I spent the entire day, yesterday, in my pajamas. I think I brushed my teeth, and I'm fairly certain I ate. I know I drank a lot of coffee.
Because I was on the home stretch.
By the time evening rolled around I'd finished the first draft of my fourth book.
Yup, pretty satisfying stuff, if I do say so myself. I'm looking forward to editing. Seriously. It's a happy, if intense, time where you mold and coax the story into its potential. I can't wait. But wait I must. In the meantime I get to do the other things I've neglected over the past few months like … clean my house.
It struck me this morning, while I was drying my hair (yes, it really needed washing, but I haven't totally neglected personal hygiene -- I swear. My husband would have moved out), that writing a novel is not unlike conquering one's hair.
Stick with me a moment on this. I promise I haven't burned out so many brain cells that I've mistaken my Kindle for a flat iron.
You start out -- if you're me -- with a long, unruly mane. It goes where it wants, tangles into knots that are painful to undo, and generally makes you look like you've just spent the last five years in the jungles of Borneo without a mirror.
So, you wash out the residue from your last go-round, take out your trusty tools -- blow dryer, round brush, flat iron, conditioner, clips -- and go to work. After a certain amount of time doing the best you can and being fairly satisfied with your results you begin to notice -- especially when you compare yourself to the "professional hair" in the magazines -- something is just not working.
If you're me, this is when you admit that trimming your own bangs really isn't getting the job done anymore. You need professional help. That's when you pick up the phone and make an appointment with your
editor, hair stylist.
You go in for your appointment turn your hair over to the pro of your choice and -- because she's done wonders with your
book hair before --
relax and let her do her thing. A little cut, a little color, a new product to
fix the overworking and other problems that have been sneaking up on you and
you're ready for your public.
About now, you're feeling so good you decide to go out and buy a new pair of shoes to go with your improved hair.
See? Didn't I tell you? Novels, hair … not that different. You gotta work to make it look good, and in the end it may all be fiction but it still gives you a thrill.