Posted by: jeannineatkins | February 5, 2008

Work and Grace in February

I know some of you are out celebrating Mardi Gras or making plans for Valentines Day or Presidents Day weekend; we had Groundhog’s Day and the Superbowl. But here in my kitchen I’ve declared Feb. as Finish the #@!%# Book Month. So much of my novel is there, and it’s time to sweep through, fixing, deleting, adding, polishing and basically tying myself to the chair. We’ve all heard about staying seated and there’s so much to be said for dedication and persistence and putting up with that same computer screen hour after hour. All true.

But even during this revision time, I want to stay open to whatever new insights revision might bring, as Cynthia Lord’s beautiful Feb. 4 post reminded me. cynthialord There is drudgery, and there are unexpected gifts. Preparing to teach Charlotte’s Web, I just came across a line from E. B. White in response to a scholarly analysis. “It is an extraordinary document… and it makes me realize how lucky I was (when I was writing the book) that I didn’t know what in hell was going on.”

Not to say that we in class don’t get to discuss the symbolism of barns and manure. But we who are creating, I hope for all of us to reach that not-knowing state. Sit sit sit. Swing swing swing those fingers at the keyboard, again and again and again. Dig dig dig. But keep an eye out, always, for gold or diamonds.

And huge congratulations to Debbi Michio Florence on the imminent release of her first book, CHINA! You can read more about this on her blog d_michiko_fwhere you can get a chance to win a copy! (In March, I say, we get to read, read, read!)



  1. Cheering you on as you finish your book! 🙂
    Thanks for the mention! xoxo

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