Well, the third, now. May first is, in the pagan faith, the first day of summer. Yeah, tell that to the weather gods here in beautiful Wharncliffe, where there is still snow on the ground in spite of the rain.
I’m spending my afternoon in the Thessalon Library with Charlie Wilkins. We are, after a fashion, writing together, he on his email, and me on my blog. Charlie was the first guest author we had at Stories in the North, and we have him back this year because he has a new book out, Little Ship of Fools. Charlie gave a workshop this morning on the journey of writing, and this evening he’ll be reading, with musical interludes by our own Len Doi and Al St. Pierre.
I’ve been writing on the third book of The Swan Harp Trilogy, cutting myself some slack because of the other work I’ve had to do. I’ve also decided to give myself a reprieve from my goal of one hundred rejections before my next birthday. The fact is, the first book needs some cutting and rewriting, and I need to get that done before I’m ready to pitch it.
It was hard to come to that decision. I don’t like to let myself off the hook. It feels like failure. But I had a serious think about the way I’ve talked about writing to other writers, and would-be writers,and I realize that, time and again, I’ve emphasized that it’s the writing that counts. Publishing is nice – I love being published, and I love almost everything that goes with it, but what I really love is the writing.
If I’m going to preach that the writing is the most important thing, and the publishing secondary, then I have to practice that, too. So for now I’m going to act like I do have time, and take the time to do that rewrite before I start blitzing the agents again. It helps that Brian Henry, in his workshop a few weeks back, casually tossed off the information that “new” agents are new for years, because it takes time to build a good client list. That bit of information makes me feel far less pressured.
In the meantime, I’ve completed a couple of Poet for Hire gigs, with good results. I’ve kept up with my contractual obligations, and I’ve written a totally gratuitous parody on the subject of the nitrite-nitrate cycle in aquariums. The Muse got me up four times in one night for that, incidentally. Inspiration can be so inconvenient!
Freshly inspired by a morning’s workshop, fortified with the lunch special at the Pepper Mill, and looking forward to an evening’s delightful entertainment. The writer’s life is good.