Cricket and Grey is Complete

I have finished the second draft of Cricket and Grey.

It took me 1 year and 26 days to get that far.

99,004 words.

Chapter eighteen is pretty bad.

Much of it is really good.

Draft three is where I make the writing even, cleaner (not content-wise!), consistent, and so good that I will find myself an agent within the year.

I am exhausted.  But that’s mostly because while pushing against my self imposed deadlines I have been dealing with my child’s increased need for intervention (we’re back to the psychologist we were seeing before, quite a relief), my mother moving in, working about 30 hours a week, cooking, making room for my mother, cleaning shit out, and getting my kid through strep throat.

I am excited to start the more delicate process of polishing the novel.

I’m going to take a mini-break from it for a few days while I re-establish healthier habits such as getting walks, bicycle rides, and Kung Fu back into my routine.  I haven’t been to Kung Fu for almost two weeks because of the strep and then I was way too overwhelmed last week as we were recovering to do anything but get through each mini-minute as it came.

I drank way too much beer and ate way too much cheese.

I have no regrets.  I don’t believe in them anyway.  I did what I had to do and that’s what I asked of myself.

I’ve never been this close to achieving something that means everything to me.  Writing was an ambition long before designing was.  Although there was no time in my life I haven’t loved fashion, it didn’t occur to me that it could be a vocation until long after knowing I was a writer.  A bad poet.  A good essayist.  A novelist.

I can tell you about 15 reasons why my life sucks right now.

But the truth is, those things that would have made me perceive my life as sucking are so much smaller than what I’m aiming for and what I’m closing in on.

I think you can bear a lot more in life when you’re fulfilling your purpose.

It can’t be denied that I have been able to maintain my more positive and philosophical outlook on what used to be the intense suckitude of my life once I changed medications last June and took a break from most social interactions to readjust myself.  Don’t anyone believe for a second I could do all this, keep from breaking down on the page every day, if it weren’t for psyche meds.

It is ironic, I think, that a major theme in my book is herbal versus western medicine and what people do when they don’t have access to modern medicine.  I know a lot of people idealizing herbal medicine.  It’s ironic because my main character Cricket is brought up to believe that herbal medicine is the only way to proceed to the future because in her lifetime modern medicine has been largely unavailable.  One of her biggest conflicts is discovering that her father worked to get modern medicine to people.

I depend on modern medicine.

This is the first time in my life I’ve completed an entire manuscript.

I wrote 108,000 words for Jane Doe but never really finished it.  There was so little plot organization that I got stuck.  Couldn’t end it.  It’s still incomplete.

I’m not going to lie, I’m very proud of myself.

Now, I need to start work (the paid job), so I’m going to leave you with two brand new words I made up to enrich your language:

enfreakened – to become freaked

embuttered – to be covered in butter

Here is a little transcript from Facebook:

Angelina:

If a person can become enlivened, can they also become enfreakened? If a person can become embittered can they also become embuttered?

Carolina:

LMAO!! Embuttered??

Angelina:

Yeah, why not? Paula Deen is exactly the kind of person you could apply this brand new word to. “Don’t become embuttered or you’ll start talking twang, y’all!” Or how about “To embutter the batter you simply fold it in with air…”

I’m determined to find a moment to tell someone I’m “enfreakened” this weekend. “I’m enfreakened by your embuttered state.”

Carolina:

My arteries are clogging just at the mention of her name. I am “enfreakened” by the notion that she uses it after she showers, like cocoa butter. Perhaps that is a form of use; Embutter: the liberal use of butter slathered on oneself as an emollient.

Angelina:

OH my god- I am enfreakened by the thought of being embuttered! Carolina- I have a phobia of butter getting on my fingers… that congers up a nightmare for me. On the other hand, excellent use of my brand new words! You are AWESOME!

Words are magic.

5 comments

  1. jay says:

    My sincere congratulations to you, Angelina…it has been a unique pleasure to share even a part of this ride with you, especially over the last several weeks.

    From where I sit, you just sound so damn HEALTHY.

    I can only imagine the sense of accomplishment that swirls about you right now.

    Enjoy it, you earned it

  2. angelina says:

    Thank you Belinda!! You are always so kind and supportive!

    Jay-can’t say exactly why but knowing you’re still reading and cheering me on is bolstering when I’m writing things like crappy chapter 18, because if you’ve stuck around this long to read my writing then it’s worth reworking chapter 18 so it doesn’t haunt me when I’m dead.

  3. French Knots says:

    Oh well done, that is a huge achievement. Do you feel differently now it’s out of your head? I imagine authors have fragments of the book swirling around in their mind waiting to be written, sweated over and honed. Or is that my over active imagination ?
    Anyway I think you are amazing.

  4. angelina says:

    Thank you Jo! It isn’t out of my head yet- will it ever be? But I think you’re right that once you have it all down it isn’t as insistent a noise in the noggin. Right now I’m experiencing the most dramatic writing crisis, possibly due to all the pent up excitement about getting the second draft finished? It’s brutal but I will slog my way out of it!

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