I have a summer cold. It came on with that muffled cotton wool feeling and now — after several days, and probably with a sharp increase in my oxygen intake — everything seems heightened; the stillness of the day, the honeyed light, the cool fall of evening.
Being ill, I’ve been more reflective than reactive. I’ve been remembering working with the line editor on the first novel, and something he dropped casually in conversation that changed how I wrote…everything. He instructed me at the end of each day to read the edited pages we had labored over out loud, slowly and clearly, as if to an audience. If anything sounded wrong, it was wrong, and had to be reworked. If it had a captivating rhythm when spoken, we were well on our way to a compelling story.
Imagine my delight when my friend in London, Pippa Rathborne (You remember Pippa!) started reading the novel now in progress — and out of the blue — sent me an audio of the first paragraphs of “You Don’t Own Me.”
I think we just may have found the cure for the common cold. Pure happiness over a perfect reading. Take a listen…