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Archive for July, 2010

lampshade

Linus thought we were furniture shopping — imagine his disappointment when he realized the new accessory was not for the house, but for him.  In order to keep the super-healing, super-steroid topical lotion on his foot (and not on a sock or on his tongue), Linus got a cone today.  He’s surprisingly unconcerned about the whole thing, though he’s having a LOT of trouble turning corners.  Sally thinks it’s fascinating (is that really a surprise?).  Personally, it’s tearing me apart!

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5th and final

I’m doing one more round of edits.  Don’t ask.  I don’t know where these stupid typos come from.  This many reads, and still I write Emerson instead of Brianna??  Gah.  So this is Draft 5, and Draft 5 is REALLY it.  I mean, I know I said Draft 4 was it, but I should have known when I saw that comma…

But at least I am simultaneously sending inquiries as I finish cleaning up Draft 5, with the high-held hope that by the time I finish this round someone — Someone! — will want to see some pages.

In other news, the title of book 2 came to me today.  Very randomly, in fact.  By the time I get thru Draft 5, I will be more than ready to start writing a new Draft 1.

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Hopping around

Linus has only three legs this week.  There is a fourth, but it is hidden by a large gray sock that is wrapped in a million places with athletic tape.  And beneath that sock — lest he somehow wrangle it off — is an ace bandage also wrapped with athletic tape.  So he has four legs, but one of them is…currently a work in progress.  And so far as he is concerned, he only has three.  He is quite speedy hopping around on three legs.  Even going downstairs, he bounds effortlessly.  Going upstairs on three seems to be a bit tricky.

It’s hard to watch him limp around (and mostly hard to watch him sulk, which is ALL he does currently), but it’s for his own good — and it’s also his fault — so I’m trying not to let it bother me this week.  Linus licked his leg until a sore appeared, and then he just kept on licking, licking, licking.  It’s a lick granuloma if you really want to look it up and get technical about it.  So we wrapped it up to prevent him from licking it, and he gave himself another lick granuloma just above the bandage.  So now his entire leg is wrapped up.  The fear of lick granulomas — because they become more of a mental thing than a physical thing, and because we know Linus is prone to mental neuroses — is that the dog will just keep finding new places to lick.  Of course, that’s what happened the first time.  But now Linus’ sock bandage is so annoying and so prohibitive that it seemingly takes all of his effort just trying to lick the sock off.

He has a vet appt on Saturday — he was due for his shots anyway.  And we will see what to do about these so-called lick granulomas.  Maybe they’ll be healing up by then.  Or, maybe the vet will let us keep a sock on our three-legged dog for a little while longer.

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Draft 4 of the book is done.  And I mean Done.  Yeah, I spotted an extra space before a comma in chapter 1 (grrr), and yeah, if I reread it again, I would probably rewrite a good portion of the sentences again.  But I can’t really keep doing that.  So this is…it.  I’m gonna send my little book on its way to some agents this week and see whether they think it’s any good.

From Draft 3 to Draft 4, my goals were to clarify some of the plot points, fix any and all errors/typos/strange names, spell out the resolution a bit more thoroughly for those people who aren’t as good at nuance as I am, and shorten the book by about 10,000 words.

Well, as they say, three out of four ain’t bad.

It’s not any shorter.  And in fact, due to points #1 and #3, it’s probably actually longer.  Sure, I cut out some fluff and removed some inane pieces of dialogue that made me happier to write than to read, but then I also — yanno — explained the book a bit.  So I’m back where I started at about 118,000.

And that’s where this little book is going to end for the time being.  If an agent says, Dahling, I love it — cut out 10,000 words and I’ll make you a millionaire, then you better believe the first and last chapters will just disappear.  But let’s see if we get past the inquiry letter/first 10 pages part before we begin whacking unnecessarily.

It’s all a bit surreal.  I sat in Starbucks this morning with nothing to write.  I mean, write write.  I reread the 2p. summary and decided I still like it.  I reread the 1p. summary, decided it’s crap, and figured the one agent who wants it can wait.  And then I read my inquiry letter and did what I always do to my inquiry letter — I spent an hour staring at it only to change one word.  And tomorrow I will probably change it back.  It always calls to mind the quote from Oscar Wilde:

I was working on a proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma.  In the afternoon I put it back again.

I’m really at a point where I can just send this thing off.  I’m not going to make any major changes to the first ten pages, and my inquiry letter is really not too bad.  But I keep sitting on it all, rereading it, rethinking one word out of a hundred.  I’m suddenly very reluctant to move forward.  Because on one hand, it’s very exciting to think, this is it! — the moment I’ve always waited for — finished with a novel and ready to send it to agents.  And on the other hand, there’s that lurking, sneaking, damaging thought of, this is it?

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This morning we went kayaking through Fishing Creek, which is the waterway entrance to Chesapeake Beach.  It was an absolutely beautiful morning, as we paddled about 7 miles down a channel surrounded by grasslands and filled with blue crabs, fish, egrets, herons, orioles, and more.  We only passed three people along the way (random crabbers cleaning traps, setting traps, or filling a boat with traps), and we truly had the channel all to ourselves.  The guy running the paddle rental took a picture of us, so I’ll post if he gets around to sending it our way.  And since it was taken at the end of our two hour trip (and it was already 90+ degrees out), I’m sure we looked awesome.

Afterwards, we rewarded our hard morning work with a trip to Skippers for some music and margaritas.  (And crab cake sandwich, BBQ shrimp, and fried green tomatoes.)  I did manage to get a picture of that deliciousness, as per usual.

This afternoon, we rested a bit with the puppies when a massive storm rolled in, flinging tornadoes around Maryland.  We were very fortunate — the heavy winds that ripped through CBeach were shortlived (as was the rain, unfortunately) and — knock on wood — our power only flashed off momentarily.  We had a delicious eggplant dinner, and then we commiserated over the terribly unproductive, lazy weekend we had enjoyed.  (Saturday’s work seems to have already been forgotten!)  Luckily we had a can of paint to solve that problem.

Our kitchen cabinets have now been entirely transformed.  I wanted to take a sneak picture, but the color was hard to distinguish in the photo, so I’ll wait till our hardware is up (and the sun is shining).  But for now, here’s a hint to what replaced our primer-white paint:

Tadpoles.

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Last night we went to Edgewater to see Flickan som lekte med elden (otherwise known as The Girl who Played with Fire).  The evening would have been perfect had Rt 2 not been shut down for one inane reason or another.  So we had a very long detour to the movies (and barely made it in time) and an equally long detour home.  But while the detour north took us inland through the farms, the detour south headed east to the water, and we found Thursdays, a dock bar/restaurant in Galesville that we had only heard about but never seen.  And it seems that our favorite waterfront spots are the ones we discover by accident, so tonight (after a morning of beach and an afternoon of work in the city), we went back to Galesville on purpose to try out Thursdays.
And I have to say, 105 degrees out and all, Thursdays was really nice.  My ahi tuna was delicious, as was my margarita.  I wanted to post a picture of us both enjoying the waterside, but g has vetoed his picture (really?!), so you’re only getting a picture of me and the fabulous romper Mom made me upon request.  So this is a picture of the day my romper went to Galesville. 
Rompers are perfect for triple-digit days. 🙂  Isn’t it gorgeous out?!

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Lazy Dayz of Summer

It’s terrible how far behind I am in posting.  Although, I am not sure I have a lot to write; in fact, if G were to guest blog, I bet he would have a lot more to say.  He could tell you all about his vacay with his family, the manatee he saw, the shark that was pulled out of the water, the delicious food, and the fact that he learned to shotgun beer.  Awesome.  My days were quite tame comparatively.  Beach, book, my book, dogs.  And lots of work.  I knew this month would be crazy, so it’s not altogether unexpected, but boy… I can’t wait for August when Europe goes on holiday and my task pad eases up a bit.

And of course, I’m still somehow managing to elude the jury monster.  Just one more week.  Can I squeak by?  Am I really that lucky?

G brought me beautiful earrings back from his trip.  Silver manatees, and I must get a picture of them soon.  He also brought me a cute beach cover up to go with the awesome turquoise and brown swimsuit he bought me for Valentine’s Day.  (As you can see, my dreams of sunshine and beach weather started early this year.)

My beta readers have sent me back with a flurry of book changes, so I am in the process of editing the book one. last. time.  Really, I think this is it.  Draft 4.2 is going to see public light.  I’m 115 pages into this round of edits (though some of the toughest changes are yet to come), but I’m quite excited.  I hope this round of the book is clearer and more compelling than the last.

Anyway, I wish I could write and write about all the fabulous things I’ve done lately, but really, it’s just been pretty boring and pretty work-filled.  And with G gone, it’s also been a bit lonely.  (Even though Li and SalSal did make themselves quite at home on G’s pillows for the last few nights.  Last night was a rough adjustment.  4 on the bed?!)

But here are a few pics I never quite got around to posting.

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