If we were having coffee today I’d say welcome back. Well, I’m the tardy one I guess. Sorry about that. Things always get a bit hectic during the holidays and I had other things going on as well. I’m working deep revisions on my next novel and that is taking up most of my writing time.
I hope your holidays were good. For the second year in a row, we hosted our family at a rental on the NC coast. I know, I know, holidays are for home and hearth, but after our previous year’s experiment, we found that Christmas at the beach is really quite laid back and enjoyable. Let me start off with this: I don’t really like the beach during the “normal” beach-going season. Crowds, hype, salt, and sand are just not my bag. I like my downtime to be a period of relaxation. During the off-season, lower rates are in effect so one can upscale a bit. And it is so quiet!
It is not totally deserted, a lot of people live down there year round and there are those who use their own vacation homes for much the same thing. But let me put it this way: there were only perhaps three of twenty beach houses nearby that showed any signs of life. The beaches had scant handfuls of people strolling every now and then. The soothing sounds of the ocean and seagulls were unspoiled by loud music and shouting. The traffic was light. The weather was absolutely fantastic.
My Christmas morning had something else pretty special. I keep track of International Space Station viewings and I found out it would be passing over just after six A.M. that morning. It was crisply cold and the sky was incredibly clear. I bundled up and went outside and here it came, right on time. It was one of the best viewings I have experienced, horizon to horizon, a bright Star gliding across the heavens sending its silent glorious message: Merry Christmas.
It was one of the most relaxing holiday celebrations I’ve ever had. Every morning I got up before everyone else and thoroughly enjoyed my solitary cup of coffee taking in the morning view.
Then back to writing. The latest novel is shaping up. I finished the rough draft some time ago, then I dropped the ball a bit. Both my unplanned retirement and, of course, my wife’s cancer battle, were huge diversions. So I worked on my first deep revision in November during National Novel Writing Month. Yeah, I cheated. But it was a good opportunity for me to get back in the swing of things, using the structure of NaNoWriMo to apply myself. I completed the revision and turned it back around in December and did a second deep revision. Those two revisions resulted in about fourteen thousand words of fresh material. After Christmas, I followed up with a quick polishing pass. I have beta readers looking at it now. Still waiting on a couple but they’ve been identifying a few tweaks here and there. I’m excited about this story and hope one more good revision pass will add the finishing touches.
So here I am on a Friday with a little time to write something besides fiction. I’ll keep you posted. Okay, let’s have a scone and a refill and we can dream of wonderful winter beach sunrises.
Thomas Fenske is a writer living in North Carolina. It’s a good time to catch up on his first two novels. You’ll be glad you did when the third one comes out.