So far, the rereading of BABY GRAND is going smoothly — fleshing out skeletal chapters, zapping adverbs (yes, there are still many that remain, but how many times can a gal use the word “suddenly”?), fixing name spellings, etc. I finished the day’s work early yesterday and spent the afternoon unwinding by the pool, watching the kids frolic. I was still on a little bit of a high from finishing not only the dreaded Sudoku in the newspaper, but also the crossword puzzle, which I rarely do. And out of nowhere, I found myself scribbling plot details into the margins of the newspaper — plot details unrelated to BABY GRAND, ideas actually for another novel I’ve had floating around in my head.
It was a surprise even to me as I wrote them. But I’m not even done yet with the first one, I thought. The plan had been to submit the manuscript on the 10th, go on vacation and then spend the rest of the month of August trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life — go back, full force, into freelance journalism? Teach? Work on another book project, fiction or otherwise?
Part of me thought that the decision needed to wait until I hear what my agent had to say about BABY GRAND. I mean, she could say, “Uh, this isn’t what I had hoped for,” or, worse, “This totally sucks.” But it looks like I’m not waiting. The decision has been made already.
In the past, when I was working on a novel and would start thinking about another novel, it wasn’t a good sign and signaled my lack of interest in what I was working on. But now I think I feel a sense of completion nearing with regard to BABY GRAND. And this is a good sign. A friend of mine asked me at my block party on Saturday if I felt that I “rushed” any aspects of BABY GRAND to meet my deadline. And I can honestly say, as I told him, no. I’m feeling satisfied, which is probably why I’ve been thinking about my next project.
Still, if BABY GRAND “totally sucks,” I may be the proud owner of one and a half unpublished novels. Anyone know of any teaching openings?