This week my family and I went to one of our favorite places on earth: the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Or, as my youngest calls them, the “big mountains.” She’s decided that Pack Monadnock, which is not far from our town, is the “little mountain.” On our way to the Big Mountains we stopped at the Squam Lake Science Center. We stayed in North Conway and while we were up there, we went to the site of the Old Man of the Mountain, the Basin, and visited Zeb’s General Store. The four of us had some great meals, swam, laughed, read, and drove with no worry for when we would get where we were going. It was a beautiful couple of days, prowling some of our favorite spots, filling our lungs and hearts with crisp, mountain air.
I left my work at home, and when we got back I dove right back into SB and I decided something. Revising is so much like climbing mountains. I identify a problem, start the work of fixing that problem, and climbing that mountain. As I’m standing at the summit, enjoying the view, I start looking around at what needs to be done next and find another problem to fix. Another mountain to climb. So, I dive back into the story, work on fixing that problem, and climbing that mountain, knowing there will be another one to climb after. It’s the truest truth I’ve learned: revising is a constant cycle of peaks and valleys. And I am in the thick of it BIG time with SB. In complete honesty, I am equal parts loving and frustrated by it. I love all of the things I’m finding all over again in my story as I revise, breadcrumbs to larger story mechanisms that I didn’t have time or the answers for to flush out fully the first time through. I’m frustrated when I hit a place where I either still don’t know the answers to fix what is not fully developed, or I realize that what I spent time building isn’t the right fit for the story and needs to be revised again or eliminated completely. To help combat that, knowing that I’ve received feedback on the entire story that is invaluable, I took the time this week to collect all of the notes I’ve received in the past couple of months on SB into one place (the folder in my Erin Condren LifePlanner) so it is easily accessible as I go along. When I reach a place where I’m stuck and I need some other thoughts on the paragraph I’m reading, I’ll comb through the feedback I’ve received and see if anyone has had a comment or question on whatever I’m struggling with that might help me untangle my thoughts.
A couple of random things (very important to help break up the strenuous work of climbing mountains) from this week. I’ve challenged myself to read 24 books in 2019, at least, and I have taken on the challenge absolutely to heart. I’m currently reading Heir of Fire which is the 3rd book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, and Music and Mantras by Girish. I’m listening to King of Scars, and the others are either borrowed from the library or scattered throughout my house, so wherever I can sit and grab ten minutes to read, I’ve got one of these within arms reach. It only works as long as my children haven’t noticed I’m sitting down. Besides loving reading, I’ve started following the Book Doctors on YouTube. The Book Doctors did an activity at the first NESCBWI spring conference I attended and it was really cool. They’ve got some great advice for writers, and I’ve enjoyed a couple of their videos. Also, Cadbury Milk Chocolate bars and Haggen-Dazs Dulce de Leche ice cream. Maybe, sometimes, a bite of each on the same night. Tackling fuel.
What random things are you enjoying this week? What helps to break up the work and fuel you to keep climbing your mountains?