It's August and I want to tell you where things stand with my Summer of Projects. I completed my villanelle. And I felt good enough about it that I submitted it to both my publisher and a literary journal where I hope it will find a home. So out of my four projects one is done. I'm working madly on the middle-grade novel. And I've made a serious breakthrough about the mystery project where I need to change the point of view. As for the YA novel, I've jotted down notes, but haven't worked on it in a meaningful way this summer. Things aren't happening as fast as I'd like. I need to carve out more time. I hope to make a real push and finish the middle-grade novel this month. Summer doesn't officially end until Friday September 22nd, so I've still got some time.
One thing I need to confess is that I worked on another undisclosed project and submitted it to my agent and she loved it. I'll talk more about that in another post. The reason I mention it is because it made zero sense for me to write this project when I did. But I have a motto: Go through the doors that open. I mean this literally. For instance, my favorite Mexican restaurant has two doors. One has a very shiny handle and one handle looks untouched. The first time I went there I opened the shiny handle and didn't think twice about it. But the next time my friend led the way, and she tried to open the untouched handle, which is permanently locked. Here's the thing, my impulse is to seek out doors that will open. So if my imagination brings me a fully formed idea, I consider that a door asking to be opened. I worked on this project feverishly. I told my agent it was formed out of obsessive polished pressure. I have a child. Responsibilities. Of course I had to strike a life balance. But I stayed up late and got up early. And literally used every spare second to write this project. Five years ago I would have spent some time doubting whether or not this was a smart use of my time. I had other projects in the queue. But I've learned to trust my creative urges. So I did the fifth project. And it was the right thing to do.
Okay. I've got to go so I'll leave you with a photo. This summer my husband and son and I traveled to Boston and my friend let us stay at her house (she was away with her girls).
She texted me: You'll need to move a few dolls off the bed.
And I arrived at two AM to find this:
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