One Manuscript, One Dog, One King-Sized Bed

Posted by on Mar 5, 2009 in Writing | 5 comments

Big enough bed for all of us
Big enough bed for all of us

Frankly, I’m delirious with exhaustion. I’ve set myself another one of those quick-reading goals during another one of my self-imposed writer’s retreats.

It’s not so much reading a 400-page manuscript in 48 hours that’s got me tired. It’s this task after multiple deadlines I had to complete before I took off. I get that way sometimes, where I gotta clear the decks. So, over the past week, I completed the current revision (goes without saying since I’m here reading it), dealt with my taxes (yikes), met a day-job deadline (hefty), and wrote the short story I mentioned in my last post (compulsive purge).

Trellis wishing for its greenery

Trellis wishing for its greenery

 

 

I’m not going to pat myself on the back until I finish this quick-read. One-hundred-fifty more pages to go before I leave this sweet little hotel room tomorrow. And then? Pleasure reading and sleeping and nothing else for a solid 24 hours! I have a light novel waiting for me. The latest Candace Bushnell, whom I’ve never read before. I already can’t wait.

This time around, I’m not splurging on a plush ocean-front view. However, I am lodged on the grounds of a pet-friendly botanical garden called The Oregon Garden. The Oregon Garden Resort opened in October, and it’s so fresh the breeze smells fragrant as a horse stable — all that manure and spring planting. Mmm, I love that smell. It comforts me, reminding me of the horsey girl I once was.

Luna's probably nibbling a little manure back there

Luna's probably nibbling a little manure back there

It’s quiet up here in the foothills, in the middle of nowhere. The Oregon Garden is a tourist attraction that never took off, so I suspect. That’s why this resort now exists with its great package deals. Last night I snuck into the gardens after dark. Frogs and gurgles and weird rustlings accompanied Luna and me. A misty half-moon gave scant light, and I bumbled around with a scaredy-cat thrilled rush, imagining bogeymen, while my dog stopped every ten feet to sniff at doggy delicacies.

But tonight, it’s all work, no play.

And how is the manuscript this time around? Better, much better! Last November, in the ocean-front room, I was mired down with uncooperative story threads. Also, possible new scenes, flow issues, and so on.

First arrivals

First arrivals

This time, I’m hiccuping on smaller stuff like awkward sentences and overused words/phrases. I’m amazed, actually. My story is growing up!

I’m an efficient quick-reader by now, and I’ve created a convenient shorthand. Underlining means come back to this sentence or paragraph because something ain’t right. “WW” means “wrong word,” as in: Is this the best I could do? Or, as in: You’ve already overused this word; get a new one. “Segue” means crappy transition or jumpy thought.

I’ll be up late tonight pushing this exhaustion to the max. But so worth it!

5 Comments

  1. Happy reading!

  2. Love the pictures – little queen Luna on huge expanse of bed and then those purple flowers peeking up out of ground. Sounds like a grand place. I’ve never been to Oregon – yes, it’s true. So keep painting those pictures – it’s like a micro travelogue and so enjoyable here in the bleak of early March in the Midwest.

    Kudos on your organization and getting things done!

  3. Hi, oh, thanks for the nice words. Playing around with photography is fun–wish I had a good camera though! 🙂

  4. Have fun with this! I really like your shorthand and your quick read edit — this sounds very smart, and very fruitful. (The garden? WOW!)

  5. The quick-reads save me, I swear they do, Bloglily. Without them, I’d revise based on a fragmentary sense of what I think I have. 🙂

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