Waking up at 6:20 is no joke, but once I don my snorkel and fins and leap into the frigid pool waters, it’s like I’ve flipped a switch. I’ve trained myself to get into a monotonous stroke rhythm and let my mind float free. No worrying about laundry or the damn forest of weeds growing out of the front steps or my sewing class projects to finish for tomorrow’s class. Splash, splash. Focus. It’s thinking-of-book-scenes time! And yes, you can work up a sweat in a pool if you work hard enough.

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In the last few weeks since I started my early morning plunges, I’ve been on creative fire. This morning, three scenes popped into my head out of nowhere.Rich, fully formed Goldilocks-type scenes – just right.

When I was finished my half-hour, I raced to the car and sat there plunking away at my keyboard, entering notes into the Writing folder in the Wunderlist app on my phone. It’s not that there is any problem with my editing, but these three snippets added a new depth to my characters and their relationships. Just. Like. That.

I’m more than halfway through the revisions. It’s a bit tedious because I’m using two different applications to keep my outline straight, but the process is working for me. Thank goodness for Scrivener, because I’ve been able to move chapters around to make sense.

I’ve learned that I can compile my Scrivener manuscript into Word, broken down by chapter headings, then import the edited Word manuscript back to Scrivener with the same chapter breaks. For me, with 1000,000 words and about 300 pages, that was HUGE progress.

I can go back and forth checking to see that my sequences are correct, thanks to Aeon Timeline. Now it’s clear that most of the action in the first half of the book takes place in summer, so I can add sensory descriptions that make sense – smells, heat, thunderstorms.

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When that step-by-step doesn’t make sense, all I have to do is change the date, move the text around and re-number the chapters.

Who knew swimming could get me so pimped? I think I’ve earned some more cherry cobbler.