Hospital High – Have I Sent It??


I wrote, a few weeks ago, about how hard it was to let manuscripts go. Since then, everyone keeps asking me if I’ve sent off the manuscript for Hospital High. Even my nine year old asks every day when she comes home from school.

No. I’m still working on it. I know I’ve been writing it for three years. I know my agent has mentioned it to editors and would like to send it out while they remember. I know I need a sale for my family and a bit of published research for my university.

But no. It’s not ready yet. There’s no point rushing out work that can still be made better. I need at least one more week. And maybe two.

My grandfather would sit in the living room, watching television, and then suddenly get up, go to the kitchen, and take a cake out of the oven. He said he could ‘smell it was done.’ He never burned a thing. Not like my lovely grandmother, who was teased about things being ‘Crowley brown’ (i.e. black) all her life. Now, I have that knack, too. I can smell when sauces have cooked, when bread is ready.

And I’ll know, too, when Hospital High is finished. It’s still cooking, right now…but it’s starting to smell nearly ready.

Today is Thanksgiving, back in America. I’m rather thankful for that instinct and that stubbornness that makes artists unsatisfied with anything but the best they can possibly achieve. Even though it does drive everyone else insane…



Letting Go

When I was fourteen, I died in a car accident. That was traumatic. Three years ago, I started to write about it. That was traumatic, too. But letting go of the ms for Hospital High seems to be even more traumatic.

I’ve rewritten it for my amazing agent Sophie and have tweaked the rewrite the way she asked. There’s more sex. More clear story line. And for the last few weeks, I’ve been telling myself that on Thursday, I’ll have a final read through and send it off. But every Thursday, I do something else to it, something that needs finishing up through the week.

Sometimes, it’s hard to let go; both of the past and also of all the various potentials for a manuscript. Once it’s out to publishers, all the books it might have been die and it is now and forever only the book it was today. But of course, until I do commit to this version, it will never live, never become a book. It will only be a file on my computer…with potential.

So that’s why I’ll send it  off today. Or no, maybe next Thursday, so I can finish adding in that little plot strand. But definitely before the Thursday after that…