Stephanie Burgis
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Writing insights, screwball comedies, and an abundance of new books
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Whew! This morning I revised 3-1/2 chapters of Kat by Starlight and finally, finally passed the halfway point of the novel. Between the big research hurdle I ran into in Bath and the (wonderful) distraction of the trilogy sale, it's taken a lot longer than I'd expected to get through this second draft. I do feel like I've passed through the hardest part now, though. It wasn't only easier to revise this morning - it was actually fun again, now that I'm not so intimidated anymore. Such a better feeling...

And I just read a very brief blog entry about revision by Mette Harrison that made me sit up straight in recognition and say "YES!!!!" The point she makes is so true, but it's also something I'd had a hard time articulating to myself until now, even though I'd noticed it as a problem, and been troubled by it, in various early drafts of novels and short stories. It's so great to see something so clearly expressed. Anyone who's in the process of revising (or is about to start) should definitely take a look.

In completely non-writing-related news, last night Patrick and I went out to see the movie Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and I loved it! It's an old-fashioned screwball romantic comedy set in the late 1930s, with Amy Adams giving a hilarious performance as a chorus girl caught between three men, and Frances McDormand and CiarĂ¡n Hinds offering the most sizzling on-screen romantic chemistry of any movie couple I've seen in a long time. It was totally charming and fun, and I highly recommend it! I think it's already on DVD in America, although it's still in the movie theaters here in England.

And this morning I was offered tangible proof of why it really is worth joining awards juries despite all the effort involved: all those fabulous books!!! Today I got two big boxes of YA fantasy novels in the mail from a major US publisher and one ARC of another YA fantasy from an author I really admire: 28 novels, all in all. It felt like Christmas! And the lovely thing about being on an awards jury for a genre I love is that I'm looking forward to reading every single one of them. Some of them are books I would have bought for myself; some probably wouldn't have caught my eye on the shelf; but I'm genuinely excited about trying them all, and as someone who's constantly running out of books (and out of money to buy more), I feel totally giddy about all these waiting novels, like chocolates waiting to be unwrapped. Yay for the Norton award!

Yesterday afternoon, Patrick and I set up the big changing unit for our upcoming baby. It's sitting in the end room next to me as I type, already with the changing mat on the top shelf, and various baby supplies sitting in the bottom shelves. It really does feel like things are coming together.

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