Tossing, Turning, Thinking…

March 31, 2009 at 1:14 am (Uncategorized)

Sorry for not posting yesterday. I do so like starting the week with a blogging *BANG*, but I am really deep in this pretty critical redraft at the moment, and was head down all day, stopping at 7 pm last night to go for a run (in the dark and the rain, which was unexpectedly exhilarating), then going back to work until Llew got home at nearly 10 pm. I wasn’t idle, in other words, though a trifle neglectful, true…

Yesterday was a better day than I anticipated, given I am once again sleeping like hell. Wide, wide awake at 2, 3, 4 am. Odd, shallow dreams, followed by extended bursts of stubborn wakefulness. Maybe it’s the redraft. Maybe it’s the meds. Maybe it’s the fact that Nana is back from respite. I’m certainly having nightmares about that again, so I think we can safely assume it really is just an established and not very subconscious anxiety at this point. The government forms are back, though, so now we can get her in somewhere or at least on waiting lists galore. It’s hard wishing for a place to appear when we know it means someone else has to die first, but who am I kidding, I am still hoping like mad one magically falls from the sky pronto.

The good news is I haven’t fallen down the dirty well yet with round #3 of the fertility meds. So far, so good. I feel a tiny bit queasy, and I’m tired (OBVIOUSLY. THAT WOULD BE THE TOTAL ABSENCE OF A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP.), but my head is really clear and my spirits are fine. Kinda upbeat. Singin’ in the rain (well, running in the rain at any rate). So that’s a vaaaast improvement on last month’s situation. I’m going to see a lady on Thursday about alternatives including acupuncture, so I guess I’m looking for things I can do in conjunction with the conventional meds, at least until the six month prescription has run its course. After that I might happily ditch these pills, but I want to know I’ve given it a fair crack. 

The third arm of sleeplessness, the redraft, seems to be going well, and I am nearly done with the second stage (which this draft consists of writing another page by page breakdown while I edit it yet again, and it’s astonishing how eminently possible that is even after all this time) and feeling pretty positive about the changes. The problem is I really don’t know what to do next. I’ve become quite accustomed to having something specific I’m working towards, a deadline for submission mostly, and now I’m just free-falling. Who should I send it to? What should I send? I’m very fortunate to have the Darklings hopefully willing and at some point able to cast a collective eye over these changes, but unfortunately they’re not coming at it fresh. This concerns me just from the point of view of this draft being taken on its own merits. Maybe it’s an improvement on the last draft, but how does it stand up without the benefit of that comparison? I think that’s what I need to know, so I think I need a pair of fresh eyes. Which raises another question: whose?

So you see what’s keeping me up at night. The fact is, I just don’t know. I’m so broke right now that I really don’t want to fork out for another paid assessment if I can possibly avoid it. It’s $500 I’m planning to invest in the next Darkling writing retreat, the hands-down winner should push come to shove. Should I ask a friend? Well, maybe. Except of course their opinion is always going to be at least slightly coloured by their personal relationship with me. I think this is true even of my blogging friends, because god knows I’ve considered enlisting their help too. I have a couple of friends who have A Contact in The Publishing Industry, that holy grail or desert mirage, depending on your perspective, so of course I’m wondering how and when and if I should leverage (truly a revolting notion) those shimmery connections. Just the thought makes me feel grubby, to be honest, but I know it’s also mad not sucking the bejesus out of every single lolly dangled before my increasingly haunted and bloodshot eyes. Fucked if I know what to do. 

And so, dear friends, I’m not going to worry about it any more for the minute (no, I’ll save that for after midnight…). I’m just going to get on with what I need to do, which is fix my manuscript. Fix it ’til I can’t see what else about it be broke. 

Oh, by the way, I am really enjoying Mrs Dalloway now. Some of the most sharply and subtly observed character assassinations I’ve read in a while. Most amusing and not a little disturbing too – a particularly delicious combination .


  1. Charlotte said,

    I know I’m not in the industry, but I’d be happy to read your MS for you.

  2. doctordi said,

    I have a volunteer! Wunderbar! Thanks, Charlotte. I really appreciate that, especially as I know you’re working on your own. I may well take you up on this offer. I’ve just finished the page-by-page breakdown (it’s 10:38 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time), and I think I’ve just lost confidence about where it’s at. So I don’t know if it’s ready for those fresh, friendly eyes just yet. But thank you. May I squirrel this offer away while I work out the current damage? I hope so. And regardless, THANK YOU!

  3. litlove said,

    Isn’t it hard to find the right person to read your work? Like Charlotte, I’d certainly be willing to read for you. You know, I have half a mind to start another group blog – one for all my blogging friends who are writing to post bits of work, who need to moan, whinge, cheer, whatever, as they go through the writing process and need to know they are doing so to a group of like-minded, compassionate people. Kind of like an online writing group. Well, I don’t know how possible this would be or whether it would appeal, but it’s a thought. I know that that really helpful, technical, independent appraisal of written work can be accomplished by only a handful of people. Oh and glad to know this lot of meds is better (although I still attribute insomnia to them – that’s happened to me, too).

  4. davidrochester said,

    I’d also be willing, and believe me, I won’t be nice just to spare your feelings. 🙂

  5. Grad said,

    I see you now have three highly qualified volunteers. I probably wouldn’t be much of a help to you in that arena; however, if your manuscript is as clever and engaging and sharply written as your blog is, I’m betting it’s pretty damn good already. You know what the English say, “Patience and perseverance made a bishop of his reverence.” (the rhyme only works with a British accent. Down south we’d say “purse-se-VAR-ance” and it just wouldn’t work at all.)

  6. Lilian Nattel said,

    Ask anybody you know with any publishing connections. Also ask anybody you know who knows lots of people. My first agent was a friend of a client of an accountant who was a friend of mine. Accountants know lots of different kinds of people!

  7. doctordi said,

    I’m still laughing at David. No, I’m sure you won’t!!! And nor would I want you to. It’s a real skill giving constructive critique, and I’ve every confidence you guys are all extremely able and well qualified. Pleasingly so from my ever-so-slightly frantic point of view.

    Grad, I love the way you offer to do something generous for me by wrapping it up in all sorts of incredibly generous sentiments about my blog – I’m so glad you found your way here, you really are a bread-baking winner.

    So. Fresh eyes are at the ready – and I love you all for offering to commit the time and energy to do me a massive favour. What I’m going to do now is ignore my MS for a week. I have to sort out this admin for Nana’s care and get her on these lists. I also have to stop making noises about and actually DO my tax return. Then I’m going to read through the MS again. Next week. This time next week. And then I’ll let it go… what do you think? To one or all of you?? Or actually, should I do as you suggest, Lilian, and ask a friend Who Knows People?

  8. doctordi said,

    By the way, comment readers, in case you’re wondering, there are two possible Charlottes popping in at DoctorDi. One is blogging Charlotte (above, or see Charlotte’s Web on my blogroll), who’s currently redrafting her own manuscript, and the other is Charlotte Wood, Australian novelist and foodie (see How to Shuck an Oyster on my blogroll). Just in case there was any confusion.

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