Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hot Days in the Summertime

These days, everybody's whinging about the heat, me included. And I was born in this kind of weather. Well, at least this time of year.

We don't have a/c so every fan we've got has been working overtime all weekend. I move the small one to the kitchen to blast on while I've been working. And I have been working, lovies. Oh yes indeedio. I've powered through moments of deep doubt, I've rewritten and slashed and moved and compiled. I have four open Word documents on my desk top right now, the actual WIP, a file for lines I've cut, just in case, one for lines I want to use later so I don't forget them, and the last a section I wrote a few weeks ago that I'm hoping to have incorporated into the main document by the end of today. Irons, they are in the fire and piping hot. Why not? Everything else is.

It's a discipline I'm not used to – not in me, and it hasn't been easy to maintain. I spent seven hours at Starbucks yesterday working and then another three when I got home. And I'm back again today. My forearms are sore from leaning on the hard table, my back is aching from hunching over the laptop and man does my butt hurt from the chairs. But I'm here, and I have a plan of action for the day, which, with any luck will end with a dip in the community pool and another Tessa Dare novel.

Sidebar: I read Dare's Goddess of the Hunt Sunday while enjoy the cool of the pool, and I mean that literally because every, single child interesting in splashing, throwing balls, or jumping off the side of the pool did so right around me. No matter how many times I moved up and down the wall, and there were plenty of them, children would find me. Once, another woman was following my example (reading while standing in the pool) only two feet away from me and she was TOTALLY DRY. Of course she was – all the little heathens we hanging around me!

Look, if you chose to read a book in the community pool, you're going to get wet. Thems the breaks. I get that. But kicked, bumped, totally drenched, and literally leapt over? Srssly, they were jumping over my head. Sigh. I need my own damn pool.

OK – mean old lady rant over.

Goddess of the Hunt is an amazing novel. Already, I have the next two in Dare's series on interlibrary loan request and as I said, if my day goes the way it should today, I'll be back in the pool (glowering) and diving into her Once Dance with a Duke. I figure historical are a safe bet to read when I'm writing because it not the subgenre that I write in, so if her words get in my head and seep into my writing, they'll be easy to find and delete. As I've taken craft seminars and worked on shaping my own work to be ever better, I read books differently. I'm looking for the things I've been taught.

Well, I looked up at page six of Goddess of the Hunt and realized Dare did in six pages what I had yet to achieve in fifty. Hero and heroine clearly and well defined. Conflict defined, setting defined, all with showing, not telling. And funny, witty interactions between h/h from the get go.

Truly I am a swallow in a cavalcade of eagles. But rather than feeling completely hopeless, I've dug in deeper instead. I remind myself, constantly, that nobody gets it right the first time. That what I'm reading is years of work and rewrites and critiques forming a final product. I tell myself, again and again, that I don't have to do it exactly the same way that my way can be different, that it should be different that, outside of grammar and basic craft, there is no wrong way. That swallows are still able to fly. Some of them even carry coconuts.

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