Five Chapters Left

For the last two months, I've been chugging through each chapter of the manuscript, like some lone hermit determinedly hoeing her way down each weedy, unruly row of her garden. 

To make up for these two months of blog silence, I'll quote from my Twitter feed. It served as a 2-minute reward every time I passed a writing milestone, so the 140 character snippets provide a decent summary.

There were parts to root out (the ripple effects of which need to be found and also removed)... to add (which are then braided into the rest of the plot)...

...old bad writing to re-do entirely (from the early days)...

...and word-picture jewels to hide within plot twists, which are as delightful discoveries to the reader as the glint of jewel-toned metallic wrappers containing chocolate eggs are to a searching 6-year old.

I will never simplify or romanticize this process. It's gruelling. It reveals my weaknesses—self-discipline, stamina, procrastination. But it also forces me to become better at these things. The thought of quitting now is, of course, unthinkable. So, on I plod...

...and just when I thought the editing process would never end, I noticed on my tracking spreadsheet that I only have 5 chapters left! 

It is the last day of May, the month in which the answer to your question:"So, when will the manuscript be ready for submission?" was supposed to be answered. You may remember, I did answer,

"It may be May, but maybe not."

There are five chapters left—the last in the first book of this trilogy I am crazy enough to try and publish. Arguably, the last 5 chapters are as important as the first 5, which took me most of January and February. I dearly hope these will not take me as long.