April May Be Over…

April may be over, but I have barely noticed.

I am in the process of making final tweaks to the Mouse Cage manuscript. The book’s complete, but I have another two weeks before the last proofing pass, and I intend to use them.

Can I tweak the opening for more emotional resonance? What happens if I try rewriting the scene where <spoiler’s> brother <spoiler> <spoilers> about <spoiler> and makes <spoiler> <spoiler>? Could I ramp that thing up to eleven?

I have no idea, but I’m going to give it a try!

There’s an interesting balance point between perfectionism and trying to accept the fruits of your labours. If I wanted to go whole hog, what I’d do is trash the entire manuscript, outline it over again, rewrite from scratch, and while that could putatively turn into a better book? … I’d kind of like to write the next one. I’m not sure what the next one is, yet – I have some concepts turning around in my head I want to experiment with, and I want to figure out a rough ‘publishing process’ schedule so I don’t wind up in a rush again – I pre-booked some publishing services, like, months ago for around now, because apparently I just want to put another book into the world. In some ways that’s been good, but I think if I’d figured out a way to layer things – spend some time writing something else while waiting for various wheels to turn, like edits and feedback – I’d maybe have been able to do this whole thing a bit slower but a little bit better?

Although, being fair on myself, I am still kind of learning how to do the self-publishing part of all this, so, being a bit rushed isn’t the worst thing in the world. And I am very eager to get this book out into the world.

The world. Well. The world is still kind of in a mess, huh?

In some ways it’s actually impressive and hopeful – being really brief, the fact that Ukraine continues to stand as an independent nation is a very good thing right now, even if everything else in the world is really, really tricky.

Which is why, sometimes, we need not to broaden our horizons, but shrink them. Focus on things close to home, withdraw a little, and rest body and mind while gathering up the energy to live in the big scary world.

If you need some time like that, don’t be ashamed – lean into it, whether it’s for an evening or a whole weekend. And if you have the pep and fortitude to wade into everything? That is awesome, but take care of yourself too – no burning out if you can help it, please.

As ever, thank you so much for your support. I look forward to coming back to you all with more news on Mouse Cage soon.

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By foozzzball

Malcolm Cross, otherwise known as 'foozzzball', lives in London and enjoys the personal space and privacy that the city is known for. When not misdirecting tourists to nonexistant landmarks and lurking at bus stops, Malcolm enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy with a furry twist.