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Title: Vacation, The As It Should Be Way

Tonight Josh, the kids and I are off for a week’s vacation. For me, it’s been a few years. I’ve never been to Portland or Seattle, but I have a feeling both places will feel like cousins of San Francisco, so I’m unusually happy about this trip. And have a feeling I’ll get attached pretty quickly. I’ve committed not to take my computer, either. So I can’t do Slingshot work if I tried. But the most freeing part is that my work-in-progress is with my critique group, so I can’t be tempted to write or revise. I foresee light to moderate revisions before my next submission, but I’m not at the thinking-is-plotting stage, which is as time consuming as having a crush in 8th grade.

And since I haven’t talked about my book in a while–and since I’m waiting for my critique group’s notes on this draft–I’m officially celebrating this draft. I love celebrating drafts because each one takes months of revisions. I’ve been at this book for a year and a half (ish) so if you don’t celebrate along the way, you’re dumb. The road to a finished book may never end, right? So, if you don’t celebrate until the end, you might miss out any kind of joy and celebration. Since conception, this is draft 6. Since agent submission, this is draft 2. I’ve been trying to figure out how to delineate drafts. I generally go by conceptual changes and then agent drafts, and this will probably not interest anyone but me, but I’m organizing it right now on my blog.

Poverty Island Drafts

1. Original, a book about finding treasure, romance, friendship, and family
2. Drop focus on weird version of romance, increase focus on finding secret father
3. Never mind about the secret father, increase focus on circle of friends
4. Bring back better/lighter version of romance, more focus on treasure hunt, and secrets between friends
5. Polished (ha!) draft for agent submission
5.1 Utilize agent notes. Ditch emphasis on secrets, discover book is about belonging vs. independence
5.2 Polished (ha!) draft for agent submission Goal: Mid-October

So, back to the point of the post, I’m not conceptualizing my book momentarily, will not do work-work for the week, so I basically have no restraints. It’s weird. But part of the fun of a vacation is the buildup, right? I’ve been staring at my bookshelves all week trying to figure out which books to pack, only to put them aside for new ones I buy, I’m sure. But here are the three I’m taking:

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett (airplane and hotel read)
The Star Shack, by Lila Castle (beach read)
Ten Miles Past Normal, by Frances O’Roark Dowell (car read)

I’m super excited to read books right now, too! After two full-book critiques for friends in the past two months, I’m ready to get absorbed in worlds I don’t have to evaluate for skill of storytelling. I promise I’ll look around Portland and Seattle while I’m there, though. Those are both worlds I also want to discover.