I just reached The End (again!) in my current edit of Kindred. How fun that the story still brings me to tears after so many read-throughs. The word count still stands at 170,700, but I have the edit notes from the first half of the manuscript I gave to one of my very dedicated beta readers for the second time around (thank you Lauri, a million gazillion times!) returned to me with more cuts to work in. Hopefully once I’ve worked in some of those I’ll drop that count to my goal of 168K.

Why 168,000? It seems achievable, and just sounds so much lower than 170K.

What else is up with Kindred? Let’s see… there’s an agency still considering the full manuscript, and I’m hoping to hear from them before too long. I entered the first chapter into a contest where the winners will wind up on the desk of an agent I had planned to query, with recommendations that will move it past the slush pile. That would be so cool if it happens.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue the querying process, once I get that final, lowest possible word count, and then set Kindred aside as far as active work goes, and get busy with a new novel.

I’m calling it The Quiet in the Land (not bad for a working title).

Thinking about changing the title of this blog, too, since I’m expanding beyond one novel here. I still like the idea of a Journey… can’t call it Novel Journey though. That’s well and truly taken. But something like that perhaps.

I recently watched a Josh Groban DVD, where he was talking about writing music, and at the start of an album he doesn’t know where the inspiration will come from, how it will all come together, song by song. There’s always a voice of doubt saying, “I may never record another album.” This time it might not come together. But he knows he simply has to start out with the bits of melody and lyrics that he has, surround himself with people who will inspire him creatively, and trust in the journey.

My writer’s heart leapt at that phrase, for that’s so how writing a novel is. Starting a new novel is a leap of faith, because I’m never given everything at the start. Sometimes I’m given so little it’s pretty scary to pack my bags and start the journey down a road so unfamiliar.

But I’m ready to leap, and see the unexpected sights along the way. Willa, Neil and Joseph (or is he Adam?) await the telling of their story now.

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