Resurfacing

Having turned in my revisions after weeks of steady work, I spent a week mentally catching my breath and another one literally looking around me.  I don’t know if this is the case for all writers, but after days and weeks of immersing myself in characters and their time period, returning to my own life is a bit like breaking the surface in a pool.  Under water, the sights and sounds of life above the surface can be heard, but they’re muted.  When you come up for air, that first breath of air fills your lungs in an exhilarating rush, but you’re also taking in bright sunlight, vivid colors and shouts, music and laughter.  All of these are delightful, but the first two seconds almost assault the eyes and ears.

Once I hit the ‘send’ button to the editor, I looked around and started wondering: When did summer get here?  How can it be time to get my hair cut again already?  What is that pile of laundry doing in my room and has it been washed or not?  Who broke into the basement and left that mess all over my desk???

As  post-deadline life settled down, I’ve given myself permission to not sit at the computer for hours day after day.  In between writing sessions, I’ve cleaned, cooked, gotten my hair done, spent time with my family, spent time with fellow writers (hurrah!), danced at a wedding with my beloved (double hurrah!), and just generally acted like a normal person.  Or at least as normal as we ever get in my family.

I’ve also visited two works-in-progress and decided they weren’t total wretched pieces of crap, and plotted my next book.  Most of it, anyway.  Writing is a process as well as a craft and an art.  I know it will take a bit of time before I am really pulled under again into the world of my next set of characters.  But settling down to work on each day’s pages, I look forward to the next dive into the pool.

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6 thoughts on “Resurfacing”

  1. Ann, I think we’re in the same place at the moment. I’ve just sent in a book after a week of intense revisions and have rediscovered life (and the ironing) anew. Did a couple of hours of gardening this morning and loved being out in the open air. But those book ideas keep popping up, don’t they, and tempting you back to your desk. Good luck with the next manuscript. I’m looking forward to reading To Be Seduced – have just put in an order for it. You got me with that blurb!

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    1. It’s always such a relief getting that latest project in, isn’t it, Nicola? Gardening is a mutual effort at our house: I decide where the plants should go, and my hubby plants them! As I’ve got the legendary brown thumb while he grows things like magic, this is a good thing. Since I’m cooking again, we enjoy dinners in our back yard or sit and watch the fireflies come out. And I find a lot of new ideas or solutions to plot problems come to me while cooking.

      I hope you enjoy To Be Seduced! The Restoration period has fascinated me since I first got a close look at it in theater history class — talk about a society in flux.

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  2. I like the way you divide up the gardening work, Ann! Interesting that you find cooking helps refresh your creativity – I think the Wenches are discussing that topic this month.

    The Restoration period fascinates me too. As I work in a 17th century house, owned originally by a man who was friend to Charles II and Prince Rupert, I am a little obsessed. Love the sound of your theatre history class too!

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