The murder of IT

I’ve been quiet.

After I wrote the last post, I realized that I have no business talking about writing.

Fact is: I know squat.

About five months ago, bad things happened chez-Evans. Not to me, but to members of my family, which, in many ways, is far worse. I am this type of mother—Know this you bastard. Touch my kid and I’ll fucking haul your guts out through your lint-clogged navel.  I am this type of daughter-in-law—I promise, come hell or high water, I’ll always be there for you. And lastly, I believed myself as being this type of friend—Anytime, any reason, Babe.

Fact is: I’m not any of those things any more.

I told you that I was revising the first draft, right?  Well, the first part of the book was an easy revision, because it was written before IT. That’s how I refer to all the bad crap that’s gone down—IT.  And really, you’re going to like the first half of the book. But the second half—the part influenced by IT—unless I’m prepared to bleed through my pores, you’re not.

I’m not joking. I was sailing through revisions, all sparkly-debut-author, and then I saw IT on the page.  Oh shit. There it was. That moment I lost my mind. Thought I had everything under control , but my brain slipped away for a semi-permanent ciggie-break after the first paragraph on page 200. I’m not big on descriptors. Sufficient to say, it was a OMG! (yes, I did use an exclamation point) moment of deep despair.

Fact is: I didn’t handle meeting IT that well at all.

If I had big writing chops, IT wouldn’t have showed. But, as it turns out, my skill level is pedestrian. (This is when my agent, the very fabulous Deidre Knight has her own version of a hissy-fit. I can almost hear her—“You don’t realize what you have!”) Well, my dear, dear, Deidre, what I have here is a pile of crap.

I’ve been de-crapping for the last 3 weeks, and I’m proud to say, that much of the nasty is gone. But I’ve got another  90 pages to render environmentally safe.  How am I going to do that while still being a good mother, a good daughter-in-law, and a good friend?

Fact is:  Screw my family, screw my friends. I’ll sweat blood through my pores.

I will do my best to deliver a good book. Because I’m 5(lying here) some odd years old. Which means I’m too freakin’ old, too freakin’ tired of subterfuge, too desperate not to go into that dark night without a raised fist, and too co-dependant not to want to please my editor.

To rectify IT, I’ve thrown all my other identities under the bus.

I have not picked up the phone and chatted with my friends for a long, long time.  Nor have I’ve been  a good daughter-in-law. Once Jack was out of danger and the hospital, I went MIA. And worse—and this partially sickens me–I’m not the mother I was.

Fact is: I’ve triaged my life to the most essential. Yes–I’m still a mother and a wife. If either off my kids sent me S.O.S. text at 3:00 in the morning, I’d find them, come snow, or sleet, or hail. But inwardly, as I drove through hell, I’d be calculating how little sleep I’d have before I get behind the keyboard and stick my revision-dagger into IT again. And my kid would know that. Because they’re both smarter than me.

I’m not the mother I was. And that—oh sweet heavens—that’s the acid-tipped dart in my heart.

Fact is: I’m the author,  Leigh Evans, and that bitch hasn’t figured out how to juggle.

So, I’ve been quiet. How could I tell you all this? You’ve seen me sailing along, all pleased and superior, and now I’m telling you that life as an author under a contract sucks? Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Here’s the question my blog subscribers may ask: Where will I take this blog from here onward?

Well,  I can’t really carry on giving my subscribers advice, because I know squat, and anything I do from now on is a matter of choice and commitment. Up to now, it’s been fairly straight forward. By following certain tried-and-true methods, I’ve got a  wonderful agent, a superior contract, an intelligent and committed editor.  But from here on, my story will be Leigh-specific, because each author has a separate voyage. If there is a formula, it goes like this: luck+skill+a fab agent+a great editor+timing+desire+X factor=a good career.

At  least two of things are out of my control.

I will read, hoping to learn. I will listen, hoping to improve.

And finally, I will sweat blood to kill IT.

So, there you go.

Fact is: I’m not so wonderful after all.

About Leigh Evans

Leigh's an urban fantasy writer, living in Southern Ontario.
This entry was posted in Agents, Deidre Knight, Leigh Evans, revision, suck-itude, Writing Blog, writing lessons. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The murder of IT

  1. It’s enough to hear you say, “Anything I do from now on is a matter of choice and commitment.” You lead by example. Whatever IT happens–you are willing to push through. That’s heroic. Give that fat black dog a cookie and hiss back at that nasty Clint Eastwood of a cat.

    • Leigh Evans says:

      Short fat black dog has already scarfed down half a taco. He and his belly have waddled off to bed. Cat, however, is eyeing me with evil intent. All she needs is a toothpick and a gun:-)

  2. Kelly Pettit says:

    Don’t beat yourself up so much. You’re on a mission to write the best book you can and I’m sure when you’re done you will be very proud of it. I can tell by reading between the lines here that family is important to you and I’m sure they know it.

    I’m betting you know a lot more about writing than you think you do. As a songwriter, I too go through phases similar to what you’re feeling. Keep at it!

    • Leigh Evans says:

      Hey you~ I’ve been playing THESE DAYS for–well–days. According to Itunes, I’ve replayed Into Your Sea 28 times. If I ever get a following, I’m seriously going to give your album inspiration accolades. Thanks for the kind words. Here’s to better days:-)

  3. I think what you’re doing is necessary and right. Everybody will live without you for awhile. I honestly believe there are times when the writing won’t let you dabble – it will demand all of your time and attention. The kids are old enough to fend for themselves. (If I sound a bit like preaching to the choir, it’s because I struggle with this guilt myself.) Also? I’m willing to bet the book is/or will be better than you think.

    • Leigh Evans says:

      It’s certainly a learning curve, Kerry. Also, it’s a rebirth. I’m digging my way back to the girl who wore high heels, and drove a Tr7. I’d forgotten about her. Hello, again:-)

  4. GutsyLiving says:

    As a soon-to-be-indie-published author with the “professional” touch, by that I mean I shall have professionals work on cover design, book layout etc., I can relate to many nights waking up at 3 a.m., worrying about everything, including IT. All the best to you Leigh.

  5. Celeste says:

    Life throws us the greatest adversities when we’re reaching beyond ourselves, doesn’t it? It can seem like a huge smackdown, but it’s really a test of strength. Times like these, you realize you write because you have to. It’s not a selfish want, or a small dream, or just a way to make money. Although the contract is pressure, the writing is who you are. Why else would you fight so hard to defend it? As the flight attendant says, put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping others :)

  6. Wow! Somebody more negative than I am for once!

    Well, you better quit. I can’t handle the competition.

    All you sound is human. Nobody can do or be everything all the time. I’m sure your book is going to be great. So get back to work and ignore that family!

  7. Sharon Bell says:

    Awesome post! Can’t wait til I quit being a mother and start working on my alter ego full time author! God Bless you!

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