EDITS, ROCKS, AND LIFE
It's been a couple of weeks of edits. Edits for short stories, edits for the US edition of the Stone Road (which are coming along nicely) and even a quick pass over my next children's book Mr Impoppable (Oh, but it is a delightfully silly book, I reckon, don't you love Brent Wilson's drawings - there's a sneak peak below).
Edits are my happy place. I love writing a book, or a story, and taking it as far as I can, but it's really also like lifting a rock, and carrying it a long way. There's only so far you can carry it before you need someone else to share the burden. Actually that's a very simple metaphor, it's more like carrying a heavy rock while trying to carve something meaningful out of it.
I have a pretty disordered mind. I'm not great at structure in my drafts, I write them out of order, and I can be pretty inconsistent in my spelling, and even in my handling of time. It's a great, big effort for me to pull that stuff into line, not least because I often don't see it, until it's pointed out, and even when I think I finally the measure of my inconsistencies and can weed them out, new ones creep in.
Which is why I am always so glad to be able to pass that rock onto someone else for a while. Give me good edits and editorial suggestions and my writing lifts, shifts into gear, and the structures fall into place, and I can carry that damn rock a little farther.
I feel like I have been very lucky with those who have helped me carry the rock along.
A Day in the Life
Today was a fairly typical day off the day job. Made breakfast for everyone, got one child off to Childcare - only two tantrums - took other child grocery shopping. Had a friend drop over, which was awesome. Friend left when child was ready for a nap. Worked on copy edit questions for the twenty minutes they slept. Tried to answer emails after they woke up - I don't think I made any sense.
Gave up, made lunch for us both, played, tried to clean the kitchen, gave up. Answered another couple of emails with child on lap (I'm so sorry if anyone got one of those). Read Hooray for Birds by Louise Cousins.
Picked up other child from childcare - there was a pee incident - everyone had a bath. My partner came home, I got a teensy bit of exercise in. Quickly printed out an unpublished Day Boy/Stone Road world story called "The Art of Publishing for Vampires*" for someone who won a prize. Entertained kids while dinner was made. Put one child to bed (three massive tantrums, they were very tired) while my partner put the other child to bed. Washed up.
Kids are asleep, partner is working, and I'm getting this blog post done. It was a good day. Honestly, it was a wonderful day, in amongst the noise. I got to watch my youngest take a few unconsidered steps - they're learning to walk - we had some wonderful laughs, and they pointed at the moon when I asked them where it was. My eldest used the word steep in the right context, and let me settle them in the midst of the third and biggest tantrum.
Stories are written, worlds are explored, and it's all done in the little spaces the moments of quiet. I never get as much time as I would like, but I write more things than I expect. So it's not that bad. This is the stuff I love doing, it can be hard, but it's not a battle. It's life.
See, imagine being my editor. I'm lucky to have them.
*I'm actually pretty pleased with it. I wrote it when my youngest was a few weeks old, and they'd rest on me without wriggling. Bliss.