The book is progressing…

The book is progressing reasonably well, I think. Finished Part III a few days ago. Yesterday I went over all of the book so far with Kevin, scene by scene, and made copious notes, then talked to Bob at length on the phone and made more notes, then read Thida's critique and made more notes, then cried because it seemed like there was so much to fix, then was reassured by Kev that they were really almost all very quick fixes and not a big deal. Which I think they mostly are. I'm a bit worried because in revising chapter 16 late last night, I ended up cutting half of it (all the Ben Franklin stuff is gone now, and good riddance), which makes for a rather short chapter. But maybe I can add some stuff today.

I think by Wednesday of next week, knock on wood, I should have a solid book. I wouldn't have believed that a month ago.

I'd still like one more draft after that, because while Bob tells me the prose is elegant, it is not quite as beautiful as I would like. Not that I want to make every sentence flowery and ornate, but I do want to add some small touches. The prose of this book is mostly very clean, like a pen and ink drawing, which I hope helps to counter how intensely emotional and dramatic much of the story is. I don't think the story can stand up to vast blotches of brightly-colored prose being sloshed all over it. But if I can just go in with a colored pencil and add a few shadings of color, here and there...

I would tell you what else is going on in my life, but I can't remember what that is.

Heh. No, really, teaching's still going fine, I'm a bit behind on Roosevelt admin work but not too bad, and I plan to catch up this coming week. November is advising month, and I need to schedule fifteen half-hour in-person meetings with my advisees, oof. A lot of time, but it should be interesting, talking with grad students in the MFA program about their plans. This weekend the Vermont students hand in their packets, so next week should have a fair bit of teaching focus, which will be a nice change from banging my head against the wall of my book focus.

Kriti is going very well -- we've ordered most of our supplies at this point and finalized the schedule, and the last major things we need to make a decision on are food and the program book. Hopefully that'll be settled at this Sunday's meeting. After that, it's just trying to keep all the logistics under control.

Kevin has forbidden me to cook for Sunday's meeting, so we'll be ordering pizza. I tried to persuade him that I could throw together a couple of lasagnes in an hour, maybe a quick salad, some garlic bread -- or even better, squash soup, with gruyere croutons, I've been dying to make that again. And apple pie. It's apple pie season. Or maybe even rhubarb pie. I love me some rhubarb pie. But he was exceedingly firm, so pizza it'll be.

3 thoughts on “The book is progressing…”

  1. I love the way you compare your book to a pen and ink drawing. Very interesting description.

    I’m so happy that it’s coming together and giving you less troubles. I know it’s going to be marvelous!

  2. Yay! to Kevin saying no to cooking (although I’m miss one of those curry-describing, hunger-making posts). And congratulations on how far you’ve gotten in your revision. It did seem impossible, considering everything else that you were doing, but now it’s quite obvious that if anyone can teach at Vermont, organize and host a conference or two (or three), start a new job with mucho admin work, teach at Roosevelt, go on a book tour, write a new nonfiction manuscript and revise a novel all in a few short months, it’s you. I’m tired just typing it.
    So, my sincerest congratulations. I can’t wait to read this next book

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Heh. I still think I was stupid. Although I’ll note that my original plan did have me finishing the book in August, so that all of Sept/Oct would have been just school and festival. A more sane schedule.

    Of course, finishing the book in August would probably have required the foresight not to try to buy a new house in the spring and move in the summer, which foresight I was clearly sadly lacking.

    Though all that said, it’s interesting that everything I’m doing right now: teaching, festival planning, writing, *is* essentially what I’m expected to do as part of the job of being a professor. They maybe don’t expect me to do so much of it, so fast. I’m looking forward to slowing down.

    I was talking to Bob yesterday and he said that for my next book, he thinks I can do it in nine months, or maybe six. I would’ve hit him if we weren’t on the telephone.

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