Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Updates, Recaps and Precaps

Ah, a whole morning at home. I did wake up at 6:40, but I let myself lie in bed until 7:30, just because I could. It was brainstorming time, as I was mostly daydreaming about the book. I got to the end of this draft of revisions yesterday, and now I really do need to write the conclusion to the book. I got at least part of it figured out this morning. I hope to get the whole conclusion written today. Then I may do a pass focusing on particular characters who aren't living up to their potential.

This book seems to be taking me forever to finish it. I started researching and brainstorming it in July of last year, but I did take time out in October/November and again in January to work on something else. When I picked it up again in January, it was almost starting from scratch, so really this book has taken me about six months for first draft and revisions, and it's not like I've been goofing off. What I'm hoping is that it will be closer to "finished" when I finish it and I won't have to do another round of intense, serious revisions after my agent looks at it. Then I have two other ideas shaping up in my head that I'm getting eager to work on.

And now for a status update roundup. I'm making progress with the shoulder. I can now put my hand on my hip. If an "I'm a Little Teapot" emergency came up, I could play, but I might lose points for form. I can't, however, Walk Like an Egyptian very well. The one area where this is still affecting my life involves getting dressed. Most of my summer dresses either zip up the back or up the side, and both of those are angles I currently can't get to with both hands, so if the zipper requires any work, it's not gonna happen. I have a wedding to go to this weekend, and I have no idea what to wear because I can't zip up most of my wedding-appropriate dresses. One of the few non-black skirts I own, I already wore to the wedding shower. Maybe there's something in the dry cleaning bag I could get into. The nice thing about going out for physical therapy three times a week is that it makes running errands easier.

I finished the Victorian novel I was reading that had the introduction that gave away the ending in the second paragraph, and when I went back to read the introduction, it turned out to be a recap of the entire novel. Or I guess you could call it a precap, since the summary was before the novel itself. I really don't get that. The book is right there, and presumably we wouldn't have bought or checked out the book if we didn't want to read it. It was like this was the "book you're supposed to read for English class but don't really want to" edition. But I did find a great way of doing the context material in an edition of Treasure Island. It had margin notes, with illustrations, to put things in context, as well as the occasional insert page. So there were photos of pieces of eight, maps of the West Indies, diagrams of the different kinds of sailing ships, diagrams of different ways of rigging sails, photos and explanations of the nautical instruments, details from period paintings. So, at the point where you needed the information to better understand the story, there was reference material in the margins. Yeah, it was probably meant for younger readers, but I really enjoyed it. It also occurred to me that Robert Louis Stevenson was a male Victorian novelist who didn't always have the hero end up with the useless woman. in The Black Arrow, the hero actually ends up with the plucky girl who disguised herself as a boy in order to run for her life and who helped him defeat the bad guys. True, there was no useless woman alternative in the book, but it seems like most male Victorian novelists would have had a sweet, beautiful, useless sister who stayed behind while the other sister disguised herself as a boy and went to get help, and then after fighting alongside that sister, the hero would have fallen in love with the useless one when he came to her rescue.

But I'm taking a break from classics for a while because I'm re-reading the first two books in the Rogue Agent series by KE Mills, in preparation for the new one coming out next week. I think the new one will be my "Yay, I really finished the book!" reward.

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