I’ve never braved a hurricane, eaten luke-warm peas and Vienna Sausages from the can, nor swallowed down the terror of teenage pregnancy. But in reading Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones, I tasted just a hint of these experiences. Days later, the bittersweet flavor still coats my tongue, as it is with the best of novels.
The incessant revisions I continue to make to my manuscript have pushed my husband to the brink of insanity. I’ve reworked the first page of the novel at least a dozen times. After each face-lift, no matter how minute the changes, I pin him down and force him to read it all over again. He’s come wince at the words “what do you think of this…”
Gone are the days of editing in broad strokes, fixing major plot issues or reworking characters. Now, I agonize over single-word corrections for literally 20-30 minutes—should it be gape or gaze, peer, gloat…(maybe my husband isn’t the only one loosing his mind).
Working full-time as a writer has been wonderful. I’ve not regretted my decision for a moment. But subsisting on only one income has made me more cautious, crafty, and thrifty. In short, I’ve become a bottom feeder.
I’m the woman in the department store making a beeline for the clearance rack. I clip coupons, walk and carpool to save gas, exercise at the park instead of buying a gym membership, and get my haircut at the local trade school