The biggest victory from this trip was making leaps of progress on two stalled projects. I keep wanting to use the “nylon sock” metaphor because I just finished listening to the audiobook of Stephen King’s 11/22/63 (a 44-hour marathon of an audiobook, perfect for road-tripping and a great book to boot), but I don’t think anyone who hasn’t read/listened to it will get the joke–so instead, I’ll just call it a breakthrough, and hope we’re all on the same page.
Update 1: The middle-grade book is entering a solid second draft stage, and getting the tires kicked by a trusted colleague in the writing trenches. It’s kind of a painful kicking, but healthy. I think of it as detoxing.
Update 2: Seekrit Project (which I think we’ve determined falls more squarely in the NA category than the YA) is at 20,000 words, but I’ve halted in order to get busy on my new author website, crank up my freelance copywriting workload, and start querying the project mentioned in Update 1. But if I were to summarize Seekrit Project in one sentence, it would be this:
Fantasy and magic, sex and romance, scandal and political intrigue, all wrapped up in an ensemble cast.
I am having way, way, WAY too much fun with it. Like, if I know you in real life, I probably won’t ever let you read it.
Here is a list of other things I did while staying at the ranch and getting the peace and quiet to work on bookish things:
– We put on beekeeper suits and went and played with bees. We increased the size of their hive boxes and poured in some sugar water. Did I mention that bees are adorable? They wear these really cute little pollen-chaps when they return home, it’s the cutest darn thing. BEES IN CHAPS, my next picture book.
– Was told that I was the best “city person goat milker” that’s come to the ranch. I salute my teachers.
– We made the above chevre out of fresh goat milk. It was pretty easy, I’ll grant you that. It only took a few days and a couple good tools to make a killer delicious little cake of goat cheese, and I rolled it in herbs before serving.
– Cooked my first ever Indian curry from scratch, with fresh goat meat that was raised on the very same ranch. It was delicious.
All appreciation should probably go to my host, who is as kind a soul as he is a great rancher and human. Hat off to you, Che.