Selfish Writer

For the past several weeks I’ve spent most of free time being a selfish writer. Actually I’ve enjoyed that status for two and a half months while Hank has been away working on a daughter’s home Back East. I stay up late and get up early to write without having to be invested in someone else’s happiness, save our cat.

In July I turned in a manuscript for a novel to my agent. He tells me he likes the book very much but he wants more dialogue among other things.

Manuscript ready for the red pen

He says I write good dialogue. It makes sense. I’ve spent so many years as a journalist listening closely to people, I believe I get how they talk.

This is the third draft since I showed the first to my agent. (Yup, he keeps wanting more dialogue etc.) So I got to it in earnest. Last week I read it aloud twice — 80,000-plus words. I found a couple of holes and made wording changes. Last night, I printed the manuscript — again. Next, I will get out my red pen.

Meanwhile, I’ve been neglectful and I suppose if I were truly a selfish writer I wouldn’t care. But I do. So I apologize to:

My friend Joe Lewis, who has published his first novel, Taking Lives, the prequel to a trilogy. I owe him my comments.

My friend Fred, who I usually email weekly. I didn’t have the time to read his short story, Old Art. I finally wrote him back last night. I like it a lot.

Our cat, who cries out the kitchen window when I write in the ramada outside. (A great place to write but alas too many cat-eating coyotes out and about.)

Friends who want me to spend time with them.

My kids with summer birthdays, who got their gifts weeks late.

To my friends who blog, sorry I have missed your posts.

The work I bring home and never touch.

My gardens.

This blog.

Ah, but I feel I am so very close to finishing the manuscript. Besides, Hank was driving through Kansas yesterday and will be home soon. My status as selfish writer is about to change.