by Linda Thorne
I have a confession to make. I’ve let go of my second book. All 350 double-spaced pages with plot point I, plot point II, and a beginning, middle, and end. It remains ensconced within the depths of my computer, out of shape, uneven, and lumpy. When I try to push one lump down to balance the book, another protuberance appears somewhere else. I have changed the main subplot twice. Each change took over a year. Then I realized my subplots were taking over, minimizing the main mystery plot.
I was so obsessed getting my first book, Just Another Termination, published that when I had problems, I’d spend an incredible amount of time studying self-help books. I’d faithfully attend a weekly two-hour critique group. After driving into downtown Nashville, I’d wait my turn to have five pages of that book critiqued. Meanwhile I had a full-time job and a husband at home with health issues.
But I’ve changed. As I move closer to my 75th year I am slowing down, and other things take precedence. I used to write posts about balancing writing time with my day job. Now, I don’t bother. In hindsight they sounded a little whiny. My current day job is more than enough for me. My free time is saved to spend with my husband, enjoy the outdoors, read books, and watch movies. When I’m not working, I want to relax. I can’t imagine driving across town now for a two-hour critique group with only the hope of improving a few sentences.
Yeah, I know it is good for a second book in a series to come out within a reasonable timeframe from the first. That didn’t happen for me, so I’m not going to beat myself up for it anymore.
I still peck at my second book, A Promotion to Die For. This usually happens after reading a story or watching TV and something catches my eye that triggers an idea to solve a problem within my manuscript. Occasionally I’ll get lost in working on it for an hour or so.
These days there is so much of life I don’t want to miss out on. Spending my down time with the hubby is high priority. I’m overdue for retirement, so hopefully that will happen in 2022 and I may be able to dive back into A Promotion to Die For. Only time will tell how this plays out.