Folks have been asking me lately how the book is coming along, so I thought I’d give an update.
I sent the manuscript of The Boy Who Couldn’t Fly Straight to my new editor Julia over two weeks ago. She is working on it now, and should have her edits and comments back to me by mid-December.
How am I doing with it all, you ask?
Here’s my answer:
Oh my hell.
I used to say “oh my hell” all the time in high school. I love that phrase. It seems to capture all the weirdness of life in a way that “oh my god” or even “oh em gee” can’t.
And this whole “handing my book over to a stranger” process has definitely been filled with weirdness. So much so, in fact, that for now I am calling it “Weirdland.” I haven’t bought property in Weirdland yet, but I’m this close to signing a lease on a cheap apartment.
Have you ever had that experience during finals when you have an essay question, and you write out all these words and then hand in your test, and you have no idea if you actually answered the question or not because you are just slightly freaking out and maybe you are thinking that you wrote the best answer in the history of finals, or maybe you just set the record for the dumbest answer on the planet? And you really don’t know which one it was?
That’s what this feels like, this waiting to get my book and edits back.
Half the time I am convinced that the draft I wrote is so kick-ass, so drop-dead cherry bomb GORGEOUS that it’ll outshine J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter empire, that it’s better than air, better than the Bible, better than True Religion jeans.
And if that’s true, what if Julia the editor is a low-down sneaky crook who is now, as I type this, in negotiations with book people in NYC and movie people in Hollywood, and they will all make millions by stealing my idea while I fade bitterly away into obscurity?
The other half the time I am worried that what I sent Julia the editor was the worst draft in the history of writing, even including the Ancient Greeks and Twittersphere, that it’s so bad it turns your eyelids inside out and makes you want to eat chalk, and that Julia hasn’t been able to tell me this because:
1. She hasn’t had the heart to do it and,
2. Her eyelids are turned inside out and she can’t type.
Do you see how silly this is? I should know better. I should know that what I sent Julia is probably somewhere in the middle of the two scenarios above, and that with some good editing and more hard work on my part, the book could be really great.
I should also know that it’s a good idea to do things right now like:
1. Work on my blog
2. Take a walk outside
3. Eat an apple
4. Continue doing my day job, and,
5. Laugh in the face of my inner critics.
But really, that’s just it. At this point in the game I don’t know better. Because the last time I sent off a manuscript of my first novel to an editor was never. I’ve never been here before. My brain is searching frantically for familiar territory, and when it doesn’t find any, it sends me nightmarish or fantastical images to contemplate. And so I find myself swinging wildly back and forth between these two nuthouse extremes, not able to settle down and just wait by for Julia’s edits.
I’ll get them back by mid-December. Then I’ll be able to dive in and work on rewrites, editing, and revisions. Hopefully in a calm way.
But between now and then, in between eating chalk and biting my fingernails off in Weirdland, I guess I just need to be patient.
Oh my hell.