revising upstream

boat doodle "Aren't you done with that book yet?"

The question pops up, every time I mention the word, "revision." Yes, it's done. At least, this draft is finished. The files racked up on my computer-- ten, eleven, twelve---a spaceship countdown in reverse.

I hit "save" so often, I might collect those files like coins in a jar. Scenes erased. Characters pushed off stage. It's all part of looking at the manuscript with a new perspective.

My editor's letter was filled with good things. I read it, then put it away for a while. Let the story sink into subconscious. For weeks, I daydreamed and doodled while thinking about the points he mentioned, a conversation on paper:

"When you write this...I see this...

The letter became my lantern. But I'm still paddling on my own.

This morning, I opened the file. The characters, my old friends. They're about to leave me. Take a journey of their own. Maybe that's the hardest part...letting go.

They were right there, waiting for me to hit SEND.

It's their turn to paddle now.