I am not a good housewife. I do not care if I have whiter whites, and I am perfectly content to leave the cooking to someone--anyone--else. But there is no better cure for my nervous energy than nesting, and my nerves are ramped about as high as they get right now. On Friday I turned in Silent on the Moor to my editor, and now there is nothing to do but tiptoe around on pins and needles until I know what she thinks. (I know she thinks it's big. It's the longest of the three Silent books. It came in at 623 pages, 124,000 words. She had to reload her mammoth printer twice to print it out once I had e-mailed it. I suggested a Sherpa and a weight belt to help her get it home.)
Waiting for my editor's feedback is by far the most maddening part of being a writer. Waiting to hear what she thinks of a book proposal is nerve-wracking, but not nearly as painful as waiting for her judgment of the finished product. I usually write book proposals in an hour or two, and even though she has never rejected one, if she did, it would not be cause for sticking my head in the oven. The book itself is a cat of a different color. That process can take up to a couple of weeks. My editor is not slow by any means, but she is thorough. She will sit with the book until she knows it better than I do. Then she will carefully craft her thoughts on how to improve it and present those to me for discussion. That is the part I hate most. My editor has YET to give me a suggestion that wasn't brilliant. Talking to her always means I have more work to do, and I don't want to work on this book anymore. I have another project I am SEETHING with impatience to get to. I have a stack of research to read, and already the shadowy form of a character taking shape in my mind.
But there is no point in starting that story until I have finished THIS one. So I wait. And while I wait I will cook, and clean, and do laundry. And while I'm at it, I should probably clean the oven. Just in case.