Here, judge these 3 years of my life…

Two days ago I put the final edits to the final draft of a novel I have been working on for the last three years.  The novel is called The Bleeding Room and is without a doubt the most lofty writing goal I have ever set for myself.  In its first incarnation, it was a tiny 240 page novel that was a simple ghost story.  But in editing that version of it, I found that I liked the characters too much to have their story end so abruptly.  So I started re-writing and making additions and before I knew it, my simple little book had become this 460 page novel.   But before the edits, something horrible happened…

The jump drive to which I had been saving the progress was destroyed.  Surviving a panic attack and with the help of my wife’s patience (I had to use hers because my own patience is this tiny, useless creature), I was able to retrieve the story from the wreckage of the disk.  Then, about 6 months later, as I was about to begin the final edits, we got a new computer.  In swapping all of our files over, guess what ended up missing?  Yes.  The only thing that successfully made the data-jump was the original, shorter version.  The Bleeding Room was lost…I spent the last half of 2007 with a sick feeling in my stomach, sure that all of that work had gone down the drain.

But then my wife came to my rescue again.  I have to hand it to her; while she won’t read anything I write (she’s a bit of a wuss, mind you), she has been incredibly supportive.  One night, while I was away on business, she calls to tell me that she found The Bleeding Room; I was so happy that you’d think she’d told me that not only had she found it, but had already found representation for it and all I had to do was sign the contract.  So I have saved The Bleeding Room in its final state in four different locations.

Long story short, I began sending out queries today.  It’s quite a humbling experience to have three years worth of your life boiled down to a three paragraph synopsis, Yahoo mail and a reader/editor whom you have never met.  (Even worse is sending it snail mail…a bulky little package that looks not only puny, but awkward, too; dropping it in the mail slot is somehow not as gratifying as some may think.  It’s actually sort of frightening).

A moral to this story, you ask?  You bet.  ALWAYS HAVE A BACK-UP COPY.  Or an awesome wife.  One or the other.  Hopefully one day soon there will be a post on here with good news regarding The Bleeding Room.  Until then, keep checking back for possible updates on the handful of short stories I have floating around out there.

Fading back into the shadows,
Barry

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