Monday, 8 August 2011

Finished, finished, mwahah, finished!!!

overcast - mountain behind the house encased in cloud - sticky day - temps 22

One of those funny sort of days where it's humid and cool. My body is confused - not for the first time.

but my head and heart are in agreement!! This is a magnificent day! I finished the third draft of book 8!! I also want to just clarify that this is not A TRICK OF THE LIGHT - that was finished many, many months ago. books really have to be, since there're all sorts of publishing decisions that need to be made - like cover design, final edits, publishing date, advance copies, marketing.... so a book needs to be at the publisher almost a year before it will actually get into your hands.

The book I've been working on this year - and finished the third draft at 5:30 last night - is the next one. Book 8. Which, god willing, will come out a year from now. Book 8 (do you just love the title?) is the one set in the monastery. Very fun, as it turns out, to spend much of the year with monks wandering around in my head. bumping into all sorts of unsavory thoughts. Poor ones.

Of course, finishing the third draft doesn't mean they aren't still up there....whispering things I should have done with their characters - lines I could change - small edits, slight smoothing. Chatty for men who've supposedly taken a vow of silence.

I've sent the manuscript - electronically - to my agent. This is actually the first time I've been able to do this since she now has a kindle. How things have changed! Up until now it's been all mailing of printed copies. I wonder what the next ten years will bring? I know it's a scary time for publishers and especailly booksellers. I don't have a kindle - have no need. But Michael does - he actually has a nook. He loves it for travel, but continues to buy and read printed books at home.

so we've found a balance - an alliance - between the two.

So now I wait - and try not to stress out completely wondering if Teresa's reading the manuscript. Where she might be at. And why - after 12 hours - haven't I heard from her? Clearly she hates it. What was I thinking? it's a mess. I'm a mess. A disaster...

As you can see - most of the fiction never reaches the printed page, but squirrels around in my crowded head. I might have to put the monks to work, cleaning out up there. I think insecurity is just part of the package. I don't like it - but I suspect it's far better than being cocky, or taking it for granted I've nailed the whole thing. I think it's what makes me try always to do better.

If I'm not vulnerable it means I haven't risked enough. haven't strayed from my comfort zone. Haven't opened up. And perhaps, don't care enough.

This is only true of me. I'm not in anyway saying other writers/artists/performers who are confident haven't risked, or opened up. I'm sure they have, and still manage to be confident. But after all this time, I realize it's just who I am. Not a good thing or a bad thing. Just a fact. And I can laugh at it now and make some peace with those insecurities. and vulnerabilities.

But for today - life is amazing!!! Book done - and trying to have a day with nothing on the agenda except what I want to do. Oddly, that often means I'm quite productive. Little things like throwing out the old flowers and getting into the garden to make new arrangements. Calling animal control to see if they can live-trap the porcupine and relocate it deep in the woods. There're some details - like making notes of power outlets - for the construction. It happens when I'm on book tour. It's just nice to have one day when I'm not being told I have to do something. but do it because I choose to.

Ahhhh -

What a surprising and blessed life. Made all the better for starting something difficult. And finishing it.

Once Teresa reads it she'll send the book to my editors, Hope and Dan in NYC and London - and they'll make their notes and tell me what they think. so this is far from the last draft. But it's as close as I can get, and now I need their thoughts. When the team is great and healthy and collaborative and mutually respectful, this is a simply sublime experience. And I'm extremely fortunate in the team.

I can hardly wait for you to read A TRICK OF THE LIGHT - about Clara's art show. Less than a month now!!! Hope you're enjoying your day.


Kate in the UK said...

Just went to order my copy of A Trick of the Light and found that it's not published in the UK until February 2012.

Nooooo! Louise, say it isn't so. I'll have to avoid your blog and Facebook for months for fear of a spoiler comment!

Why? Was it something we said?

from Kate in the UK

Pam said...

Hi Louise,
What a wonderful feeling to have sent off your manuscript. The first time I met you you were at number three.I will order my copy today.
I retired from the bank last week and after working for 50 years( not at the bank)I am very excited to finally have some time to devote to getting our book published. Liz and I have been at this labour of love for four years but now is the time to get the lead out. Thanks for your encouragement over the years.
The best to Michael and I am looking forward to finding what Clara and all are up to.


Kathleen said...

I can't wait to read Trick of the Light and soooo glad ther will be another to follow. Trick of the Light is my birthday present from my best friend this year and I can't wait.

Mary Vehr Mumaw said...

again,thank you Louise for your willingness to share your experiences and within that sharing, your hope and strength -- has meant so much to me as I am now actually writing "the book" and when I have times like this morning when what I write has my insides jumping around like firecrackers and the committee in my head all chattering at once, I remember your reading your words these past months and I think "just keep writing - you can change stuff after it's actually down on the page." thank you for sharing your courage. AND congratulations upon this milestone ...

Jeanine Cronin said...

Congratulations, Louise, on sending off your third draft of your new book. Does it have a name yet besides Book Eight?

I am so excited that I will finally get to meet you when you come to Concord, NH on the 30th. I can't wait to read A Trick of the Light.

Colombine said...

FANTASTIQUE! Quelle satisfaction ce doit être... terminer le bouquin. L'attente de nouvelles de votre agente et de l'éditeur doit être une combinaison d'excitation et de crainte (non justifiée, il va sans dire...)

FÉLICITATIONS et bon repos.

Barbara said...

What a great day for you! You know, I have never met an author of any talent or skill who felt confident. I think we all feel like frauds, always afraid someone will discover that we don't know what we're doing. Rest assured, though, that you certainly do know what you're doing.

Jodi said...

Does happy dance.

John said...

Congratulations on another milestone reached, Louise, and I hope you keep risking and getting out of your comfort zone for years to come because the results are marvelous and a joy to behold (read). See you on tour! My best to you!


Linda said...

It's a great day for all of us, Louise, when you hit a milestone in your writing schedule. Congratulations!! Take a breath :) you deserve it! Can't wait to get back to Three Pines!

K.B. Owen said...

Wonderful! Good for you - now it's time to come up for air. What's different? Oh, the tricks your loved ones could play on you, lol.

Sharon Westafer said...

Many happy thoughts coming your way, Louise. Congratulations! Have Trick of the Light on order and looking forward to reading it.

Have a wonderful, relaxing day!

Sharon Westafer
Long Beach, CA

Mary L said...

I am so happy that you are done and can enjoy some free time. I have ordered a copy of Trick of the Light, both hard cover and the kindle. I like both options, but I love just holding a book the best. How long do you take between books before you start again? I am sure you have the residents of Three Pines getting in some type of fix already. These characters are wonderful.

Take care and have a good rest.

Anonymous said...

Have spent a wonderful couple of weeks rereading one through six...can't wait to see how Clara's art is received and how Olivier is recouping, how Gabri and Myrna and even Ruth are doing and of course Gamache! I agree with the commentor who recommended reading The Brutal Telling and Bury Your Dead together...what a luxury to be able to do that! Thank you Louise for creating so many new friends for us to meet, flaws and all. The 30th can't come soon enough and it is very reassuring to know that number 8 is not just a gleam in your eye!

Best wishes on all levels and thank you for your creations!