Saturday, September 18, 2010

The plate, I like it

Suddenly, my plate is looking a little less Oliver Twisty and more Golden Corral All-You-Can-Eat Sunday Buffet.

Last week, in order to stop obsessing over when the galleys would appear in my empty mailbox,  I immersed myself into my novel manuscript-in-progress.  I tried a daring change, eliminating two characters in order to place the main character in a bit more jeopardy, to pick up the pace and raise the stakes, so to speak.  And I like it.  I'd find myself startled by how quickly three or four hours passed, and that I'd actually written more than a couple of pages in one sitting.  And when I wasn't looking, a few pdfs arrived in my email.

So now I'm reading through page after page of honest-to-goodness book-looking print.  Suddenly, my plate is very full.  I don't want to lose the revived energy and momentum on the manuscript-in-progress, so when my concentration on proofreading gets thin, I'll spend a bit of time here and there breathing life into that project, too.

And then there's grading, my other interesting and fulfilling life teaching writing at SMU: I have a fresh batch of papers, full of possibilities, waiting to be graded. My plate overfloweth, and I like it.

Other good news: my dear friend Samantha Mabry called with screaming-good news.  Her YA novel is "sub" status, or ready for submission, according to her agent.  After months of revision and polish, her novel (and it's a fun ride--I read it) will soon be snatched by one very lucky publishing house.  May she bask in the praise of YA readers and enjoy an outrageously generous advance (also well-deserved).

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