Michelle — that would be me — suffered what might be called a catastrophic crash in the middle of May, and recovered in time to do a frenetic revision, a book review column, and copy-edits of the aforementioned frenetic revision. This did not lead, oddly enough, to a stable, happy frame of mind when I once again confronted my personal nemesis, Grave. I was very burned out.
I’ve mentioned before, but will say it again: when the writing is Not Going Well, I tend to withdraw from the wider world. I’m not terribly social-media active to begin with, so it’s not always immediately obvious, but I reach a point, when struggling with words, where I begin to feel that I am not the writer that people want to interact with — that writer is competent and organized and gets things done. That writer writes books that people want to read. Instead of, you know, nuking a book three times back to page one because it still isn’t right.
Objectively, I know that all people have bad days at work. It’s a fact of life. Writing, however, requires a very particular type of subjectivity, and these two things don’t always mix well.
(Also: In July, I dropped a chair on my foot and broke my toe. I could not wear shoes for two weeks without screaming in pain. Bare feet work fairly well for children under the age of six; they really don’t work well for adults. I forgot about this on the first day I tried to go shopping, and ended up wearing … house slippers. After that, I stayed home until I could wear shoes. So, there was that as well.)
I had committed to going to Sasquan, this year’s worldcon, and I wasn’t certain how that was going to go — but I’m very glad I went. I got to meet readers, I read the first chapter of Cast in Honor, about which I was very anxious because, well, neurotic writer. It reminded me that no, everything is not Disaster. I got to see a bunch of friends, and meet people with whom I’ve corresponded, but have never met face-to-face before, which was great.
(Of course, the day after I got home, while taking the kids out for lunch, a wasp flew down the front of my dress, and, while I was shrieking and attempting to remove it, bit me. Giant welt. Plans for wasp genocide. Ahem. It’s been that kind of Summer.)
I also figured out a crucial missing piece for Grave which is – and I’m sure this will, at this point, surprise no-one – still not finished.
I am behind in War, but I’m also working on it; it is not causing the difficulty that Grave, and before it, Touch, caused.
And yes, I still have the Sigurne excerpt, which is still not here, but I’ll try to get it presentable within the next couple of weeks.
So: I am, after a stumble, working again. I apologize for making you worry, because I know some people do.