7 Quick Takes, Vol. 73

1. I’ve spent this week finishing my novel. It’s a job I’ve been procrastinating, thinly disguised under a veneer of having other writing assignments…but the truth is, I wasn’t sure I liked my character anymore.  After one of my critique partners told me she was self-centered and obnoxious, I realized that the reason the idea stung so badly was that my character, in many ways, was me. Later, when I stepped back and looked at the manuscript dispassionately, I realized my critique partner was right… So what did that say about me?

2. I’ve done a great deal of soul-searching since then, parallel to editing the book to paint her in a more sympathetic light. And it has been a good thing for my own growth as a human being. But when the plot came to a head, I got stuck, and I shoved the whole project off into a corner. Buried it under my Advent book, my magazine cover stories, my new flute collection. Until this week, when I gritted my teeth and decided it was time to face the music. This darned thing has been in process since before Alex was talking—while I was pregnant with Julianna, and long before Nicholas was even conceived. And today, Nicholas is a year old! Ridiculous! It’s time to finish this book!

3. I rewrote the end and went back to the beginning for one last polishing run before starting the submission process. And you know what I discovered about my young heroine? I like her. Her story is good. Compelling. Universal to young mothers. I couldn’t believe it—all that drama, all the rewriting, and I nailed it. I’ve been harboring a little glow this whole week. I can’t believe a story that well-written came out of my head. I’m sure there are many moments of self-doubt still to come, but for now, I bask in the warmth of a task well-done. Yay God!

4. Speaking of my Advent book…I got proofs for Joy to the World: Advent Activities for your Family this week from Liguori***. For those not familiar with publishing, “proofs” are an advance peek at the layout of the printed material—in this case, via .pdf. I really want to put a couple of pages up to show everyone how nice it looks, but I can’t. You’ll just have to wait till this summer, when it comes out for real.

5. My list of writing projects is taped on the wall of the computer desk. There are fourteen items on it. Only one is music. I don’t normally write about writing, although one of these days I think I should reflect on how good it is for my personal spiritual growth. So thank you for bearing with me today. My heart is full; I had to share.

6. In the meantime, Elizabeth at That Married Couple shared a post on the seven deadly sins this week which was actually pretty funny, considering the topic. One of the gems she shared was this series of maps, developed at K-State.

7. To round out my “roundup” I’d like to share a picture. Last Friday evening we went to the K of C fish fry with two sets of friends, for a total of seven children age 6 and under. The kids finished eating long before the adults, and started running around. One of the dads corralled them by having them flatten themselves against the wall whenever anyone walked by…which progressed to making silly faces while they stood there. We were all in stitches, but unfortunately no one had a camera; only a cell phone. So please excuse the blurred photo. You can get the idea, anyway.

Fish Fry Kids, 3-12-2010

Happy Friday!