Monday, May 08, 2006

Spring Manuscript Clean-Up and Pruning

Deciding what to prune from the many versions of KM has been problematic at times, especially on those days (and sometimes even weeks) when life conspires to keep my butt out of the chair or my head out of the zone.

Thankfully, the latest chapter in E's health seems to be behind us, and we all seem to have entered a new sense of "normal." *Knocks on wood.* And though life still happens, the interruptions feel minor and manageable compared to E's brain aneurysm surgery and all that went along with it. What's more, somehow in recent weeks, I've found a new rhythm, one predictable enough that I've managed to reclaim a significant portion of the creative momentum I developed while pursuing my MFA in writing for children from Vermont College.

Bottom line after last week's crit group meeting: I'm definitely working in the right direction with this latest version of my story. And, better than that, I can actually imagine KM as a book.

This is good. Training my inner editor was a big part of my MFA program. Learning to reconcile it with my writer's heart continues to require work, and patience. And more patience. The awesome thing is the two seem to agree more often lately.

I have my current crit group to thank for my recent progress. Not only has the group forced me out of my hidey hole into real world conversations about writing and life twice monthly, the submission deadlines have given me much-needed permission to put Butt In Chair on a daily basis. It's also gratifying to work closely with two women whose writing I respect, whose opinions I trust, who know my characters well--sometimes better than I do, and who feel invested enough in my story that they're willing to brainstorm with me about it's shape.

What more can a writer ask for?

On deck this week: on deadline for the May issue of Edge of the Forest. Also continuing my write-through of KM.

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