Friday, July 10, 2015

Weekend reads and sabbatical soon...

A grey and steamy Friday here in Boston. And another few weeks without reviews -- shame on me! (Especially as I've sped through a number of great reads.) I'm going to try to catch up this weekend, but I find reviewing -- or at least, nailing down my thoughts on my reads -- a bit elusive these days. Exhausted is my new normal, and work is wildly crazy, and I just want to read if I have a few free moments.
A room of my own, from 2013
But...the second half of my sabbatical begins next Tuesday (!) and I can't wait. My goal is to write a second draft of my historical novel, and having finished my fabulous writing class with the equally fabulous Tim Weed, I feel better equipped to do so successfully.

So, for the next seven weeks, I plan to bang out about 10K words a week, and see if I don't end up with a slightly less embarrassing draft.

I'd really been putting off this second draft because, and I'm embarrassed to admit it, I wasn't sure exactly how one created another draft of something. In school, I was a first-draft-is-the-final-product kind of girl, but I know that's not the best work I do. In the writing class, I learned a few techniques and styles for rewriting a draft, and I've been doing tiny prep work in anticipation of really diving in. (If you're curious, I clumsily summarize my novel at the end of this interview with Lynn Cullen, after she asked about it.)

My reads this weekend are crazy ambitious, but in addition to writing, I hope to get a good chunk of reading done over sabbatical.

This morning I started Nuala O'Connor's Miss Emily and I know I'll finish it tonight -- it is that good, and that inhale-me-right-now readable. Yesterday I started Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me which is gripping, but a less zippy read.

What are you reading this weekend?


  1. How exciting! Good luck on the next draft!

  2. I'm reading Shall We Not Revenge by D.M. Pirrone, picked up at HNS2015. It's a murder mystery set amid the ruins of fire-razed Chicago in 1872.

    I've learned to embrace rewriting, as in quite literally re-writing each successive draft. Cutting & pasting doesn't work nearly as well. If I thought a scene in a previous draft was strong I might have it in the bottom pane (yay Scrivener!) but I still find the rewrite brings out new depths. Happy sabbatical!

    1. Oooh, sounds awesome, Jane! Can't wait to read your thoughts.

      I'm doing the double pane in Scrivener, too! It was a real "ah ha" for me when I discovered how much I enjoy rewriting that way. Scenes got better, and sometimes changed! Really excited to see where my novel goes now.

  3. I'm happy for you that you are writing your novel.

  4. Good luck with your novel! I am reading "Bone Box" by Jay Amberg this weekend.

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  6. I know you can get that second draft out. I have Miss Emily too and cannot wait to start it.

  7. Best of luck on the second draft.

  8. Good luck on the second draft. You'll do it well, I'm sure. Good idea to keep reading during the time, too. I didn't read anything this weekend, but I'm back on track now and flipping through a couple of books.