Feb 15, 2012
Alex Dally MacFarlane

and don’t look no one in the eye

Editing continues on The Bone Queen. I have finally got Jeckel out of Fall, and Beth and Imi have separately reached Elashi. That’s over 30,000 words into the novel. While there’s still tidying to do in those 30,000 words, I don’t think there are any more large-scale changes.

Even though that isn’t even halfway through the novel, I still think I can finish this edit by the end of March. I am hopeful that, once I reach the halfway point, there’ll be a lot less rewriting and lot more editing, which is (I really hope) going to be a little less time-consuming.

For the first time, I’m comfortable with the idea that this isn’t a quick, short project. I’m working hard and making progress (although, this being editing, I always wish it was quicker progress) and it will get done. No doubt it helps that the changes I’m making feel like significant improvements – it’s hard to be unhappy when I’m clearly making the book much better. And it’s so good not to be depressed by the whole process. Even though friends who were working on their books when I was working on The Bone Queen are now celebrating book releases. I believe that my book will be done when it’s done, and that’s okay.

However, one exciting side-effect of throwing myself so thoroughly into editing is that my well-faked organisational skills are fraying quite fast. I keep forgetting really important things. And so, a to-do list:

- Edit poem for Stone Telling’s queer issue (by 20 Feb)
- Finish going over the edits for “Fox Bones. Many Uses.” (before 23 Feb)
- Sort out St Petersburg travel guide (before 23 Feb)
- Put waterproofing gel on boots (before 23 Feb)
- Find receipt for my lost Young Persons’ Railcard and Get a replacement (before 23 Feb)
- Akkadian assignment (by 22 Feb)
- Phone local doctors’ practice in order to finally arrange getting a local doctor (before 23 Feb)
- Go into doctors’ practice to arrange getting a local doctor (asap)
- Make an appointment after returning from Russia (1 March)
- Complete life-related thing I cannot currently discuss in public (before 29 Feb)
- Politely hassle a person relating to this thing if she doesn’t reply to my recent email (soon)
- Email Sean Wallace about a change of address (soon)
- Reply to several people’s emails (soon)
- Finish writing and then edit story for interesting antho (by 31 March)

I’m sure that’s not all of it.

Oh, and continue keeping up with Akkadian homework AND complete this term’s first assignment. Sometime. Soon.

One of the nice things about this new-found long-view is that I can look at April and May and think about how I will relax and work on short stories and the SF novella and it will be wonderful. I’m not really thinking yet about the possibility of the agent still not being sufficiently pleased with The Bone Queen. That will come, if it comes. For now, making The Bone Queen a better book.

In the meantime, do not expect me to remember or reply to everything. I’m in my natural state: quite scatterbrained.

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