I'm slowly, but painfully, working my way through the line edit for BROKEN SKIN -- and have been for the last week and a half. I don't know why, but this book is making me think taking a potato peeler to my scrotum might be more fun by comparison. Yes, knell the funeral bell, for I have entered Line Edit Limbo.
This happens with pretty much every book, but for some reason it's more outchy with this one that it was with COLD GRANITE and DYING LIGHT. I know there are those out there who cast scorn upon writers who drop everything to have a whinge about writing: "Wah, wah, look at me -- I just have to make shite up for a living, life's so hard..." and so on and so forth with the sarcasm and the ridicule. You know what? Fuckem. Fuckem inna eye wiv a stick. How come you're not allowed to have a bad day, just because you sit on your bum and tell lies about made-up people all day? Plumbers are allowed to moan if they get a particularly crappy drain to deal with, accountants if they've got to do someone's books who thinks receipts are a good substitute for toilet paper, politicians if they've been caught sticking their private member's bills in the intimate parts of someone else's wife. But writers? Fuck no -- we're livin' the dream. Every day is like a ray of frigging sunshine, with fluffy bunnies and little tweeting birdies.
But you know what? I hate line edit time. It's not that there's any problem from HarperCollins -- far from it, they like the book, they've spotted some wayward commas and naughty typos, that’s all the changes they need -- it's me. I am the pain in my own backside (which makes one sound like an over-endowed, pervert contortionist who hasn't got anyone to play with) -- because this is my last and final chance to make everything perfect. After this it costs my publishers money. So I'm agonizing over each and ever word. Could it be better? Could it be different? Does it make 100% sense? Would this word do more than that one? On and on and bloody on.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArgh! Leave the bloody book alone! Everyone likes it! Even She Who Must Be Consulted By The Light Of The Waxing Moon, After The Ritual Sacrifice Of A Roasted Chicken And Chocolate Lest She Become Enraged And Destroy The Earth* likes it. Thinks it's better than the first two. So how come I'm hunched over the bloody manuscript with a blue pen scribbling on each and every bloody page?
Well, gentle snowflakes, it's because I'm an idiot.
In other news (not that the fact I'm an idiot is news, let's face it -- if you've been here before you'll have seen plenty of evidence of that already) the soup du jour was a nice homemade Chorizo, courgette and sweet corn chowder. Mmm, all creamy and vegetableness. I love soup. Not literally, that's a sure-fire way to scald your nether regions, but metaphorically. There's something Zen-like about selecting the vegetables from the garden, the chopping, the sautéing, the stock, milk and cream. The alchemy of the simmer... Very relaxing. Just the thing to get one's mind off of changing perfectly good sentences for the sake of it.
But all good things must come to an end, so I'm back to my self-imposed Sisyphian task. Did I mention that I was an idiot?
*Well, she does come from Fife you know.