I’ve been beta reading two novels that were written by friends. Well, more than that really, but two in particular. I’m struck by a few things. First by the absolute quality of the writing. Second, I am amazed by the stories. Finally, I feel rather astounded they value my opinion.
Both of these works are so delicious I go back time and again and re-read passages just to savor the words like letting rich chocolate melt slowly in my mouth. The words and the stories just delight me to no end.
Perhaps what is most astounding is that I have been included in such a very elite circle of writers. We discuss writing and characters like housewives would sit around a kitchen table discussing a favorite cookie recipe. The writing chat is so friendly and familiar and yet we are discussing breathtaking worlds and adventures. One tosses out her magic is intended to accomplish such and such and I realize this premise threads through the series and will at some point bring down entire armies. It sounds so simple and yet I know how striking this effect will be. Having read her first chapters I understand how emotional and gut wrenching this will be to the reader. Just a small encounter leaves me breathless and here we are moving towards a titanic clash of two cultures. Yet, she paints her word picture so vividly I smell the grass and the smoke, I see the moon reflecting off the snow, I hear a mouse rustling in the leaves and she transports me into her world with a siren song.
The other sweeps me up with her characters and magic, drawing me into a world I want to get lost in, if not live in. I watch one of the gods dancing and playing about like a tiny kid goat with no care in the world. The other god hovers close, waiting to sweep down and claim his prize, only to be thwarted by the cavorting spirit of the playful god. Caught between them and powerful men who would also possess her is a young woman mourning her dead husband and world, while she is forced to survive in another time with constant reminders of what should have been.
I read these lines and wonder at the creativity and the imagination behind the skill.
Then I give thanks for these friends and their generosity in including me in this circle of gods and magic. I marvel to be so honored and blessed.
Then I listen to the words of Barbara Rogan as I ponder making Project X more simple and focused; turn it into something it is not. She asks me why I would do that and says make it better, but celebrate what it is: a big, sprawling, fun-packed wild-eyed fantasy. And I set loose the magic and see where it takes me.
I’m not sure why this surprises me, but everyone who was going to help me move this weekend has had something come up. The plan was to move on Saturday. I do have one friend who will loan me her stock trailer, but her back is messed up so she can’t lift anything. She will park it here Friday and I can load it Friday night. I was going to finish loading it Saturday morning and we would move everything around noon so my one friend who could help would be available. She has a birthday party in the afternoon.
Today we all get notified we will be working mandatory overtime Saturday until 3:30. I never get overtime. That’s one reason I switched departments.
Interestinger and interestinger.
My horror is the thought of me loading everything in the stock trailer and having to let it sit for a day or two and either it rains or people break the lock off and steal everything. I really do hate living in town. However, I will have to pull an all nighter Friday to get it loaded with the smaller stuff so Jamie can help me load the larger items Saturday or Sunday.
But as with all things in life, this will happen whether I am ready or not.