Friday, January 30, 2009

Reading by the Fire

No, not this week. This week in Melbourne we are reading IN the fire, that's if we can concentrate in this horrible, awful heat. It's easier just to lie in front of the air conditioner and spray yourself with water. For me, it's even too hot to go to the beach. Who wants to fry on the sand? So reading becomes an activity that is something you do when your brain doesn't feel like thick, hot mud!

Writing becomes even harder to manage. Computers overheat, for a start. I've lost my internet connection a couple of times because somewhere in the house, or outside it, the cable has gone pfftt and nothing works. The router gets so hot that it goes off too. I have been only turning the computer on when I need to do something. Two nights ago, when I had to email off two things due on deadlines, and my internet connection died, I was beside myself. But that was also heat-stress! I did eventually send things a few hours later.

I have even been grateful to go to work this week, or I was, until the air conditioning there conked out!! Still, amongst all the sweat and sticky chairs and iced water, I have been editing. Somehow, pages on my lap, one sentence at a time, pen in hand, I can focus enough to delete and amend. And later at night, when I can bear the heat of the laptop, I transfer edits into the manuscript. I am one chapter from finishing the edits, three chapters from transferring to the ms. And then the revision is done. For now.

I have already warned my agent, who will be the first to read this draft (my great writing friend K read a previous draft), that this is something different from me. More serious, a bit more weird. I could hear the nervousness in his voice! But this was one of those books I had to write, one that I had been wanting to try for a couple of years. The first attempt went nowhere because I tried to "nice-fy" it, which resulted in a bland yuck. Now it's done the way I want. We'll see what the response is!

6 comments:

Katherine Battersby said...

Fascinated by the sound of your latest project Sheryl - would love to hear more (but understand if you don't want to share just yet). I really enjoy your writing voice - Tracey Binns is such a wonderfully prickly and yet warm character :)

Katherine

Lorraine said...

Very mysterious, Sherryl. A new genre, perhaps? Good luck with your agent.

Kristi Holl said...

I'm impressed with the writing/editing you're getting done under those heated conditions! And I bet your agent will love the new book. Just have a feeling! 8-)

Snail said...

I'm very impressed that you can get stuff done in this heat. Me, I'm just approaching sanity again after a brief troppo interlude.

D. Robert Pease said...

Just a note to say I'd love a little heat right about now. It has been hovering right around 0 Fahrenheit for weeks. And snowing, and snowing and... well you get the idea. A good foot of snow yesterday. Ah well the grass is always greener... well probably brown in your case.

Sherryl said...

Today the forecast is 37. Seems cool in comparison to yesterday's 45!
Can't say anything about this book until a publisher somewhere decides they love it. The chances of that are... but I enjoyed writing it, and the revision has been fascinating, as I've been applying the Deep Editing and character lessons from Margie Lawson.
It's all a learning experience!