Sunday, March 24, 2013

Happy 40th To Me! (aka Of Revision Letters and Dust Collectors)



Originally posted on the old blog, 01/14/13

The day I turned 30, I got an brutally to-the-point revision letter from my editor, basically telling me that I needed to go back to the drawing board on the book proposal I had sent her… except that I had been waiting so long for the letter, I had already finished the whole story along the original lines and was all ready to send it in.

Can you say buzz kill?

Now, the editor was entirely right—I’d had most of the story happening to the heroine’s friend rather than the heroine, and taking out that degree of separation made it a far better book. And that Intrigue (Secret Witness) went on to be aRomantic Times Top Pick, got nominated for a Reviewers’ Choice Award, and was reprinted just a couple of years ago as part of a special promotion by Harlequin. So it was all good in the end. But ten years ago today, I was far less copacetic about it than I am today (imagine lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth).

Back then, if you had asked me where I would be in ten years, I probably would have said something about where I would be in my writing career, or what level I would be showing my horses. Bet you a million bucks I wouldn’t have said I’d be living in a far smaller house with no horses and a new husband. Or that I’d be trying to start a family, with all the challenges that come with doing that at forty.

But that’s exactly where I am. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. 

This morning, said husband (henceforth to be known as Arizona) surprised me not just with the present I had asked for—a laptop sleeve made by the company that produces our mountain biking body armor (woot!)—but also with a piece of art glass that I had admired back in the fall, in an artisans’ shop in Mystic CT.

Now, our home is pretty darn sparse—on the theory that we have to clean anything we buy—but I had mentioned to Arizona that this shop was one of the few places I could see myself spending money on d├ęcor-type stuff. And, bless him, he filed that away. And, just as I found myself wanting to put up a Non-denominational Holiday Tree for the first time in many years, now I’m finding that I like the idea of putting up a shelf in the living room and adding to the art glass menagerie now and then.

Dust collectors. Go figure. And, yeah, my thirty year-old self might not understand … but that doesn’t matter, because she’s stuck in her writing cave, revising the hell out of a book. Me? I'm going out for dinner and a movie. The writing can wait until tomorrow.

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