Friday, July 26, 2013

A Quick Message

You think that last post was a message from a messy desk (that of Paul Levine)?  Well, this is a message from the even messier desk of Jacqueline Winspear.  By the time I have finished the first draft of a new novel, my whole house looks like a bomb has hit it - and I mean, really, there are books everywhere, note pads, two laptops, bits of paper left here and there.  The dog takes refuge under my desk, because it's the only place she can find on the floor!

So today there will be no real post, because as of about five minutes ago I pressed "Send" on an email to my editor which contained an attachment - the just-finished first draft of my new novel, which if she likes it will be published next summer.  I am just exhausted. The tension around writing this novel has given me heartburn and I am quite emotional all the time.  This is what writing does to you - just wrecks the system!  And by the way, when I say "first draft" believe me, there has been no fiddling through several drafts here - I wish I had the time!  No, this is the clay on the wheel.  Most writers do many more drafts before sending in a ms, but my editor doesn't mind receiving the first draft.  About four books ago, after reading through the ms, she asked me to write in a certain scene that was just alluded to in the narrative.  "Oh, I've got that already," I said.  "But I cut it out."  She asked what else I had cut, and decided that for the most part I'd cut out a fair bit of stuff she liked.  So, I am on strict instructions not to go into a big revision because she doesn't trust my scissoring! 

Now I am going to make myself a nice cup of tea and then go back to the Book Passage Mystery Writers' Conference in Corte Madera, CA - luckily, it's not far from where I live.  I'm Co-chair, which is a great honor, and I get to hang out with some terrific new writers, and some pretty good established ones too!  Then I'll come home and nap.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Yay! "Send" is the happiest--and scariest--word in a writer's lexicon. Hope you take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the weekend.

  2. from Jacqueline

    Thanks, Patty. Well, not such a relaxing weekend due to the BP conference, but I sure will feel something has lifted from my shoulders - only to land again in about two weeks, when I come home (from visiting my mother in the UK) to my editors comments! But that's the way of this world and we know that's when the juicy work starts - putting meat on the bones of the story, and fashioning it into something someone might want to read!

  3. Good work Jackie. I am sure it will be another success...wait in anticipation! Enjoy the weekend and your trip to to Mum.
    How come we always say a "nice" cup of tea! Not a ? we all do it - never a "nice cup of coffee". RBB