So, I have a very aural muse. She throws ideas at me with each new song. Worse, she waits until I am nearly done with a project and listening to a song for the millionth time to rear her damned head.
Which she did.
Which is why forward momentum on Widowed Witch of the West is on hold as a new project. Undone as it is, now it is squarely a go back and fix project. An editing project.
Mostly, it is me, screaming at that damned muse because she could not have told me this before now??? The muse in question only smiles, by the way, an unrepentant musical sinner. I still love her and want to lay words at her feet in adoration. Just...maybe not today.
A very wise friend has always said not to edit until a project is done, but in this case I can't take that advice. Because the ending wasn't coming to me anyway. I was stuck with about 10k words to go. I knew what had to happen to get to the ending. Final boss battle, get ready, FIGHT! The boss battle in question refused to materialize. I wrote a little, tinkered with other scenes, anything to keep from diving in to finish the story.
Now I know why. Aoife's motivations through the whole book are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. What I thought she was doing was not what she needed to do. The ending that wouldn't come stayed away because I was telling the wrong tale.
It could be worse. I could have anything other than a self-imposed deadline. Said deadline being the end of summer. Although, truthfully, I should shoot for later. Too much going on, but suffice it to say I'm dealing with shit while helping others deal with their own shit and sometimes it is so overwhelming I just want to spend the night playing Destiny with the beloved. Some people drink their problems to silence. I shoot mine with magic powers and guns. :)
TLDR: Back to the drawing board in a way. I don't mind. Knowing the story is going to be stronger is encouragement enough. Now if my muse will shut up and let me get this done before suggesting other changes.
In the meantime, here's the unrevised opening scene.
Aoife was in the bath, scrubbing the blood off her arms, when she heard someone call her name. The maid seated nearby, busy reading the latest dime novel, looked up questioningly. Aoife nodded and exhaled loudly. She’d recognized Mrs. Nardovino’s voice so she was either in trouble or about to be handed another assignment. Either way, her leisurely bath was over. A last careful scrub of her fingers was going on as Mrs. Nardovino came into the room.
“Dear, I called you. Did you not hear?” Mrs. Nardovino had never lost her Italian accent despite living in New York for the last five decades. In a way, Aoife was heartened. Despite the headaches her own accent caused she liked the link to her homeland. Even if she couldn’t see herself going back to live there.
“I was finishing up. The sluaghs went into labor. It was messy. Please, say I do not have to midwife sluaghs again. If that is why you are here I implore you to bother someone else.” Aoife hated working with them, but she was the only Irish witch in residence and, apparently, that meant she had to do it.
The maid brought a heated towel and Aoife stood to wrap it around herself. She would leave, she swore, if there was more midwifery waiting for her.
“No, dear. Please, perhaps this would be better in my office. I will make tea. You can join me once you’re dressed.”
Mrs. Nardovino was embarrassed by nudity. Aoife was not and would use it to her advantage. Although, not often with the headmistress. She’d been too kind to Aoife in her time here. The maid helped her dress and when wet hair proved too heavy to pin up, Aoife simply had a green ribbon tied around the straight black locks.