I saw Lorenzo jump over a trap last night. Motherfucker, I will end you!
In the meantime I'm cooking up a lot of my dry goods before he can get his horrible paws on them. Also I am cooking because in another few days it will be too unbearably hot to cook, and likely remain that way for six fucking months.
I've made mashed potatoes 'n beans, enchiladas, rice pudding; I have meat thawing for spaghetti sauce, spaghetti being my staple dinner meal in the summer because I can make it in the crockpot, and I found a wheel of brie in the freezer that I forgot I had, so that's defrosting for snackage on ritz crackers.
My concession to St. Patrick's Day is that I watched a documentary on Guinness while I cooked.
Cooking's done, time for writing!
I'm in the home stretch on Dead Isle, at least the second edit (which is the fourth draft, go figure) and I'll probably give it a quick sweep once I'm done before I post the new version. Then I take the edits for that version, work it out, typeset it, and it goes to press. Exciting, no?
There are scenes that I've been re-reading near the end because I love them -- I will never, ever get tired of Jack in Parliament -- and some others that I've been avoiding, because I was worried they'd suck or be cheesy. Turns out they're pretty good; some of them affect me quite deeply, even now. Mainly towards the end, but I've always liked endings best.
I've been fretting because I had hoped to make the bulk of my cuts in the Australia section, but it's turning out to be difficult -- I do cut some things, but I still have to replace them with others that are less circuitous but not any shorter. I think I've finally realised that the problem is not extraneous material. The problem is it's a goddamn complicated plot.
I've actually written pretty much the bare bones of what I could write. There's a land speculation con and a government conspiracy and a rebel counter-conspiracy and a BANK THEFT and two plots about racism that eventually have to intertwine, there's two romances and a lot of philosophical debate about God and the ethics of politics, and it all has to stay reasonably interesting. So, with fingers crossed, I think this will remain a long book, but be hopefully a better one than it was.
I've been through this process now three previous times, and it's amazing the pattern that always forms. This is the bit where I natter incessantly about rewrites and the structure and theme of the book, and what I like and don't like. If history is any indication, the next stage is hating the book utterly, and then slogging through the final edits and feeling like a complete disappointment. But after that I get to typeset, which is sadly one of my absolute favourite things, and once it's typeset the disappointment fades away and I'm usually pretty proud.
All of my books are emotional processes, that's how I work, but this one is stronger than most. I don't think that could have been avoided, given all the shit that went down in my life while I was writing it (broken arm, broken job, broken family). It's not a bad thing, but it's interesting to re-experience it.