Chapter 15 is being edited
Instead of the cross, the Albatross About my neck was hung. -Samuel Taylor Coleridge
I don’t even remember when I took pen in hand and started writing Chapter 15. I can safely say it was a long time ago. Some readers are concerned about the painfully slow progress. I’ve been concerned about it. It hasn’t come easily – I’ve even suffered bouts of the dreaded malady Writer’s Block.
My wife says I’m stubborn, and I suppose she’s right, but I prefer to call it determined or relentless. That relentlessness has finally been rewarded. I’ve finished the first draft of what should be a complete and viable Chapter 15.
It hasn’t been easy. I’ve known all along what the chapter needed to say and do, but not how to go about doing it. Then there was finding the thing’s soul. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s hard. This time, the soul took a while to find, and figuring out how to tell you what you need to know in a way that’s honest, engaging, and entertaining took several false starts. One of those false starts ran to 10 pages before I realized it was all wrong and I had to eighty-six the whole thing.
None of that is unique to Chapter 15. I’m not a font of creative energy, like some authors and mentors I greatly admire. It’s more of a process for me, one I enjoy greatly. I love spending time peeling back the layers to see what gifts I might find.
Back in the olden days, my ex-husband would go to great lengths to hide my Christmas gifts and make me go on elaborate scavenger hunts to find them. One year, he got me a set of very expensive enameled Dutch ovens I coveted, and he scattered them throughout our old barn. It took me all day to find everything, and I was cursing and laughing the whole time. I enjoyed the finding as much as the getting.
That doesn’t fully explain the long wait between Chapters 14 and 15. I had a lot of other personal demands on my time throughout the summer and fall. Any day I could spend more than two honest hours with our lovely heroines was a productive day indeed. There were stretches where I went a week without visiting them.
That simply can’t be helped. Now that it’s winter, I should have more time to write – at least after the holidays. Interestingly enough, I pounded out a first draft of Chapter 16 long before I finished Chapter 15. It needs some work, but the wait should be fairly short.
So, now comes the editing. That usually goes faster than the writing, so once it’s back from the editors first look, I’ll get on it and have it posted as soon as I possibly can.
Once again, the albatross is off my neck. I thank everyone for your patience.