Monday, January 21, 2008

Resolve, Revisited

How's that New Year's Resolution working out? Some psychologist quoted on MPR this morning has determined the third Monday in January to be the most depressing day of the year. Sorry, Martin. Why? Because it's a Monday. The holiday bills have begun to show up. And mostly because it's clear that your New Year's Resolution remains laying untouched on that shelf. No pounds shed, no budgets tightened, and all that.

It is a little depressing around here. Could be the cold. Our nightfall had that black, bracing beauty that hints at danger, that both seduces and warns away. There's something about a Minnesota night, deep freeze style. But my heavy mood relates to my own Resolution, yes, gathering dust on that shelf.

The short version is that three years ago, when my agent passed on the word that my novel was more appropriately Young Adult fare, I turned a deaf ear. After all, these were just editors at Houghton Mifflin, Random House, St. Martin's. What did they know!

Ahem. Humbled, my resolution is to turn Prairie Rat into a Young Adult novel. But I haven't even given the damn book one bit of thought since, let alone work on it.

The book has fourteen chapters. It's already written -- in fact, it is very nearly a Young Adult book already, which was the entire problem in the first place.

One chapter a week. Period.

And I'll be done in the spring, when the darkness is memory and the world shakes itself out and stretches up, new.


Melissa said...

Do it, girlfriend. From one writer to another, stay the course and make those revisions! I'm rooting for you!

Beth said...

My resolution was working out very well - eat all the Xmas candy hanging around here by mid-January. However, I found another stash in one of my son's rooms. So, I'm still plugging away...
Finish that book! You will be so thrilled with yourself (and the book) when it's done!

Lisa Milton said...

I hear you - I haven't messed with my book much either.

I guess I thought I'd have more time once the holidays were through. I buy that line every time.


Here's to effort, when it's cold and dark outside. It's hard to get moving.

Lisa Milton said...

And I meant to say: I'm rooting for you too.

Mrs. G. said...

500 words a day. That's all it takes. If you haven't read it, check out Carolyn See's Making a Literary Life. It is so good.

Minnesota Matron said...

Oh, I know the book and the ethic. I have to remind myself that I wrote a 300 page, award-nominated dissertation in SIX months with a 13 month-old (at the start) and three year old and the minute I finished that, started kicking out those novels (two -- the final one in an eight month period while pregnant and moving households). It's just that I haven't been able to catch that fire. In all honesty, I think it's because my extra time and intellectual energy is going to (I SOOO hate to say this) volunteer work. I'm sucked into about a million things. which was fine for one era in my life but now I feel like I want to rekindle that discipline and desire that fueled me those years. ... . 500 words a day. One chapter a week.

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