It has been so long since I’ve posted here, so long since I’ve read or commented on the blogs I follow. In my last post, I apologized in advance for what I knew would be a break, and my kind, supportive followers commented that there was no need to be sorry—that they understood. However, at this time, I think an explanation of what’s been going on might make for a good return post.
First, as I mentioned, I had restarted my therapy practice, which felt wonderful, returning to a part of me that I’d been away from long enough to really miss. It was time; I was ready to work and focus on the lives of others.
Second, though I had technically written two books during my leave, both needed some work yet. Though Twice the Dazzle—a version of which I’d completed before the hurricane—was close, my concentration had been nil since the fire. I was unable to write much more than a blog post and was unable to read much more than the New York Times.
But as December was nearing its midpoint, something began to lift. Suddenly, I was able to sit with a book again (and read one I’d been meaning to get to for years: The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Loved!) I was also itching to return to my own book, which was so close to done. It was time to finally use the feedback from my consultation with Arielle Eckstut and make it the very best it could be.
Step one was to minimize the priorities in my life. The top was, is, and has to be my family. I have two children and a husband who are still reeling in their assorted ways from this fire—a trauma for us all, no matter how you look at it. Next—related to the first—is managing our lives in this temporary home, replacing and recreating what I can of our life. Next is my work, rebuilding and reestablishing my therapy practice. Writing came fourth and had to fight for its place at the table. I knew that if I was going to get this thing done, I needed to focus. That meant releasing myself from other commitments, as well as giving myself total permission to withdraw from the blogosphere, from Facebook and Twitter, and even—to a degree from email.
It was so freeing to do that, to trust my instincts and to devote myself to the few things that could not wait. Thanks in no small part to the understanding support of my friends, family and, of course, my followers, I am happy to say that I have done what I set out to do and completed the revision. The book is now getting a last onceover from my “team” of wonderful beta readers, and a serious proof-read. This time around, I will not—mark my words—submit my manuscript prematurely. (Yes, I am trying the traditional route at this point, not having the wherewithal to research self-publishing right now.)
That said, I do have exciting news: I am doing my first reading from Twice the Dazzle, my YA novel about twin teens in the ballet world—this very week! My dear friend and former college roommate, Louella San Juan, has invited me to join her as she presents from her new book, The Crowded Kingdom, at Dewey’s Candy in DUMBO, this Thursday. See Louella’s website for details. I have also posted the press release on my new “EVENTS” page.