The female version of curmudgeon is apparently termagant. I’ll have you know, however, that I won’t be called a termagant. So curmudgeon it is. Why am I that way? Well, let’s just say that it’s genetic. The contrarian gene has been passed from great to grandmother to son to daughter. Genetics aside, all of the chaos in my life right now is bound to bring it out in me. What else is going to happen when I’m living in a small house full-up with people at almost every minute of the day? Add to that the house project which is ongoing, practically in my backyard, and I’m a lost cause.
My husband asked me the other day if I wouldn’t mind having a tube slide coming off one side of the upstairs portion of the house, and that was after I had gotten to the point where I didn’t want to talk anymore about the house ever until it was completely built. What would you do? Would you have a slide ruin the aesthetic of your Mediterranean-style house? Well, would you? My husband, fireman that he is, claims it would make the safest kind of fire escape route for the children. Yes, I believe that’s why he wants a slide on his house. Sure I do. I told him he could have his slide if he masked it in trailing vines of wisteria. By the way, my brother-in-law, who is also my contractor, said that my entire house would be built with nothing but wisteria if he had to listen to Simon and Garfunkel on the job site, which is a bit of a joke alluding to my distaste for the spirits of Marilyn Manson and ACDC being infused in the building of my someday residence.
I won’t bore you with the details of my lunatic life. I’ll just remind you that, through all of it, I’m trying to write a book that will be sequel to my prequel, and I have this great pressure inside my skull that says I must finish it immediately or my head will explode. Thankfully, I’m trotting it out at a fast clip and, if I keep up the pace, I will finish a first draft in two to three weeks. And then, throughout chaotic August, I will be able to run through a couple of revisions.
Which brings me to the WHOLE POINT of the POST. I’d like to know the methods others use for revisions. So, leave me a comment and tell me. Would you if I said pretty please with sugar on top? This was my method last time I edited:
1. quick read through to eradicate really awkward and/or embarrassing bits before handing it to beta readers
2. changes made in response to beta readers’ gripes
3. complete line-edit, including grammar and spell checks
4. line edit in which I read the entire book out loud before handing it to professional critiquer
5. content edit done myself because professional critique partner is slow and I’m seriously impatient
Here’s where it gets funny. I sent off about four queries before my critique partner was finished. He took several months–would you blame me? These all came back with rejections, but that’s all right because they weren’t my top-choice agent. I then rewrote my query for my top-choice agent and sent it off, only to hear from my critique partner that he was ready to have a meeting with me. All that was well and good because, of course, this agent was sure as anything going to reject my query. She didn’t. She asked me to send her my manuscript as I was sitting with my critique partner, who just happened to be telling me that my book was definitely missing something. He advised changes–changes that would take a lot of time to fix.
6. I made these big changes in about forty-eight hours and sent the revised manuscript to the agent.
Five months later, the manuscript is still with her, but that is all right. I’m willing to wait for my ultimate rejection (I’m not getting my hopes up, folks. I’m a curmudgeon, remember?) Meanwhile, I have a sequel to complete.
Sometimes, you have to be just a little curmudgeonly to survive this life.
LATE BREAKING NEWS: I will post a new chapter of NM Noir by Saturday at midnight, mountain time. I also want to thank my small, but dedicated readership.