Hello hello hello, dear reader.
It’s been a very mild winter here in Ottawa, and while it’s not quite gone yet, it seems to be on its way out. And I’ve been keeping myself busy!
With the recovery of my finances back in December (and the passing of Christmas), I’ve started to feel my famously boundless energy returning. For a lot of last year, I would finish work and then be dead after.
Now, I finish work, write, work out, do cardio, and write some more. I have many vices, but sloth is not one of them! My powerlift is back up to 1390 pounds, which is still 60 pounds short of my PR, but I’m getting that back. And my speed on the trail has been improving, too. I need to be back in good shape for May, when I’m going to play rugby in Italy!
I have, of course, also been keeping up with my baking, which has lead me to discover the ultimate cookie: the levain cookie!
This cookie is so dense with flavour, and has the perfect texture: crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. I’ve never been particularly fond of cookies before—the lame dessert whose one virtue is being relatively shelf-stable, but this cookie is one of my favourite desserts ever.
I’ve also been having adventures with my sister! Here we are at the NAC, seeing the Temptations:
I have also been social with friends again. I haven’t seen many of them in a year because of everything that went on with the move, but I’m reconnecting and living a full life.
So, my life is really good right now. I feel blessed. Thank you all for being part of it!
I’m finally through the middle on my rewrite! It’s been hard going, adding several new plot arcs and ripping out pretty much everything I had before. The end should be much faster (I hope).
There will still be lots of editing to do after this rewrite, but it shouldn’t feel like I’m writing the book all over again (which I mostly was). One of the many challenges has been to massage the history into a proper story form while staying true to it. I think I hit the right balance, which is this:
I kid, of course. But the history is an important part of this novel, and it wouldn’t have the power it does without that history. At the same time, my beta readers had problems because I put the history first and story second. I have to remember that this is a novel first, and that there are history books for them to read if they’re interested in the history after.
My long-suffering editor has been such a huge help in this. Being my editor is a tough job: you have to put up with my thousand-word screeds about how everything you said was completely wrong, then graciously accept my apology when I come back a week later and admit you’re right.
In my other ongoing novel, I’m almost at the midpoint! Writing it in on the bus, I certainly wasn’t expecting to be this far along in 6 months, but I can totally understand how Brandon Sanderson can accidentally write extra novels now. Editing and writing are such different skills that is fun to take a break from one to do the other. And if everything goes according to plan, by the time I’m done editing The Marvelous Makeover Murders, I’ll be finished the first draft of The Plasma Cosmic and can move straight into editing.
We’ll see. My novel outlines are usually a little nebulous, but my outline for the second half of this novel is more… lost in the blackest depths of Mariana’s Trench. But let me tell you, not knowing how the main character will get out of her dilemma sure ramps up the tension for the writer, too!
[Image: an archaeologist find the crystal that utters only truth, then gets upset when it says you have to write your book before it can be finished.]
But that’s it for me today. I hope y’all are doing well, and I’ll see you again in April!
All the best,