Monday, June 10, 2013

Love writing, hate editing

I should not be blogging. I should be working at this moment. I recently received the editorial letter* for my upcoming book The Demons of Ghent, sequel to Silent Saturday and second book in my Forbidden Spaces trilogy. There is quite a bit of work to do - and no, before you ask, they didn't say "your characters are rubbish" or "you can't spell for toffee". It's mainly about simplifying and streamlining a very complex plot. And it has to be done by July. Late July, admittedly, but still July, plus there is the complicating factor that after the end of June both my children will be at home for the holidays, so I shall be working half-days (the half being their lie-ins; the second half of the day will either be taken up with outings or there will be the merry sound of Mario Kart echoing through the house; for this reason, as mums go, I am at the very indulgent end of the spectrum when it comes to teens sleeping all morning).

So, as you can see, I really should be working away like a demon, hacking out those unfeasible bits of prose that have sprung up like weeds and planting new lovely bits that will blossom like literary roses. Or something. Anyway, my response to all this time pressure has been a familiar one. On Tuesday evening I had a sore throat and by Wednesday evening I was starting to feel very seriously unwell. On Thursday I stayed in bed and Friday was a bit of a blur. You probably could have fried an egg on my forehead at that point. People fondly imagine that it must be lovely having a hyperactive authorly imagination but on Friday it was very unpleasant. Since childhood, whenever I have had a high fever I start seeing patterns and shapes in things around me and this time was no different. A sock lying on the bedroom floor morphed into an Easter Island stone head. A piece of material sticking out of a drawer turned into a cartoon duck. I even had to call my daughter to remove a camera bag from the room because it kept turning into a cyborg with a fish's head.

Above: the zoo could have saved money by putting these meerkats next to me on Friday. 

This was all familiar territory because I took several of my O'levels in a similar state and was also ill during my university entrance exams. I'd suspect myself of malingering but the thermometer said otherwise. Anyway, the long and the short of it is, I am having a couple of days off before I get back to work. I promise to feel guilty about this when I am less exhausted and can summon up the energy. 
Hopefully the whole thing will have a kind of "reboot" effect on my brain and by this Friday I shall be zooming through the edits at top speed, fuelled by bursts of hitherto unseen brilliance (cough). 

In the meantime I thought I'd do a little light blogging, faff about on Twitter, and make even more cups of strong sweet tea for myself than I normally do. I could also toy with my VAT return but we shall see how it goes...

* Editorial letters are received with great excitement and joy by authors, much as the black spot is received by Billy Bones in Treasure Island. 

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