I turned in my revision of Truth About Truman this morning. The only reason I did was because I was assured I’d get it back to work on one more time. There are several sections I’m still not happy with…but I’m counting on my editor having some suggestions. I think I needed one more week to work on it…though if I had had one more week, I probably would’ve said the same thing next week. “Just one more week…please?” I can work on something FOREVER! And after a while it’s hard to know whether I’m really making any forward progress or not.
I didn’t have a chance to run it by any of my critique partners, but Junior High Kid read it for me on Sunday. They say you shouldn’t tell an editor, “my kids loved this,” but do you know what? If I ever actually had that experience of having one of my kids tell me anything I wrote was perfect as it was, I think it would be a meaningful enough experience that it would be worth mentioning to an editor! My kids don’t sugar coat it…they tell me exactly what they think. Which is good…and actually, Junior High Kid had some VERY good comments for me. I took almost every suggestion he made.
He didn’t say anything about the ending at first, so I came right out and asked him what he thought of it. At first he didn’t say anything.
Uh oh. NOW what’s the matter with it? I wondered. (This was my third attempt at an ending for this book)
He said, “it’s a little too Disney-ified now. Everything got wrapped up too nice and neat and everyone’s friends again.”
What??? Where did he get that idea? His fever must’ve made him delusional. Yes, he’s been running a fever for the last eight days. And his friend who moved to West Virginia two years ago came back for a visit this weekend. (The two hadn’t seen each other in two years.) The friend had been planning on staying with us for the weekend (they’ve planned this for a couple of months), which he did end up doing, even though Junior High Kid was sick. (I did warn the parents that Junior High Kid had been sick all week, but at that point I thought he had to be getting better. The friend’s parents are both physicians, but they weren’t worried about Junior High Kid’s germs. They still let their son stay with us.) Well, Junior High Kid was finally diagnosed with pneumonia last night! So if any of the seven kids who spent time at our house last weekend happens to be reading this and wondering why they’re not feeling so good, well, now you know! (Don’t say you weren’t warned!)
But back to me (because this is MY blog, not Junior High Kid’s)…and the ending of Truth About Truman. I reread it and saw Junior High Kid’s point (grumble, grumble). What was on paper was not exactly what was in my head. So I did what I could do fix it.
I’ve felt a little lost without that manuscript to work on today. Especially because I KNOW there’s still work to be done on it. But I’m forcing myself to leave it alone until I hear from my editor about it. Fortunately, I had an eye doctor appointment to distract me earlier today…and I watched a movie with Junior High Kid. I’ve got Toastmasters tonight…and tomorrow a couple friends and I are going out to dinner and to a movie (Full Disclosure: we’re going to see the Nancy Drew movie because Nancy Drew was our hero when we were kids…and now that we are, in theory, grownups, we don’t have husbands or kids who want to see it with us…well, we all HAVE husbands and kids, but our husbands and kids don’t want to see it. So, it’s Girls Night Out!).
There are still plenty of other things I could be doing besides working on this manuscript…cleaning my desk, reading manuscripts from two writer friends, preparing lessons for my teen writing class tomorrow (I was reusing most of the same stuff from when I’ve taught this other summers, but I’ve got a couple of repeat customers, so I’m trying to come up with a few new exercises), catching up on my Friday Ideas, catching up on other people’s blogs, figuring out a better title for Truth About Truman, taking notes on one of my next few projects, writing the book review that’s due on Monday, reading a few more books so I have more to choose from when I write the review…but I WANT to be working on Truth About Truman.