Finished the Book, Now Where’s the Bulldozer?

I finished a book this week. The second Cutter’s Code installment. What does this mean? First and foremost for me, it means post book crash. That’s why I’m writing this now, before it hits. Today, a rare warm, sunny October day in the Pacific Northwest, I shall be taking myself outside as soon as this post is finished, to enjoy it before the rain begins. I’m not complaining, mind you, I love it here, and I adore the rain, but days like this are special.

But I digress. There’s another major project that has to come between the end of one book and the start of the next. And that is….my office. I am not the tidiest of writers. In my old, much smaller office, my beloved DH used to try to navigate through the piles on the floor with a pained expression, to which I responded, “There aren’t too many piles, your feet are just too big!” I need, either in actuality or in my mind, everything close at hand. Notes, reference books, scene lists, 753 post-it notes, and in this case, since Cutter is a series, a much-marked copy of the first book, and the bible for the series. The bible, if you don’t know, is a notebook full of all the details on all the stories and characters for all the books…this is something I haven’t done on my two previous series, Redstone, Inc. and Trinity West. (boy that’s going back a ways!) I can already see how much easier my life would have been if I had.

But again I digress. Why? Because I’m putting off that task of bringing in the figurative bulldozer and cleaning up this mess! So in the interest of procrastination, and because I often get asked about how and where I work, I thought I’d give you a tour of the disaster area.

First, an overview:

You thought I was kidding about the bulldozer? And this is just the desk.

Many of the things here are common to many offices, computer, printers, phone, lamp. But then there’s my office knitting. Yes, I said office knitting. Something relatively mindless that I can work on while reading, waiting for downloads, or that most hated of chores, talking on the phone. In this case, it’s a dish towel in a stitch pattern I wanted to try, shown here lying atop a pile of contracts I need to sort through:

What do you mean, not everybody has knitting handy in their office?? And no, I haven’t accidentally knitted that video cable into it. Yet.

Directly in front of me are the most crucial things. First book in the series for constant reference, hence the post-its. Index cards that are the bones of the original synopsis. Scene list. Knitting pattern in case I forget where I am after having lived in another world for a while. All the things I mentioned before, plus one very important reminder.

Good thing this book is seven months old, or I could be accused of blatant product placement!

The reminder is this:

What can I say, it appealed to my warped sense of humor.

I bought this stone originally as a gift for a friend who used the phrase often. But before I could present it circumstances changed and it was no longer applicable. But one day I realized this was something I, as a writer needed to be reminded of: the value of editing, changing, cutting and rewriting. Indeed, nothing is etched in stone except those words.

And lastly, a gift from one of the best editors in the business, full of truth and wry humor:

Why are those hallways so darned long??

Now, before I get stuck in the very long hallway of cleaning up this mess, since I don’t have that bulldozer, I’m going to go sit in the sun for a while. Maybe that’s my door opening, for now. Rain will be here soon enough.

6 thoughts on “Finished the Book, Now Where’s the Bulldozer?

  1. Robin Allen says:

    Congratulations on finishing! Can’t wait. LOVE the stone–my sense of humor as well. Currently in a long, dark hallway myself…I can relate. Appreciate the reminder on the ‘bible’–I’ve got a spreadsheet going, but a notebook may be the better solution. THANKS!

  2. Thanks, Robin. The enthusiasm was so great for the first one, I’m sorry it turned out to be so long in between, with special projects and all. Glad you like the stone! With the notebook, I go through each book and pull out all references to characters who may get their own story later (hmm, he suddenly got very interesting, better make a note…) then print them and stick them in the book. Saves a lot of hunting down later.

    Sorry about the long, dark hallway. I know they’re part of life, but that doesn’t make them any fun.

  3. Rosemary says:

    I enjoyed the first Cutter’s Code book. Do you have a Turv, by any chance? I’ve always like the breed, and they are on my “some day….” list.

    • Hi, Rosemary, thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed Cutter’s first adventure; I hope there are many more to follow. I’m sadly dogless at the moment, having lost my beloved 15 year old girl early this year. 😦 But I love Tervs, or as the child of one owner calls them, “Tree-ferns.” Pretty intense dogs, and absolutely beautiful. I like all the Belgians, am in particular awe of Mals, but would love to have a Terv or a Groenendael. In the mean time, Cutter and I chat on Twitter and he takes up lots of room in my head.(I’m Justine_D_Davis and he’s CuttersCode if you’re in the Twitterverse and would like to join the fun!) The next Cutter, OPERATION REUNION, should be out in the spring.

  4. Rosemary says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you lost your friend.

    I don’t think I could handle a Maligator. The ones I’ve met have all been working-line dogs, and to say that they are intense is an understatement.

    • She was my best friend. One of those once in a lifetime dogs.

      Nope, nor could I. I will continue to admire them from afar. I’ve met a few, military and police dogs, and they are amazing. They need a serious job to do, and if you don’t give them one they will find one, and you might not like what they find!

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