DEAR FRIENDS, 4/13/2012

I woke up at 1:30 Wednesday morning, slept fitfully until 4:00 and got up at 5:00, all because I was so close to finishing BROKEN WING. After I made a pot of tea, I went back to work on the novel and was done with this draft by 6:30. Even after more than 50 years of writing almost every day, I still have a great sense of accomplishment at “finishing” a project. I feel good, like something has been done, completed, accomplished.

After more than six weeks of rewrites, it’s not, of course, finished, not by a long shot, but Wednesday morning was a milestone along the path. I printed it out and now will pass it over to my wife, poor her, for another read through, after which I will make some more changes and be ready to send out this version. I’ll start with my agent and see what she can do–I suspect nothing–and then move on from there.

I like the story, but I also understand how strange it is to make a novel, which is not a novel, out of a story about a wounded bird and other birds. As I said last week, I have little hope for this book and suspect it is one of those books that my daughter will inherit in manuscript, but we’ll see.

I hope to take a little break before I begin SAMOVAR AND ZEEMAHOOLAH, but my ability to take breaks, do nothing, is very small. I hope I’m able to do some yoga and spin on my stationary bike down in the garage more than I usually do on a daily basis, go for some longer walks, read a manuscript or two from the stack of other people’s writing that is always on my desk wanting my attention and comment, write a few letters and otherwise “relax” before I begin on SAMOVAR AND ZEEMAHOOLAH. That’s what I hope to do. We’ll see how successful I am at doing what I hope instead of what I’m compelled to do.

Now it’s Sunday, and my wife, Lois, has been over the entire 133 pages of the manuscript, made suggestions for corrections, cuts and so forth, I’ve responded to her suggestions, which has taken me all week, worked them into a yet another version of the manuscript and I’m done–for now. What happens next? That is the question.

How have I been doing regards taking a little break? Well, maybe it’ll start this week.

Until next week.

Sincerely yours, David Budbill