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Two Months Off

On February 4, I was laid off. I just accepted a job that starts on April 11, my birthday. What did I do with my two months off besides filling out endless job applications and going to countless interviews?

I read six novels.

I saw old friends, one of which I hadn't seen in over fifteen years.

I went for a drive or two.

I saw two plays with my mom.

I saw two movies, if you count seeing the same movie twice as two movies.

I set up my website and my blog.

And I wrote a book.

Granted, I wrote the first draft of Freshmankind in 2008. But I rewrote the entire thing from scratch with a new process that I'd never tried before. In the first draft (2008), I laid out all my information, all my points of view, everything. In the second draft (2016), I started by determining a POV character for every scene (unless it's something that I cut, and I cut a lot), then wrote that scene in the first person present tense from that character's point of view. Once the book was written that way, I went back and rewrote every scene in the third person past tense. My hope was that this would create clarity of perspective and strength of character voice. I believe it worked. Then, I went through each scene with a microscope, rereading it aloud repeatedly until I made it through the scene without changing anything. This I've done before, and it really helps me discern things that need to go.

I have four beta readers (three of which are from my writer's group), and other than piecing in their advice and proofreading, the book is finished. I expect to have all of that done and to self-publish the book in June.

So am I sad that I was laid off? I'd have to say no. In fact, it was a blessing.

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