I want to share stuff with you that I’m writing now. Really, truly. I’m excited. Today, in spite of being a bad podcast day (thank the dog and the complex gardners for that…) it was a marvelous writing day. I’m like, two chapters from the end as we speak. You know what this chapter’s title is? Do you? The Aldersgate. That’s the chapter I’m working on.

This is where it get hard, and where everything is rewriting. My original draft’s ending was the weakest part of the book. I got so excited that I just… kinda threw everyone off a precipice. My husband, upon reading the book said, “Well, so much of this is awesome… except it sort of just stops, and the end is really hectic.” So this time I’m reinventing the wheel. I’m sanding, polishing, making the grain stand out.

The problem of course is balancing the narratives, a handful of which convene. Instead of jumping from character brain to character brain in each chapter, it’s happening multiple times within a chapter. It’s a bit like learning to shift gears in a car. Except, well, I can’t drive stick. So it’s still a little hectic at this point, at least from this perspective. When it comes time to record these chapters, I do hope you’ll weigh in.

Did I mention inventions? I’ve got some awesome inventions. Deadly and delightful!

Oh, yes, another metaphor. This time, to writing and woodworking. Usually I go blacksmithing, of course but today I’m feeling like woodworking is best. It’s the whole grain/stain thing. You pick out a good piece of wood (ideas, first draft, etc). Then you shape it and sand it; and at first glance, that piece is beautiful. The curves and lines are there, the form is right. But the details are off.

I remember as a kid I was riveted whenever I saw this one infomercial about some random varnish or stain that you put on wood. It would make the most hideous, scratched, stained, boring piece of lumber into a magnificent work of art. And although no woodworker would ever admit to the process being as simple as that, I still hold that a finished book is like a finished piece of wood. When you apply stain, the natural details in the wood just pop. It’s why when you select a piece of wood you dampen it, to see what the deeper colors and grain will look like with the application of stain and varnish.

Of course, I’m just finishing off with the stain. That’s the second draft, and the Big Edit. Which, honestly, for all intents and purposes was a complete rewrite. Sure, the characters are theĀ  same, and some of the premise is the same. But I went after my selected piece of wood with a hatchet when I should have chosen a chisel. Or something.

I am hovering around the 135K mark at the moment, about 15K from the end of this book. And as always I feel a little like a kid poised at the top of an icy hill in a snow tube. It’s going danged fast. When I emerge at the other side, which may be in a few days if the speed is any indication, I’ll dance around and celebrate and likely buy a bottle of expensive wine and some Brie. I’ll record it so you can share in my revelrie. (The last draft’s celebration–nearly a year to the date–was a tattoo.)

Thanks for bearing with me as I finish this. I’m excited, and thrilled, and can’t wait to hear the response when the last podcast goes live. I’ve got some surprises that even I was taken by; it’s so mind-boggling when the gears all move into place as if moved by some pre-destined hand.

Back to Home Depot, then, to pick out the last bits of inlay and contemplate the right varnish.

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