Now I should state that I am really not a fan of Formula 1. To me the prospect of watching paint dry is more compelling.
That said, I am a big fan of analogy and metaphor and the concept of taking a pit stop and changing tyres for a new road ahead seemed to be very fitting to this point in my path.
My pit stop has taken more than a few seconds though. This one has stretched from May right through to the beginning of August as two events unfolded. First, my editor has been going through my novel Soulwaves and the manuscript has now been batted back across the Pond and is in my hands. Second, we at last sold our house in Surrey and can now move full time into our new eco-home.
The observant will note that the timing of these two events cannot be coincidental … especially as it means I can retire, put my slippers on, watch day time TV and play golf when I want to (the eco-house happens to be on a golf course) …
… I could alternatively move up several gears !
Space and Time
An excellently detailed edit has given the novel a new depth and expansiveness. The space I have had away from it has given a new objectiveness. Authors often fear the suggestions of editors, perhaps because it reminds them of homework at school being marked. I have been relishing receiving the perspective of another human being and plan to take it all on board PLUS being I have a new found confidence to push the boat out still further.
So this new re-tyre-ment means that I can really devote myself full time to making the novel the best it can be. I have been fortunate to stumble across, by accident, someone who has made a cover I am really proud of. Now it’s time to make sure the inside of the book comes up to the same quality.
… as both space and time are themes I play with in the book, this only seems fitting.
What kind of tyres do I need?
Formula 1 teams bear a few factors in mind when selecting their tyres in a pit stop. They think about the conditions ahead, is the track wet or dry? They consider how many laps there are to go, and if they can possibly avoid yet another pit stop. They might not even fill the car entirely up with fuel to make it lighter.
For me, I know the road ahead and am fortunate that I am not in a race. The book has taken many years to form and if it comes out by the end of this year, I will have achieved more than I ever thought possible.
So the next few laps, probably until the end of August, will involve me editing the edits. For this I will need ‘wet’ tyres that help me stick to the track and not come off the rails. Going over five chapters a day is my aim.
Another pit stop will be then required, as I slip into a new gear. September will be the month of audiobook production – also the best proof read an author can do. If I cannot say a sentence out loud, the reader will not be able to read it ‘in loud’. This will need ‘dry’ tyres as it involves a lot of handle turning and consistency and the road is pretty straight and long, with no corners, just a beginning, some re-fuelling stops and an end.
October will be a time to pull in and hand the files over to the production team for publication. A new vehicle will be assembled with a whole range of new capabilities. This vehicle will have no wheels – it will be self-powered and able to levitate – much like the spacecrafts mentioned in the book.
Like the chariot in the Tarot, I will not be the driver, but the passenger, and will allow it to take me to new pastures in bounty-full lands. My hands will be off the wheel.