I've been missing in action for the last couple of months due to the looming deadline - I had to turn Book 2 (the sequel to Otherkin) in to my editor by April 1.
Then in mid-March I got the flu. I got it bad. After about a week of fever and exhaustion, I made myself go in to work because I just couldn't believe I wasn't better yet. But your body doesn't care if you think you're better, does it? I must have looked kind of gray, because most folks at work took one look at me and said "Go home."
So I stayed home for another week! Fricking flu. Get your flu shots, cherubim. I don't like getting shots, myself, because my last tetanus/polio booster was so painful. But I hear the flu shots aren't nearly that bad, and it'd be worth it not to be stuck on your couch for two whole weeks.
I got relatively little writing done while I was sick. Writing takes energy, even if it's all in your brain. I did manage to finish up a short story I contributed to Two and Twenty Dark Tales (coming this October 16!), but Book 2 wasn't progressing as fast as it needed to.
Enter my fabulous agent and equally fabulous editor, who conspired to give me two extra weeks to hand the book in.
Those last two weeks I only really left my house to go to work and to buy groceries. The rest was a blur of computer screen, typing fingers, and a grumpy cat who wanted to be played with.
Speaking of the cat, along the way, she got a massive toothache and had to have five teeth removed. Poor kitty. She's so stoic, I had no idea she was in pain from tooth decay until it got really bad. Here's my sweet Lucy a couple of years ago. Note her pyramidal shape (we're still working on that), her fluffy blackness w/brown highlights, and how she has co-opted my pillow. Since our beloved older kitty Max died, we have bonded all the more, even though she remains a bit of a feral cat at heart. I rescued her from the outdoors when she was about six months old.
Lucy's recovering nicely from the teeth fun, thank goodness. As she convalesced, I put my head down and actually finished book 2. I ended up being kind of happy with it. If you've ever written anything you know what a victory it is to finish something and not hate it. Hurray!
Here's the thing about handing over a draft to your editor. You must force yourself to let it go and just do it. I kept going over stuff, knowing I had to be missing typos, fretting over verb choice, story continuity, and on and on. But Alicia needed to the damned thing by Monday morning, April 16. And since I live in LA and she's in NYC, that meant forcing myself around 11pm Sunday night to just say "fuck it" and email it off to her.
The next day I kept looking up, wondering where the giant burden that had been looming over me for months had gone. Oh right! I handed it off to Alicia! Thanks, Alicia!
By Tuesday, I was a bit giddy with the hours I didn't have to spend writing. I still have a job, friends, errands, a demanding feline. But I could actually spend time with those things and people and cats without guilt! How amazing!
But still, in the back of my mind, things are brewing and asking to be written down. A writer's work is never done. There's always another story to be told. And soon Alicia will send me back the manuscript with her notes and the rewrite will commence. Rewriting is cake compared to first drafting, at least for me. It's not EASY, mind you, but easier than staring at an empty page and knowing you have to fill it.
But until the percolating idea bubbles up, and until Alicia gets her notes to me, I shall be doing things like: seeing friends! having brunch! reading for pleasure! watching TV!