#259: Progress, Visible and Not

#259: Progress, Visible and Not
North La Salle, Detroit, MI

Writing to you from my car today, parked in front of the house. The masons are doing more brick repair, the carpenters are replacing the wood trim along the roof of the garage, and I’m here waiting for DTE to show up and install the gas meter. After several failed appointments, I hope today’s the day, as it’s getting almost too cold to work. There’s a temporary furnace set up in the basement already; once we have gas, we’ll have heat.

Revision, revision. I’ve been doing the good kind of manuscript revision this week: merging redundant scenes, and cutting bits of exposition that are no longer necessary, or could be subtly hinted at elsewhere. I try to re-read attentively but also quickly – read with a coarse grain – to see how well a chapter or act is working. I try also to forget everything I already know and embody the kid reader picking up the book for the first time. Am I keeping their/my own attention?

  • One month. I did ask my editor for an extension, as there’s really no chance I’ll have the new draft done by our original early-November deadline. I’m going to send her the first chapters this week, though, and the plan is to have a conversation about those, along with my vision for the rest of draft.

Progress. Not all of it has been visible, but here’s one thing that is: We finally have, at the house, as of last Friday, a front door.