Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Closing the Lid

This weekend vanished a lot faster than I expected, given this was one of the few weekends this summer The Husband and I didn't have something planned. Of course, that meant we went to two early bird movies (Predators and Inception) and road-tripped out to Berres Brothers, a local coffee roaster, and spent time costume-hunting for an upcoming themed wedding. I didn't even get laundry done.

The weekend started on a bit of a down note, which definitely contributed to my decision to blow off serious stuff. After getting home on Friday I discovered a package on my front porch. It was from the editor I'd sent my novel to back in March.

The package was a cardboard box, just about the right size for my manuscript.

That kept me from getting my hopes up, actually, because I couldn't imagine why else I'd get a package that size. If an editor is interested in your manuscript, would they really send the whole thing back before they contacted you? Sure enough, it was a form rejection. I'm not sure why he returned the full manuscript—I'd sent a SASE, and while I didn't specifically say the manuscript was disposable, I've never had anyone else return one before—but there it was. No comments, just the short "thanks but no thanks."

This is far from the first rejection I've gotten on this puppy, but I'd told myself this was my last shot. It's time. So as of Friday the novel is officially trunked. I may pull it out if I do a workshop in the future (I'm kinda hoping to do one next year), but otherwise the plan is to not look at the stupid thing until 2015, and then rewrite it from scratch without reading the old one. I think I'll have enough distance by then that I might actually be able to do something with it. At this point I'm just spinning my wheels on it. I've been working on it for longer that I care to admit, and I hate it. I've been rearranging those deck chairs for so long that I can't tell what's good and what's crap. I love the characters, and even the story—I just hate the pile of words I've put together.

Now, I don't know if Gabriel will leave me alone for five full years. (For those of you who've read A Wild Hunt, yes, that Gabriel.) He tends to get restless if I ignore him too long, so you may see him crop up in new stories from time to time.

But anyway, I was kinda down about it. That's a significant chunk of my life I just stuck in a drawer. I know most writers have a trunk novel, and I don't regret the work I put into it because I learned so much while writing and rewriting and rewriting again. However, I'm really glad I've done all the short stories this last year or so. I think it would've been a lot harder to keep writing after trunking the novel if I hadn't. Not that I've actually done any fiction writing yet, but I'll be working on a flash piece for Cristi Craig's blog tomorrow, and I still need to get "Succor" in the can like I said I would.

As I type this I am sitting on my couch with The Crazy Dog curled up next to me. The dishwasher is going, and I have chores to do, and a husband to wake up in fifteen minutes. I have a dog that needs her walk and cats that need to be fed. I need to get down to the gym and get my workout in. I have laundry that must get started or I will have no socks to wear tomorrow. But what I don't have is a 70,000-word albatross around my neck anymore. It's done. I'm closing the trunk lid.

On to the next novel.

1 comment:

  1. Sad to see it go, but not sad to see the stress gone.