Moments of brilliance

I’ve just begun revising my first novel, Man Bites Dog, and I’m reminded of that famous comment about Wagner’s works: “Moments of brilliance, quarter-hours of great boredom”.

Well, “boredom” is a bit strong, but you get the idea. I haven’t looked at it in over a year, so it’s like reading a story by someone else. I can’t remember what’s going to happen next as I read. I come across some parts that are good but of course, being a first draft, there are many more parts that are less than stellar. (Even one part that made me yell “No, no, no!” and cross it out with much violence, hoping no one will ever find out I wrote something so cringeworthy.)

The happy moments give me hope I can wrestle a good book out of this mess. I’m doing Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel course and I’m only halfway through the first of many steps, but I’m trudging on, putting my faith in Holly to guide me and my subconscious to pull some idea rabbits out of the hat. Gotta love those plot bunnies.

Bunnies … chickens … It’s a real farmyard inside my subconscious lately. Still haven’t figured out what happened to my little black chicken, dammit. I kept hoping I might dream of him again, but I’ve been away on a beach holiday, doing lots of tiring outdoorsy stuff, and sleeping the dreamless sleep of a very tired dead thing.

When I figure out how to drive my new camera properly I’ll post a photo of the view from the house we stayed in. It will make you all swoon with envy, it was so beautiful. But then I shall make you feel better by telling you about the mountain we had to climb to get back to our house from the beach, and the 5,083 steps inside the house itself, and how I borked my knee something severe just before we left, so that my holiday was just one big throbbing knee pain … and your envy will dissolve like a double Berocca in a glass of water.

“My goodness, but Marina deserved that view,” you will say.

So that’s what I’ve been up to for the last little while: revising, limping, computer-less. And now I’m home, and the ducklings have gone back to school, oh frabjous day!! and life can resume what passes for normal around here. At least, it would be normal if it weren’t for the physiotherapist doing things to my leg that I’m sure contravene the Geneva Convention. We don’t want to make a habit of that, oh no.

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