It's April, so the cherry blossoms have scattered to the winds, flowers are springing up all over my neighborhood, and sneezes are in full bloom. After years of not enough rain, California has probably finished a season of too much rain, and we're looking at a stretch of pleasant sunny days before my valley inevitably gets much too hot for my taste.
I'm another year older now. I've been celebrating my birthday primarily by eating lots of delicious treats. I also bought myself a few books, celebrated with friends, and have more festivities planned for this weekend. Once again, I find it's good to be the birthday girl.
Between birthday activities and unrelated commitments, I haven't done much writing this week, but in general I've been making steady if slow progress on the revision. As I mentioned before, some of the changes to this draft involve writing entirely new material rather than simply adjusting what's already there. Something I only recently articulated for myself is that I'm trying to write this new stuff not as a first draft but as a fifth/tenth/whatever-this-is draft so that it matches all the parts that have been through many rounds of polishing. That's not completely possible, but I'm getting at least partway there, and it's one reason things are moving slowly for now.
While I'm working from a detailed outline I developed in the fall, parts of the story have drifted away from the plan, as tends to happen. I hit a big plot snag about a month ago, but I eventually wrote my way out of it. Though I'm still winging it a bit more than I was hoping, I'm happy with how the new version of the story is developing. I do have concerns that too much of my novel revolves around chairs, sandwiches, and ice cream, but after all, those are a pretty good set of things.
I hope spring is bringing good things your way as well!
Good Stuff Out There:
→ Ben Blatt crunches the numbers to find what famous writers' most used words say about them: "Patterson writes the phrase 'believe it or not' in more than half his books, but he's not the only author to use at least some cliches. Austen loved to write 'with all my heart', Dan Brown uses 'full circle', Stephenie Meyer books are filled with 'sighs of relief', and Rowling has her 'dead of night'. Even literary authors are fond of a cliche, with Zadie Smith falling back on 'evil eye', Donna Tartt on 'too good to be true' and Salman Rushdie using 'the last straw' in more than half his novels." (Thanks, Andrea!)