Today is a big day. It is the final presentation - at least I hope it is final - of the bird tourism project I have been working on for the past one year plus; that's the one that took me to all those lovely National Parks etc. So we present our findings to the Ministry this afternoon.
And secondly, I have just sent off ROGUE RAINLORD, book 1 in the trilogy The Time of Random Rain, to my Australian editor and my UK agent. It came in at 183,000 words, which is the longest book I have ever written.
This book was started back in 2003, then abandoned because I had a contract to write the other two trilogies. It was called Droughtmaster back then. I have no contract and no promises on this one - it sells only if The Mirage Makers trilogy sells well. Yep, that's the way these things tend to work: what counts most are past sales. So I may just have devoted the past year of my life to a massive project that will never see the light of day. That is often what writing is all about. And I'd do it all again...
So all my fingers are crossed, even as I bite my nails...(contortion is involved.) I feel like a first time author.
There were moments of despair in the writing process. Times when I thought I would never conquer the unruly soul of this tale. Times when the plot twisted out of my control and went careening off on its own. Fortunately, there were also beta readers who frowned and waggled their fingers at me, and pointed out where the story was delinquent, or the characters whining.
Now, when I read it through, it is with surprise. It feels so right. How could I have ever thought there was another way of writing this story, another order for the events, another action this character could have taken, or another path that character could have followed?
Yes, it will still be polished further, and refined and fine-tuned. But basically it is there. I have been moved by the story, devastated by a death of one character, touched by the love and courage of others. Half the chapters have been moved and re-ordered since their initial foray into the world.
And now it is time to see what the professionals think.
What is it about?
It's about living in a disintegrating world, and the four people of courage who resist the horrors that threaten them - thirst, war and tyranny. One is sought by people who want to either use him or kill him, one has her life hijacked by magic, two others find what they have been looking for, only to have war snatch it away.
It's about a ruler who tries to do the decent thing, only to find himself reviled as weak.
It's about three men who pursue power - a tribal leader who wants a return to the past, a thwarted lord who wants to use another's talents to gain position, and an old man who lost power and wants it back, no matter who suffers - and one woman who waits on the sidelines to scavenge what falls...
It's about the power of water, and what happens when we don't have enough.
And I can now be human again, and do interesting stuff like housework, get a haircut, talk to my husband, get to bed early, answer my emails, get the computer fixed ... all the things that have been put on hold lately.