If you’re one of the three people that actually keeps track of the progress bar there to the right of the blog, you’re probably wondering why in the name of the unholy new maths Project Tennyson hasn’t advanced in any way, shape, or identifiable form in, like, months. Literally, I think the last time I changed it was in November. So, what gives? Did I give up on it or something? Or worse, have I packed my dreams of writing into one of those extra secure, multi-padlocked, Houdini-would-have-peed-at-the-sight-of-it* kind of old-school trunks and chucked it into the attic to rot beside that Fisher Price record player and Aunt Bethel’s gawd-awful ashtray lamps?
Well, no. I just had to set Tennyson aside for a bit. First there were the holidays. And I’d worked so hard last year, I decided I owed it to myself and the family to take a week or so and not try to kill my spirit with enough work to choke a full-sized blue ox on Christmas Eve.
I’ll tell you, at first the “not doing anything” kind of chaffed like a new pair of . I mean, for a while, I was all how do people live with this much free time? What do they do with themselves to stave off the craziness!? I need a prooooojjjjjjeeeeect!
But then I realized that most people cope by either getting a decent amount of sleep every night or by watching waaaaaay to much utterly incomprehensible television. Some really, really luck people probably accomplish both. Not me, of course. Thankfully, though, I did manage to avoid getting sucked into the Real Housewives of Poughkeepsie, and instead spent my evenings watching movies and catching up on the Geek & Sundry.
When the holidays were finished and the time came to swing back into action, I still wasn’t ready for Project Tennyson. Because, see, sometimes when you write a thing—and by sometimes I mean always–after you finish that thing, you’re not really finished. Sure, that particular draft might be ready to stick with a fork, but odds are good it’s kind of crappy. Which is to say, more often than not, that first draft of your new manuscript is going to reek with a putrid stench worse than your baby cousin Nicky, whose parents keep a strict twice-a-day schedule for diaper changes.
Now, on occasion, you’ll get lucky and your first few passes of revision will clean it up nice and tight. I was that fortunate with OTHER THING earlier in 2013. That one, in particular didn’t need a whole lot of post-writing tweakage.
Project Macaroni, on the other hand, has been, well, like that ill-mannered puppy dog you just got who can’t stay out of trouble. I mean, yeah, he’s cute with a capital A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E and you love him, love him, love him, possibly even more than ice cream, which is just crazy talk. But even with all that love, he still eats your slippers and makes you want to poke your own eyes out every time he lifts his leg on you mom’s favorite end table or drops a not-so-adorable pile in the middle of the living room carpet.
Which, you know, not only smells less awesome than daisy blossoms, but totally ruins the vacuum lines.
So, that’s what I’ve been doing while I’ve been not finishing Project Tennyson. I’ve been revising—and re-revising—Project Macaroni, to get it all cleaned up, nice and shiny, and ready for the outside world.
At last, it’s almost there, I think. Just a handful of chapters need a little spit to flatten down those cowlicks for picture day, and then the Puddinette will get it for the once-over (because she’s not only an awesome wife, she had mad game with the Red Pen of Doom). Once she gives it the final a-okay, I’ll give the good little puppy a treat, and send it on it’s merry way.
And then, finally, finally, it’ll be time to finish that first draft of Project Tennyson.
Which, of course, will will bring us right back around to more revisions.
[cue ‘The Circle of Life’]
*Not true. Houdini never, ever peed himself over anything of the sort. He could have eaten both the trunk and the padlocks, whole. From inside. While gagged.