I put the finishing touches on the Bitch today, and tomorrow I'll send it off to my editor at Broadway Books. Yesterday I read the entire thing out loud to hear how it sounds. The book sounds pretty good, but now I sound like a frog. And I'm singing in my cousin's wedding Saturday.
Ah, well. I'll just pretend I'm Bob Dylan singing Panis Angelicus.
The first thing I did after confirming for the twelfth time that yes, the chapters are in order and no, I didn't lapse into gibberish in the epilogue, was to read S.P. Miskowski's story, Devil's Club. I've been waiting to read it until I could give it my full attention and it was the perfect way to celebrate the end of many months of writing and revising.
It's the story of a boy, Winston, who's been lured out of the house in the middle of the night by a girl who says their missing classmate is being held captive by a witch who lives in the woods.
The writing is lovely:
Once they were past the fence, Winston stumbled along a dirt route so narrow it was nothing but a footpath scuffed up between the trees. He took hold of leaves and branches along the way and pulled himself forward, up inclines and around swollen roots protruding from the earth like the knuckles of giant fingers. As he approached a big-leaf maple, he caught hold of a licorice fern sticking out from its mossy trunk. He pulled himself forward with all his might. As he did, his right hand stripped the fern bare, leaving a slender, jagged cut across his palm. It stung so bad his eyes watered, but he didn’t complain.
If you like scary stories, I highly recommend it. This one is creepy and wonderful. (And if you like S.P.'s style, check out her collection of stories, Red Poppies.)
Now, I rest.