I’m at an inter­est­ing point, writ­ing-wise: four dif­fer­ent stages in four dif­fer­ent nov­els. Sea of Secrets is com­plete and pub­lished, which I still find ter­rif­i­cal­ly excit­ing. (Ranked #19 on Ama­zon’s goth­ic romance Kin­dles! I’m still doing the Snoopy dance over that.) The first book of my Ash Grove young adult para­nor­mal romance tril­o­gy (and I real­ly need a nice effi­cient acronym for that) is com­plete and has been through revi­sion, but I want to revise it fur­ther. I’ve just fin­ished draft­ing book two, Dark Music, and am still at the point where the glow of accom­plish­ment has not been over­tak­en by the fever to revise. Part of the book-one rewrite will be fold­ing in some changes made nec­es­sary by things I did in book two.

And I’m prepar­ing to out­line book three, which will be a challenge—the first time I’ve used the con­cept of alter­nate real­i­ties in my fic­tion. I’m excit­ed about the pos­si­bil­i­ties but a lit­tle appre­hen­sive, because book two, in some ways, kicked my butt. Here I for­mal­ly go on record with this vow: nev­er again will I be fool­ish enough to write a mul­ti­ple-POV nov­el out of sequence. Weav­ing those threads togeth­er was a mess, even when I (belat­ed­ly) got effi­cient and start­ed using col­or-cod­ed index cards for the dif­fer­ent plot ele­ments (see pho­to). Keep­ing track of mul­ti­ple real­i­ties will, I’m sure, require me to be even more orga­nized … which is not my strong suit.

Right now I’m torn between the impuls­es of want­i­ng to send books one and two out into the world to be read and enjoyed, and wor­ry­ing that the writ­ing of book three will mean going back and mak­ing fur­ther changes to the first two books. When do I stop and call them done? I’m a pro­fes­sion­al per­fec­tion­ist (i.e., edi­tor), so there will always, always be the temp­ta­tion to go back and tweak. At some point, though, I’ll have to be a good book par­ent and let go.

But not today.