I've decided to cut those three stories I was waffling on from the manuscript. They just weren't that good -- I was including them originally because they were about people in that family, and because I wanted bulk, to feel like I'd accomplished something. But I think this will be plenty long enough. So I'm good with cutting them, but now I'm wondering about balance, because even if I cut "Challah" too, I only have 7 stories in the first section, and 9 in the second. One solution might be to take "Seven Cups of Water" and "Sister Mary" and give them their own little section, a sort of hinge between the other two parts. Another would be to write more stories in the first section. But I'm not sure which characters to write about, if I do that. (And oh, heck, I just realized that "Minal in Winter" might need to be in the second set -- I'm not even sure why I put it in the first set originally, given that it's about Raji's niece...I'm so confused). There's Savitha and Chaya, then their mother Lakshmi, then Lakshmi's sister, Leilani, then their parents, Arvind and Samiksha. (I could do a Raksha story here, but it works much better to do it in the other branch). Three generations -- hmm...somehow, I think I have four in the other branch, but the last generation there might be babies, so that doesn't really count. Well, I'm not going to worry about it too much until I finish revising these stories, but it's something to keep in mind.
I know, I'm getting obsessive about this. Just wait. I'm going to get much, much more obsessive in the months to come.