The title of this post is a quote by Henry Miller. I had no idea who Henry was when I read his words in Liz Curtis Higg's guest post at Novel Matters blog earlier this week. However, being in the midst of another major edit of a novel that originally topped out 325,000 words, those three words encapsulate the way in which I'm spending my work hours. I'm halfway through the edit and the word count for Kindred is down to 149,000.
That may seem a very big number, but it's one I once seriously doubted I'd ever see. My goal is to shave at least another 10,000 words off the back half of the story. More if I can manage it. And then... I'm keeping a list of scenes that are left in but could be cut out, if push comes to shove. Scenes I'm just not ready to let go of. Scenes that add so much layer and depth to the story. You know, those scenes that are really going to hurt to cut away.
On another topic entirely....
Today is my anniversary. Eleven years ago, March 26 of 1999, I was told I had cancer. While I'm totally looking forward to heaven and holding tight to my invitation to a certain marriage feast, I'm so very thankful to have had these eleven years, to have had the time to write Kindred (and Bear Country, my teddy bear story, the first thing I managed to write through the chemo fog). So much has changed in that 11 years. I've changed, the world around me has changed. The publishing industry had certainly changed. I have an agent now (still need to pinch myself to be sure that one isn't a dream!).
Here's to another year! I pray the wonderful inspiring circle of writers I'm linked to see their best work yet written and their dedication to and passion for writing bearing much fruit.