Draft 1 of a book-shaped thing + other things

Oregon coast in the spring

I have now completed a 73k word draft of my current work in progress. I won’t go into much detail as the story may shift, but the themes include ghosts of the past, women motorcycle stunt riders, mother-son relationships, time travel, the idea of how time can shift perspectives, and letting go.

First, I want to know what working title you would choose. Please take the poll below.

We all know that titles change before the final novel is published so I’ll try not to get too attached to any. I recently went to a short Tin House craft workshop where Matt Bell guided us through his process of drafting a book. In fact, he just published a book about this exact thing. Something that came up for me in that lecture was an emotion that I want to pay attention to, Fear. When he mentioned his second draft is a complete rewrite, as in, no copying and pasting of anything from his first draft, it gave me pause and I felt the fear rise up. I don’t want to rewrite my whole book all over again. Actually, rewrite it? That first draft took me 9 months . . . as long as it took for my son to grow in my uterus! What Bell said in that lecture was that he completely rewrites the second draft and it takes about as long as the first draft took! Ugh! But then I realized that the only other way I’ve done it takes about that same amount of time, maybe longer. He suggests writing a reverse outline, which I love to do, and if you feel compelled you can also write scene cards, which is also something I love to do. So, I’m going to add this rewriting, actually rewriting, to my method and see how it goes. First, giving myself a full month to step away from writing the novel. Instead, I will focus on writing a short story or creative non-fiction piece and adding that submission to my #100rejections. By the way, I’m up to 23 rejections! I’m ready for more!

Other things:

  • A recent publication from my day job – an article about Smoke Evacuation Devices in Operating Rooms in Oregon and how students helped to break new ground with data in pediatric ORs. I loved learning more about this topic, it isn’t something I think much about usually.
  • Had a meeting with my new writing group which I met through an online class through Catapult online. Our teacher was H.D. Hunter who is coming out with a new book imminently! If you have (or know) kids that read middle grade check out Futureland Battle for the Park (preorder your copy). The book is described as, “An electrifying illustrated series with the Afrofuturism of Black Panther that took the world by storm. Perfect for fans of Spider-Man: Miles Morales.” His class was fantastic and he did such a great job at creating an inviting space that a good chunk of the class opted to create a writing group. So far, it’s been a great group.
  • A recent podcast I have started listening to about intersectionality from Kimberel√© Crenshaw – Intersectionality Matters (sound cloud link, but can be found on many other platforms).
  • I follow a woman on Twitter who talks a lot about NFTs. She’s an artist and has a terminal cancer diagnosis. Anyway, I decided to look up what an NFT or Non-Fungible Token is. Basically, it’s digital artwork that sells for a lot (sometimes). Here’s an interesting article about it and here is another.
  • Oh, and we got out to the Oregon coast for spring break (header picture)! It was beautiful spring weather. One day sunny, the next misty and foggy.

What are you learning about?

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