Wednesday, December 22, 2010

'Tis the Season

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Heifer International blog comment challenge. At the deadline, I had 35 comments on LiveJournal and 19 here at Blogspot, for a total of $54. Then, in the true spirit of social networking, I asked Twitter whether I should increase that to $75, out of holiday jollity and the like. After all, I know this is a tough week to collect comments online, given that people began to disconnect from their computers in favor of real-life merriment last Friday. Twitter replied (in the voice of Kelly Fineman) that yes, I should give $75. So I did, at 4:16 PM Eastern time.

Which doesn't mean one should do everything Kelly says. But she is a smart person, who tends to give good advice--about writing, especially.

Speaking of writing: yes, I have been! I'm in that stage of revision where the work may be good or it may be bad, but the one thing I know is that it's familiar. Very, very familiar. I've ripped out scenes and added new ones and then gone over the new scenes. I've fixed things on the sentence level and on the word level. I have now been over this manuscript more times than I can count. So it's time to step back for a few days, and return later to read it with fresh eyes.

I find that most writing projects reach this point--when they get this far at all.

For my final note of the day: The Secret Year is supposed to be out in paperback tomorrow. I don't know how closely bookstores will follow that release date. Unless you're a mega-bestseller with a household name, release dates tend to be more of a suggestion than a hard-and-fast rule. But this is probably my best gift this year:

I will be online in the coming days, but my schedule will be more sporadic than usual, so I'll take the opportunity now to wish you all wonderful holidays.

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