Dear Cherry Bomb,
I am so sorry to have abandoned you for so many weeks. You must be feeling like an abused or neglected child about now. Especially with your middle chapters sliced open and hanging there with dozens of revisions in progress. I can barely stand to look at your pages, wounded with red ink and coffee cup stains all over them.
Can you hang in there for a couple of more weeks? I don’t think I can help you until I get stronger. You know how they say to secure your own oxygen mask before helping others? Well, I’m having trouble with my oxygen mask. Some days it works better than others, but I’m just not ready to reach out. Please forgive me.
When sit at a table to try to work, my leg propped up on pillows on a chair, it’s a race to see which will happen first. Will my leg start throbbing or will my butt get numb? Or will my neck begin to hurt? And when I type, the damaged nerves from my cervical spine travel down my right arm to my index finger, which is perpetually numb, tingly, or cold. It’s all a fucking distraction from the work that needs to be done.
All I can do is try to secure that oxygen mask a little better each day. Yesterday I read a good piece by international literary agent and marketing expert, Linda Langton, that got me excited about getting back to work on your sagging middle: “Writing Tip: How to Write the Middle of Your Book.” It was short and point on.
And the same day I received an ARC (advance reader’s copy) of my friend, Julie Cantrell’s new novel, When Mountains Move. I haven’t started reading it, but just holding it in my hands is exciting. Maybe I can read and review it while I’m still getting my strength back. We’ll see.
So, please don’t give up on me, CB. I’ll be back to help you soon. And together, we’re going to make you into something exceptional. I promise.