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.