Book Reading Club

I haven’t posted in a few days, so I figured I should even though I have little to say. My life has been uneventful. Playing Christmas music in two different holiday concerts, teaching my students, writing, walking, keeping up with my routine. I suppose that in itself is impressive. Keeping up with the routine, that is. If I can stick with something for more than a week, you should be impressed. It doesn’t happen often.

Something pretty exciting came up yesterday, though. Exciting for me. Raine started reading my behemoth. My husband, too, a few days before that. And we decided to start having book reading parties. We all read up to a certain point, then meet and talk it over. I listen to their input, see if they agree on things, and we work out changes. Like a book club, but for my book. I’m so excited to be getting so much help with editing and cleaning up this story. I’ve been needing input for a while. So I don’t keep wondering if this gigantic thing that has been keeping me entertained for a year is going to be boring to everyone else.

The hardest thing for me is going to be not editing while I read. I’m supposed to read or skim to remind myself of what I wrote, since part 1 was a long time ago and I’ve revised it so many times that I can’t always remember what’s still in there and what got axed. Resisting the urge to change something I don’t like as I read is going to be hard. But if I change it, I’m not leaving myself open to Raine and my husband’s thoughts. And I want their thoughts.

There’s something about meeting to discuss that makes this much more real than when they read my old part 1 eight months ago. I was glad that they were reading, and giving general thoughts, but I need detailed input. I need to hear what works and what doesn’t. What’s confusing, what’s boring, what drags, what isn’t necessary, what’s good, what they like, what needs to stay. I need that. Because most of the sentences and events make sense in my own head, but that doesn’t mean they’ll make sense to anyone else. And then, of course, sometimes when I go back to read, the sentences no longer make sense, and then I need to change them anyway.

It’s good for me. The book isn’t done, but it’s getting there. I’m up to 628 pages. I don’t know how many words that is, but I think it’s in the area of 400,000. It’s crazy.

Raine printed it out so she could put notes. She only printed parts 1-3 since part 4 isn’t done yet, and to cut it from its colossal 550-page length, she shrank the font down to 8.5. Then it was only 306 pages. Double-sided that equaled about 175 pieces of paper.

And the stack still looks ginormous. I’m trying to picture how it’s going to look when there are 850 pages, double-sided 425, normal-sized font. Crazy. And expensive. The 306 pages were $30. But I suppose that’s not bad when I stop to remember….

WRITING IS A FREE HOBBY.

Or, mostly free. As long as you don’t print out colossal stories every week.

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