First I developed a bizarre thumb infection that rendered my right hand virtually useless. I was forced to take more antibiotics than I care to think about and soaked my bloated digit six times per day in a dilute bleach solution. (For two months my thumb smelled like an over-chlorinated swimming pool.) The tattered skin shredded and peeled. There were strange, blister-like pustules. (Yuck!) Eventually my beautifully manicured nail simply floated off. (A friend convinced me to save the nail because don’t all writers require something worthy of the Little Shop of Horrors? Well, now I have mine.) It was a single parent ordeal magnified by the loss of a functioning dominant hand.
Finally the infection receded like a bad dream, but the aftermath required months of physical therapy that is still ongoing. Unable to focus on my memoir, I took a detour into poetry and managed to complete a chapbook of autism poems days before my self-imposed deadline. I submitted the chapbook on March 31st, and feeling a powerful momentum, I returned to my memoir.
I couldn’t hold a pen for long before my feeble hand cramped. I had to re-teach myself to type. At first all I could manage was two-finger typing on an iPad, but eventually I worked my way back to a regular keyboard. It was slow going, but I continued to plug away. The chapters started to gel; pieces fell into place. I began to think that maybe, just maybe, I was nearing the end.
It’s true. At long last Draft #3 of my memoir, tentatively titled My Guardian Angel Sings the Blues, is complete!
It’s not the last draft, I’m sorry to say. Draft #3 is a total reworking and revision of my first two drafts, but the book is not done. The life I thought I had when I began ten years ago is not the life I now have. Several chapters need to be written to conclude the book. I’ll tackle those, along with subsequent revisions, in Draft #4.
For now, I am going to take a much needed break and review Jennifer Simpson‘s manuscript. Jennifer and I have been pacing each other on this long, sometimes painful journey to a published book, and I’m thrilled that she completed her draft on time in April. I lagged behind, but hey, I had an excuse!
My plan is to resume work on the memoir in August when my daughter has summer vacation. I have no idea at this point how long it will take to produce Draft #4, but I will keep you posted as things progress.
I’ve worked hard. It’s time to celebrate!
Until next time,