As you may know I was accepted into Author Mentor Match back in November/December. Since then I've been working with my mentor, the brilliant J. Albert Mann, on revising The Devil's Wall. I also finished my other novel, Diagnosis, in late December.For most of January I hadn't done much writing or rewriting. That's why there hasn't been much blog activity, either. I felt nervous about The Devil's Wall, not sure how to improve it though I knew it needed improvement. Then I had a phone call with my mentor, and she gave me a lot of constructive feedback. It wasn't easy to hear - but I knew it was all spot on.I also knew it would take a lot of work to fix. At the time, I didn't know if I'd have the heart to do it. I've reread and rewritten the manuscript so many times. I've struggled with the characters. I've tried to make them better, and failed in so many ways. I've gotten feedback from so many people, and it all just piles up and piles up.Last Sunday I sat down at my cafe (I moved apartments within the last few weeks, btw, and my new home base is the very nice Dear Mama's cafe), and spent a few hours just laying out all the changes I need to make. As I've done in past, I went section by section to write out a list of the major revisions I'd discussed with Jen and others that I'd put off in past. I numbered the list (21 items), and tallied up just how long I thought it'd take (27 hours). 27 hours may not sound like much, but keep in mind that I only work in 3-5 hour chunks once a week. So that was anywhere from 1.5-2.5 months. When I was (mentally) ready to start querying back in September 2017.And that was just coming up with the plan. I still didn't even know if I'd have the heart to do the work all those Sundays. I knew that I would come back to the cafe a week later, and find out.That's where I was today. From 10:30-3:30. When I revised, and revised, and revised.I'm back in the game, y'all! My heart feels connected to the story - both to Evgenia and to Anna, the latter who often eludes me. The new material seems to make sense, to flow, and to be more cohesive than past versions. Obviously I always feel that way after a revision. But I think it's always true, haha!Anywho, I'm hoping that this round of revisions will really be good enough to move me towards publication. That is my goal. Diagnosis is on hold for now, while I pick up my baby again. It's hard to say where this'll take me. But at least I feel like I'm moving forward again. <3PS: OMG! I have to mention this -- this morning on NPR I heard the most wonderful interview with RuPaul. I don't know much about him, but he had some inspiring things to say about drag queens trying to break into the business, that really apply to anyone pursuing a creative path. I think it got me off on the right foot today. There's no recording up yet, but here is the link to NPR's article about it, and my favorite quotes:
"The competition is high," RuPaul says. "Not just in All Stars but in general. So many queens out there. You better get your act together, girl. You better step it up, honey. Get up on this show," he says, before instantly shifting tone.
"Listen, it's business. ... That's the lesson, not only for drag queens but for everyone. You got to put the work in. You gotta work. You betta work."