Uhh…

So I came up with a new plot idea and sent it to my editor and she approved….

GREAT!
GREAT!
Now what?
Now what?

In other news, writing is hard.

And I’m very sorry that it’s been taking me so long to get Hawaii posts done. I promise there will be one soon.

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Even When You Think You Know

You don’t. 

And that’s okay. Life would be boring if you always knew what was happening, if you always knew what was coming. 

I’m back to step one with my book. And I mean really step one–I’m pretty much rewriting the entire thing. The book I have is potentially going to be set aside for later, but at the moment my editor thinks it might be better to try a different angle and start completely from scratch.

Bit of a bombshell, yeah, but I’m all right with this. Why? Because even though I’m sort of moving backward, I’m still moving forward. I am still miles ahead of where I was a couple of months ago. I still have an agent, I still have an editor, and best of all, they are confident enough in me and my book to spend so much time working with me to get an amazing product. Most agents won’t do that. Unless your manuscript is so completely finished the only thing it needs is a proofreader, many agents won’t even think about talking to you. So to have one that not only is spending the time editing with me but is also walking me through the process of writing an entirely new book is…many things. Comforting. Humbling. I am so grateful. 

That being said, of course, I am still staring at the rather overwhelming and daunting task of writing a new book when I was not anticipating doing so. We are still in the brainstorming stage right now–meaning I have no idea what I’m going to write–but my editor sent me this unbelievably helpful character outline (seriously I have never seen one as thorough as this) that is helping me to essentially re-write my main character. I had some anxiety about doing this because this character has been with me for a long time and I thought I knew everything about her. But some of the beauty of being a writer is that it means for one small fictional place in the world, you are God. I am God and I can do whatever I like even if it means having to re-introduce myself to this character. Strangely enough, I am enjoying it. It’s almost like learning new information about someone you have known for a long time. And I don’t feel like I’m compromising my artistic integrity by doing it. I know that, for better or worse, my editor has my best intentions in mind. The book that I have is not going anywhere. It’ll be back, when the time is right for these characters. (And should I point out, also, that for my editor to tell me to “save this plot for later” means an ungodly amount of confidence in me? How many editors and agents out there are willing to broach the subject of “later” in the publishing world until you’re a proven seller? Almost none. I know it doesn’t guarantee anything, but it is a comforting thought to at least think about.)

So, in any case, that’s where we are right now. I’m excited for this new process. I have no idea what it’s going to bring. But I’m so stoked. 

I knew this wouldn’t be easy…

….but I didn’t expect it to be this hard, either.

Last night I finished putting all my word cuts into the computer. I was feeling pretty good about it. I could see that I had cut down almost 20 pages and figured I should probably be in the ballpark. So, with terrified anticipation, I clicked on that ‘word count’ button……

……

…..

106,366.

Are you fucking kidding me. I almost cried. Seriously?? I knew I probably wouldn’t get to that golden 80,000 but I thought FOR SURE  I’d at least be below 95,000. I thought I’d done so good about cutting things that weren’t necessary. Jiminy Cricket.

Sooo, that means a long day of going back through it and making any changes I can today. I know it’s not the end of the world if I don’t get to that goal, but damn it, I at least wanted to be closer than that. I want to show my editor that I can do what she wants me to do  and I’m not going to be a complete waste of her time. But this is hardWay harder than I thought it would be. Aside from cutting out entire chapters, which is not an option because it screws with the entire linear order of the book, I have no idea where to come up with that many words. And it does not make me feel very good about leaving myself room to add in new character details and plot points, which was the point of getting it down to 80,000 words in the first place. I know that’s what my editor is for, and she will help me get there, but this is very frustrating. 

My count after about an hour of extra cutting before I finally went to bed.
My count after about an hour of extra cutting before I finally went to bed.

Remember all those years doing NaNoWriMo when you word padded ALL NIGHT LONG to get to that 100,000? Don’t do it. Just don’t. (This project is not a product of NaNoWriMo, I should point out, but the warning is the same.) Shorter is better. You can always add things in later. Cutting them out is way harder. Lesson learned.

Well, I’m off to Starbucks for a caffeine IV. We are having a new roof put on at home and I expect the guys to show up about any time now, which means I’ll get no work done here. I still have one scene I want to re-write (which I do not anticipate will lower the word count any) and then I need to find several thousand more words to get rid of. Sorry, words. Don’t take it personal.

Till then.

Back on the Book Wagon

Well, after a very long and occasionally torturous wait to hear back from my agents in New York (if you are a new reader, I was signed by my agent just a week or two before Hurricane Sandy hit, and I’ve been waiting for them to recover before we could begin work on editing), I’m back on the trail again. I had a call with my editor a week ago and we brainstormed on some character development stuff, and she set me to my first editing task: word cuts.

Ah yes, the words every author dreads: “Your word count is a little too high.” Damn! A lot high, as my case turns out. I was at a starting wordcount of just over 113,000, and my editor asked me to trim it to right around 80,000 so that we would have room to put in character development and plot points later. Needless to say I looked at that goal with a lot of trepidation. Where on earth was I going to find 33,000 words to remove? Isn’t all of it important?

My first step, I decided, was to have a hard copy of the manuscript printed so that I could go through it with a pen and physically see what I was cutting out. I sent it off to Kinkos to have it printed and bound (a cost I was willing to pony up for because I don’t have a printer at the moment), and within a couple hours had this monster of a manuscript in front of me. Luckily, it’s the middle of the slow season here at work, which meant I pretty much had about 6 free hours a day to work on it at my desk, which was enormously helpful.

Starbucks helped a lot too.

I finished the first round of cuts last night and immediately got to work putting it in the computer. My editor wants it formatted a certain way so that she can see what I’ve removed and put in and changed, so once I figured out how to do that, it was off to the races. This part is actually taking less time than I thought it would, although I don’t have the ability to work on that while I’m at work, which is something of a bummer and may end up taking me more time to do just because I’ll have to do it in the evenings after rehearsals.

Cats are distracting too.

I’m supposed to have it all done by Tuesday morning to send off to my editor so that we can talk about it on Wednesday, but I’m hoping with any luck I’ll have it done before then. I have Monday off from work for President’s Day, so if I get desperate I do have almost an entire day to plow my way through. I decided not to look at the word count until I was all done putting it into the computer, a moment that is going to be at once exciting and terrifying, because I honestly have no idea what to expect. Did I not cut enough? Too much? What will I do when I get there and realize I still have 20,000 words to get rid of? Where am I going to find THOSE words? I really did try to be critical of my cuts and didn’t save stuff just to be sentimental. I tried as best I could to just cut anything and everything that was absolutely unnecessary. I guess it’s just something I’ll have to deal with when I get there. Fingers are crossed that I did okay the first time.

In the interest of not getting burnt out on all this editing, since I know I still have a very long road to go, I’m taking ample time to do other things and get a break. Tomorrow Cam and I are going down to Boulder to have our late Valentine’s Day dinner. While we’re down there we’re going to do a little shopping (I need some retail therapy this week as it seems like ALL of my clothes have shrunk) and pick up some stuff at Home Depot. I’m planning this weekend to get rid of the bookshelves in my office and install floating wall shelves instead. Bookshelves are hard to work with because we have floor heating registers and furniture is never able to sit flush against the wall, a problem when you have something top-heavy that cats like to jump into and sit in. So I figure the shelves will not only look nicer but they’ll be safer too. Hoping that goes okay.

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on how this first round of edits goes and with any luck I’ll be close to my word goal by the time I finish it up.

Till then!

Womp.

Well….back to CD1. Bummer.

I’m trying to find that silver lining in the fact that when we were in Hawaii, my cycle was really messed up and came 6 days late. I am never that late. So I know there were a lot of things going on that means I might not have ovulated at all. Different environment, different food, different altitude, I wasn’t sleeping very well because of the hotel bed, we flew in a plane once a week for the entire three weeks we were there (which actually meant 4 trips), there were a lot of different stressors that could have contributed. I’m still on a 30 day cycle which is a little out of the norm, but at least it’s that and not a 35-day cycle. 30 days is not terribly weird.

In any case, we broke down and bought an OPK for this month because frankly I’m tired of dicking around and guessing. Better to just pin it down for sure. This was only our third cycle trying. I’m bummed but I’m trying exceptionally hard not to be worried yet.

In the end, at least I am working on the book now, and I have a little something to distract myself with because I’m actually DOING something. It helps even if it’s small. And, at least I can have a glass of wine tonight…

Hawaii Part Two: Pearl Harbor

Our trip to Pearl Harbor was fresh off the stinging playoff loss of my Denver Broncos to the Baltimore Ravens. We had spent the day at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Waikiki amidst a raucous crowd of Denver fans that slowly but surely became more and more inundated with Ravens fans. What a game! It was so exciting even if it ended in tragedy for us. Seriously, I walked out of that bar in tears. I have never cried over football before. Alas. I was happy, in the end, to have lost (in double overtime!) to the team that went on to win the Superbowl, which proved that we weren’t defeated in a fluke win. At least if we couldn’t beat Tom Brady, the Ravens could. (Sorry Pats fans. No Brady love in this blog.)

Early Sunday morning we trucked off to Pearl Harbor. I’m a bit of a history buff and I definitely love exploring historical sites like this, especially ones that are so pertinent to the American psyche. It was a moving experience to sure. We got there in time for the first boat out to the Arizona Memorial, which was nice because the ferry wasn’t jam packed. It was nice and quiet. Unfortunately my camera batteries died before we got off the memorial, and because you are not allowed to bring any bags on site, we didn’t bring the camera bag with more batteries. Still, I think I got just enough.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Survivors of the Arizona have the option to have their remains returned to the Arizona after their death to join their former comrades. I thought this was beautiful.

The next post should be our first couple of days on Maui. That part of the trip was definitely our favorite so expect a long lovely write-up on that! However, yesterday I met with my editor for the first time and she has tasked me with doing a monumental word count cut from the manuscript in the next two weeks, and as time is already limited with my stage managing a show, I will need to spend as much time as I can on that. So it might be a few days at the least.

Till then!

Some ramblings…

Sorry, dear readers. This is not a Hawaii post. I want to devote some time to the next update and needed to write about some other things in the meantime. So if you’re here for a Hawaii post, you can probably skip this one, unless you’re interested in reading about my TTC rambles.

Preface One: Fair warning to those of you who are in a difficult place, you might not want to read any farther because it includes a fair amount of TTC bitching. I know sometimes it’s difficult to read so consider this your chance to turn away now.

Preface Two: I know many of you might read this and think I have nothing to bitch about and don’t get me wrong, I know I’m still very fresh to this whole experience and in the grand scheme of things I have nothing to bitch about, but I have to get all of this off my chest. So just keep that in mind.

Coming into this whole trying to get pregnant thing I had no idea how hard it would be to deal with the whole Two Week Wait thing. Boy do I envy people who get pregnant by accident. And I hate them a little, too, in the nicest way that one could be hated. If you’ve ever experienced this you know what I mean. It just seems so much easier than dealing with the counting and the monitoring and the waiting. Ugh, the waiting. And being that we started off on this whole thing actively trying, (rather than just haphazardly hoping it might happen) I don’t know how to go BACK to just letting it happen and being surprised. I don’t know if I can, mentally. Not such a big deal for the hubby, maybe, but probably too hard for me now that I know what needs to happen when.

Before we left for Hawaii, I took a test. BFN. It was within 5 or 6 days of when my period was supposed to come so I figured that was it. But then my period was 6 days late when we got to Hawaii. I tried to reason with myself that it was the stress of the travel and the new environment and the new bed and the new food, even though I have never been that late, ever. Part of me also started to fret that the previous ovulation had been off, or I’d miscounted, or that something was wrong, which sent me into a complete tailspin of worry. So naturally by the 4th and 5th and 6th day with no period I started to really wonder. I bought a test while we were there and it too said negative. I was cautiously optimistic, but, alas, good ol’ Aunt Flo arrived on our first night in Maui. Sigh. I worried that my whole next cycle was going to be all fucked up, but right around the time when I re-counted for ovulation, all signs said go.

I had a really good feeling while we were there. A really good one. I was really hopeful that it might have happened this time. And then, on the very last day of the trip, I woke up with a UTI. This would be a complete bummer in and of itself without all the worries that popped into my head about taking antibiotics and what if that interfered with conception or implantation and all that stuff. I went to an urgent care clinic a couple blocks from our hotel because I know the symptoms and I knew it was only going to get worse and I was not about to spend 8 hours on a plane with a raging UTI. The doctor spoke more Japanese than English so it really wasn’t an option for me to ask if there was any chance that the antibiotics he put me on would affect anything. I frantically texted my nurse friend back home and she told me not to worry, but of course it didn’t help a whole lot. Needless to say that really good feeling I’d had a couple days before was somewhat deflated.

And so here I am, 10 DPO and trying desperately not to overthink everything and not to symptom spot and all that because I know it helps absolutely nothing. I actually deleted my fertility monitor apps on my phone because I realized I was thinking about that all the time and it probably helped nothing. Last night I woke up with some mild period-like cramps, which I typically get about a week before my period arrives, so of course I then sat up for the next 2 hours with a complete feeling of dread. (Although to my own peace of mind, usually about a week before my period is expected I actually get really bad cramps for one night, and these were very mild, so I am holding out hope that it was just something else going on in there.) Then I fell asleep and had a dream that my brother and his girlfriend got pregnant. Before us. My brother is 20 and as good a guy as he is, he has no business being a father right now. He still lives at home and I don’t know if he can boil water. Not to mention he’s only been with this girlfriend for a couple of months and–like I said, as nice as they are–I think getting pregnant would be a challenge, to put it nicely. And of course it would be massively hurtful, even if they hadn’t meant it to be. Goes back to that thing about how much I envy people who get pregnant without actively trying. (Sometimes I wonder how that happens. With the window of being able to become pregnant being so small, how on earth do 2 people manage to get pregnant on accident, while 2 people who know what they are doing and are trying to get pregnant don’t?) I know it was just a dream but obviously it’s one of those things floating right at the top of my head.

I know I shouldn’t be overthinking this. I know I just need to let it be and wait. But it’s hard. I want to be pregnant so badly and now my mom seems to be asking me at any opportunity if we are. It was one of the first things she asked when we came home from Hawaii. I want to be pregnant this cycle because it means an October baby, which I have always, always wanted. We bought a onesie in Hawaii. Something of an inside joke between us and my parents (when they went to Hawaii in 2010, they brought back a shirt for Cameron that had the state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, and said he had to be able to pronounce it before he could marry me. We found a green onesie with the fish and the name on it and we thought it was too perfect to pass up, so we bought it) and everyone thought it was funny and I am sincerely hoping that the universe sees it as an invitation and not a challenge/jinx. I do not believe in the notion of “god’s timing” (probably would have to believe in god for that to work), there is only my and my husband’s timing. But I do think the universe has a general way about it. I just hope we are fitting into it.