sure how I feel about that last one just yet. I’m enjoying it, but it’s also a little slow and lacking in plot–but I don’t think plot was what the author was necessarily going for. It isn’t a novel.

I also met up with a fledgling writers’ group recently. It seems to be following the same rules as my book group, even though it meets in the evening–mostly women; in fact, we only had one man. He’ll probably keep us from getting into too much trouble. We ladies can be formidable when we get together, but I think he can hold his own.

It seems likely to be a good experience. I think we have a good variety of experience and lack thereof, people from interesting walks of life and with different goals. I’m happy I overcame my hermit nature enough to show my face!

So, those are the straightforward things happening in my life right now. Everything else is complicated and stressful, so I’m glad to have the book group coming up and another writing group meeting next week. I’m also fortunate to have no shortage of good literature to bury my face in lately.

I actually think that might be next on my to-do list for today! I’d better get on it.

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