In Which Our Heroine Enters the Third Stage

12 October 2004

The smoke pouring out of the neighbors' backyard seems to have stopped. Whew.

The Lost Steersman is interesting, but I didn't have time to read much of it yesterday. Leah's book is also interesting, and I didn't have time to read all that much of it yesterday, either. But more than of The Lost Steersman.

I ran a bunch of errands yesterday. Today I'm running one tiny errand and then staying home. Where there is, as usual, plenty to do. I don't can, but I'm in the middle of taking care of all the herbs before the beginning of winter, and as we will have sage in abundance I'm making squash soup, and the apples in abundance mean apple bread. But squash soup is not dinner, and apple bread is not dinner, and while squash soup and apple bread would do admirably for my dinner, I think it had better wait to do so until there aren't others who need feeding. Which probably means Thursday, and also means making something else for dinner today. We'll see how the oregano pesto goes (with pistachios) and what happens from there.

My brain is in the third predictable stage after finishing a novel draft. It goes: post-draft elation (check), post-draft crash (check), pre-revision cheerful bloody-mindedness (check). When I start into the revision, it will eventually get into revision glee and revision despair and revision stiff upper lip and revision relief. In that order. This is the main advantage to having written a book before: not that I know how to write this one better, because I think it's that I know how to write this one at all. I don't think I could have written this one first. But mostly the advantage is that I know generally what my brain will do next, and even in the less pleasant stages, familiarity helps.

This whole not writing a novel thing, though: I don't know how people do it. Just anything can come along and grab your brain and fly away with it, when it's not weighted down by a novel. It's alarming.

One of my more exciting purchases yesterday (beating out printer toner and broccoli) was a pack of pens in an assortment of colors. I've found it increasingly difficult to get my hands on Waterman inks, so I've been using rollerball or uniball pens. I already had black, red, pink, turquoise, and purple. I added blue, green, and orange. That should be enough for edits, I should think. Even though there will be lots of edits. Lots. Goodness.

Here's your factoid for the day: in the 17th century witch trials, most Finnish witches were convicted of malevolent conduct, not diabolism. It wasn't that their compatriots believed they were in league with the devil. It wasn't that their compatriots believed it was wrong to have magic powers. It was that their compatriots believed they were misusing them. Sometimes it's just amusing to be a Finnophile.

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