The Envelope Please

I slipped the draft of my kids’ novel — the third in The Twin Jinn series — into an envelope and wrote on the outside: Do not open until Dec. 15. That was Oct. 30. Then, I found something else to do.

It’s tough to set aside a body of writing I’ve been working on nearly every day for so many months. But it is a tool that works for because it gives me a fresh perspective when I return. Besides, I have plenty of other writing to do.

So while Jute and Fina Jinn were sequestered in a postal envelope — hey, they’re free and sturdy — I returned to the Swanson Shuffle, an adult novel I’ve been working on for years. It’s inspired by my experiences as a live-in staff in a psychiatric house.

I was having such a good time at Swanson House, I extended the resting period until Jan. 4 when I finished chapter 14. I figure I have about three more chapters to go. I printed the ms and sealed it in an envelope. I don’t know when I will open it again.

Yesterday I read the third Twin Jinn novel in two sittings. I resisted using a red pen although I saw typos and words I will change eventually. I did take notes about the plot.

What do I think of the ms? I like it very much. The writing in the later chapters, I feel, is rather choppy. Some holes in the plot need filling and the ending definitely has to be fixed. Tonight, when I return from work and after supper, I will begin.

Rewriting is like taking up a day dream and reworking it for the best possible outcome. That’s my job for the next couple of months. Lucky me.