‘licking it to death’

I learned that lovely turn of phrase from a sculptor who let out his studio twice a week– one day to draw or paint, one week to sculpt. The clay was a soft tan that melted under heat. To work it, there was a studio microwave were we softened blocks up. The artist, Terry Lee, would walk among us and give advice. Mine was, “You’re licking it to death.” Trying too hard to make her skin too smooth, too perfect, inspecting the exact proportional measures, putting on clay, scrapping it off again to achieve the same result.

Jody is virtually my only sculpture. The first time I tried, and perhaps the last. Not that I dislike sculpture, but it takes a lot of time, and I have too many things to do. Going over the last version of my book being one of them.

I didn’t really like the first chapter. I wrote a prologue to balance it, but I’m not happy with that, either. I got another idea. Started another prologue. Stopped. Got another idea. Started again.

After showing the revised versions and the samples to my fiance, he wonders if he didn’t like the original better. Now I’m conflicted.

How do I know if the book might have been already good enough? I was convinced it wasn’t. Now I’m not so sure. When do you realize you’re not doing anything to improve it any longer?

the final stretch – finishing a novel

I am over 90% finished with Blue Crystal revisions, as of tonight.

It’s kindof boggling. I’ve been working on this novel for over two years. Three full blind drafts. Test readers have pointed out things that need to be edited, of course, and I’ll need it to be polished, typos spotted. For instance, I have the hilarious tendency to write ‘kill’ instead of ‘kiss’. Hmm. Subconscious logic there…

It’s midnight now. I have exactly ten days to finish before NaNo comes around, and I think my test readers might not forgive me if I delay the last chapter for a month. So, for accountability… Every midnight, I’ll try to post a short post on my progress. It’s not a great read, I know, but I react very well to support. I’ll probably need it.