Goodbye, Book! Hello, Spring!

So, The Ever Afters 3 is off! I turned it in veeeeerrrrryyyyyy late on Sunday (around 3AM), and now it is in the hands of my lovely editor Julia. She and my wonderful Agent Jo will read it and send me notes with stuff to fix, but for now, I’m living without a pressing deadline for the first time in months.

It’s a strange feeling.

In my last post, I talked a bit about the vortex–that strange place where the book conquers most of your brain. I started calling it this after reading Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. Check out her description:

Every few weeks she would shut herself up in her room, put on her scribbling suit, and ‘fall into a vortex’, as she expressed it, writing away at her novel with all her heart and soul, for till that was finished she could find no peace. Her ‘scribbling suit’ consisted of a black woolen pinafore on which she could wipe her pen at will, and a cap of the same material, adorned with a cheerful red bow, into which she bundled her hair when the decks were cleared for action. This cap was a beacon to the inquiring eyes of her family, who during these periods kept their distance, merely popping in their heads semi-occasionally to ask, with interest, “Does genius burn, Jo?” They did not always venture even to ask this question, but took an observation of the cap, and judged accordingly. If this expressive article of dress was drawn low upon the forehead, it was a sign that hard work was going on, in exciting moments it was pushed rakishly askew, and when despair seized the author it was plucked wholly off, and cast upon the floor. At such times the intruder silently withdrew, and not until the red bow was seen gaily erect upon the gifted brow, did anyone dare address Jo.

She did not think herself a genius by any means, but when the writing fit came on, she gave herself up to it with entire abandon, and led a blissful life, unconscious of want, care, or bad weather, while she sat safe and happy in an imaginary world, full of friends almost as real and dear to her as any in the flesh. Sleep forsook her eyes, meals stood untasted, day and night were all too short to enjoy the happiness which blessed her only at such times, and made these hours worth living, even if they bore no other fruit. The devine afflatus usually lasted a week or two, and then she emerged from her ‘vortex’, hungry, sleepy, cross, or despondent. (Little Women, “Chapter 27: Literary Lessons”)

I had two vortexes back-to-back: a writing one near the end of March and a revising one in the past week or, and this description is pretty darn accurate.

Btw, I’m not cross or despondent, but I am hungry and sleepy.

I feel like it took me two days to just get the adrenaline out of my system, and now I’m looking around the world in wonder and mild dismay. Spring came to Portland while I was traveling with Rory, Chase, and Lena in the world of The Ever Afters (I’ve taken a few pictures, but since WordPress won’t let me upload pics right now, I’ll have to share them with you at another time). I’ve been slowly trying to take care of things that fell by the wayside. My hair grew to an unmanageable length (got a haircut today), and my room was taken over by stacks of books, mounds of dirty clothes, a box of receipts, and various bags (tackled them yesterday–I even vacuumed!).

Now, I feel like the wind is well and truly out of my sails, like I’ve been set adrift, and I mean that in a good way. I’m starting to unwind, which I haven’t done all year really.

I need to relax and recover, I think, because when the book comes back to me, I’ll need to charge right back into the writing cave again. 🙂


  1. Abby April 17, 2013
    • Shelby April 18, 2013
      • Abby April 19, 2013
        • Shelby April 22, 2013
          • Abby April 22, 2013
          • Shelby April 25, 2013
          • Abby hall April 26, 2013
          • Shelby April 30, 2013
        • Abby April 30, 2013
          • Shelby May 2, 2013
          • Abby May 2, 2013
          • Shelby May 7, 2013
        • Abby May 7, 2013
          • Shelby May 7, 2013
  2. Tasha Kazanjian April 18, 2013
    • Shelby April 22, 2013
  3. Salma April 22, 2013
    • Shelby April 25, 2013