I’m sitting in my writing office, my butt in a nice comfy recliner, laptop on my, well, lap. My mouse pointer hovers over the Word document my agent returned to me: Book 2 with her notes.
“Thanks for scaring the shit outta me–not.” I try to slow my pulse. “You couldn’t use the door like usual?”
My Muse leans against the wall separating the alcove from the aforementioned door, arms crossed over his broad chest. He’s wearing wild tie-dyed sweatpants, a baja beach hoodie, and Birkenstocks–with no socks. His skin is burnished, his short blond hair sun-bleached at the edges. His slow smile deepens his dimples. “It’s cold outside.” He lifts a foot. “Forgot my boots.”
“Forgot your boots, my ass. I hope you enjoyed your walkabout in summery Aussie land, cuz it’s supposed to get nice and cold here.”
He chuckles, a deep rolling sound that makes the room feel warmer. Or maybe it’s just me. He grabs a bottle of water from the mini-fridge and settles into the recliner beside me. He smells like the beach, like sun and sand and coconut and ocean. “I did.”
“And I bet you thought about me exactly never.”
He chuckles again. Yep, pretty sure the room’s getting warmer. “Of course I thought about you, love.”
“Oh really? I have a hard time believing you were thinking about anything besides enjoying the sun and surf.”
“You got feedback from your agent on Book 2.”
“Well, if you know that, then you know I have yet another round of revision to do.” Yep, still not quite there. Pacing in the middle. The novelist’s bane.
“You make it sound like the book’s on it’s way into that drawer from which no manuscripts escape.”
“I know it’s not that bad. It just needs some tweaking. And less PDA. And less ho-hum. And more Bullitt car chases.”
“I’m going to have to stop you with that last one, love. No car chases in Book 2. And you already took out most of the PDA. Which is disappointing.”
“But I can see her point.”
“Hey, you’re supposed to be on my side with this.”
He sighs. “I am. But this is your ‘break away from your current publisher’ book, so your agent is right, and you know it.”
My turn to sigh. “I do. But I don’t know how I can step up the pacing in the middle without pulling more words. It’s already down to 81,000 words, which is 10,000 less that Book 1. And there’s the scene of the accident that isn’t. Without that … How do I keep up the tension? That’s part of the ramp-up to the climax.”
My Muse raises a brow. “You’ve already started working on a replacement for that scene.”
Grumble. “Yes, sort of. The replacement doesn’t address my agent’s concern, though. That that particular scene might be one too many for the purpose. My replacement scene would do the same thing, just be more, um …”
I can’t stop an eye roll. “Fine, yes.”
“So, when are you planning on looking at all her comments?”
I hover the mouse pointer over the file. “This weekend. I have homework to do, though. Pulling that neck muscle a few days ago didn’t help, either. I lost two days of work.”
“Yeah, that can be a pain in the neck.”
I give him my best side-eye. “Really? That’s the best you can do?”
He chuckles. “Do you have a deadline for your homework? You know, that really isn’t homework.”
“It is. I need to do it to finish my credit by exam.” I’m starting to think it would have been easier to take the class. Then again, a couple hundred dollars for 4 credits is way better than $1400 and four months of night classes for those same 4 credits. Unless the professor decides my credit for exam submissions aren’t good enough and I’ll have to take the class anyway. That’s the risk, despite the fact I have over a decade of experience to back up my credit by exam request.
“And when do you plan on reading the rest of your agent’s feedback? You talk to her on Tuesday.”
“I know. I’ll read her feedback before then.” And I’ll have to formulate some sort of response or fix for each of her concerns. Some will be easy–less PDA. Some, not so much.
“Don’t worry, love. We’ll figure it out. If nothing else, there’s always a Bullitt car chase.”
And that’s my plan for the weekend. Considering we’ve got arctic air sitting over us for the next week or so, keeping us far below freezing, I’m pretty sure I’ll get it done. Or, mostly done.
Happy Writing, and stay warm!