A Date with a Book

Who doesn't like date night?

Me. I don't like date night. *unless*

Unless, it's a date with a book. I had just such an evening a couple of weeks ago. I poured a glass of wine, cooked a beautiful dinner, set the table, turned on some mood music (the score from Westworld, obviously), and flipped open the laptop across from me. Because this wasn't a date with just any book. This was a date with my book.

My new book. My newly birthed, fresh from the mind-womb, beautiful, messy, catastrophically tangled book. 

In other words, my first draft of Dust is completed, clocking in at 98000 words and staring at me like an editor's nightmare. She's beautiful. She's messy. She's a tidal wave, a wrecking ball, an explosion waiting to happen. 

She is, in all other words, the perfect date. And I love her already.

Writing a book is the easiest part of, well, writing a book. I've done it so many times, I'm not even sure what my actual body--sorry--book count is at. Sometimes, I'll write a book while I'm actually writing another book, and heaven help me if the first book finds out, because she's been waiting for me to pick her up for weeks. I hate to say it, but sometimes--and please don't hate me--I'll leave a book for another book.

Alright. I think I've officially stretched this metaphor as far as I can. Or, rather, want to. Moving on. Come on, Kristen, be professional.

Ahem. This blog is the official announcement that I am finished writing Dust. I take off my writer's cap and set it neatly to one side, and immediately pull my mildewy editor's cap out of a dusty--heh, dust, dusty...I might need to go to sleep, actually--drawer and don it, knowing that what comes next is the hard part.

Think of writing a book as making a baby. Well, no, not making a baby. Let me rephrase that before I get in trouble. It's not the making of a baby, but the nine months of waiting for the baby. The nine months of growing, nurturing, and anticipating that baby. The time you spend getting the house ready, socializing the dogs with other kids, reading up on...burping?...techniques. If you can't tell, I've never actually had a kid. I don't know what you do. But I'm assuming it's something like that.

When the nine months are up, it's time for the hard part. If growing a baby is writing a book, then labor is editing. And--while I don't have direct experience--cinema has more than conveyed that it's the most painful thing you'll probably ever do. In the book world, that is absolutely the editing process. You've spent all this time writing, nurturing, adoring...now it's time to rip yourself apart and get that baby ready for the reading world. 

So, my mind has taken us from the date, to the growing of the baby, to the birthing of the baby...next up, those insta posts where the babies look like little mutant aliens. Or wrinkly old men. That's where Dust is right now. She's here. She's out. She's...not pretty.

I'm a little behind schedule, it's true. My beta readers have had their hands out, eager to meet the baby for the past couple of weeks, and I'm like...nawww, I'm still in labor, hands off. Actually...I'd better stop that metaphor there, too. Really, I need to go to bed.

So! Those of you who are eagerly anticipating book three of The Firebird Chronicles, we're close. I can see those pages squished between the gorgeous cover that exists primarily in my mind, I can see that thicccc spine and sensuous...

Seriously, it's sleep time for Kristen. I'm taking my own blog away, revoking my writing privileges for the evening. I'll leave you with this: Dust is everything I wanted, and it will be the perfect addition to the Firebird family.



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