draft two

As many of you already know, for the last few (seven!) years I’ve been writing a book. It’s been an agonizing process, and so tedious — every inch of the way, like pulling teeth. But now the backbone of the story is finally on paper. This fall I gave the manuscript to a few trusted readers and then scheduled an extended leave of absence from Magpie for the first several months of this year. I knew that after I received the reader responses, I’d need a some time to focus on the book and plan next steps. 

I’ve spent the last month reading through the manuscript, taking notes, and thinking. I feared the feedback would be discouraging but instead it’s been: 1) sobering, 2) grounding, and 3) liberating. Gradually, I’m releasing my death grip on the core story — [Must. Get. Story. Out.] — and beginning to consider other themes and approaches. Switching the book over to a new platform, and fiddling with layout and structure, helped me further distance myself from the story and gain perspective.

It’s messy, and I have a lot of work to do (think: years), but for right now at least, and maybe for the first time ever in this whole laborious saga, I’m actually having — dare I say it? — fun.

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (2.15.21), collard greens, the quotidian (2.15.16), the quotidian (2.16.15), buses, boats, and trucks, oh my, ginger lemon tea, just stuff.


  • Lissa

    Can I ask: what is this book about? Homeschooling? I love, love the taped pages on the wall. I was able to snag a small study room in the college library and wrote all my philosophy papers by hanging, cutting/pasting/ taping. Still maintain it’s better towards the end than a computer. But then I’m in my mid 60s. glad it’s going well.

      • Candi R

        I can’t wait to read this as we’re planning to homeschool our boys (curently 1.5 & 3.5 years old). I have a degree in early childhood education then worked in the public school system and from my experience I will not subject my children to government funded education that focuses on passing exams instead of learning how to live productive lives.

  • Becky R.

    I admire your ability to stick with this long process, Jennifer, and I am glad it is finally beginning to feel like fun! Best of luck and continue to enjoy the journey. Goodness knows, it has been a journey.

  • kathiekurtz

    I know that feeling well, the almost overwhelmed/energized awe that there may actually be meaning in this seemingly cumbersome process, that I am/you are actually heading in a slightly more definable direction and that possibilities abound. Best wishes as you ponder and proceed.

  • suburbancorrespondent

    Yes, once you get most of the words out on paper, the fun part of shaping it begins! And with the wood floors, that first picture looks like that writing scene in the attic in Little Women! You just have to practice looking pensive and dressing fancifully like Saiorse Ronan

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