Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

To love and revision: a post-Valentine’s Day post

This Valentine’s Day I took a walk with my dog Lucky, something I do every day, but this time, inhaling the miracle of spring-like air. I did something else, too, this Valentine’s Day. Something pretty cool. I . . . finally . . .  (deep breath in) . . . FINISHED THE REVISION!!!


Well, at least it’s finished for now, and out of my hands for the next two weeks.

Fighting dread and mostly convinced I have created nothing but awful, nonsensical, indigestible drivel, I e-mailed the revision to my two trusted readers and wonderful writing friends Patti Brown, a Vermont MFA graduate http://plbonline.blogspot.com/    and Keri Mikulski, author of Head Games: A Pretty Tough Novel that is just out this year with Razorbill (go Keri!) http://kerimikulski.com/  


I know, I know, I’m sure it’s awful.  (Or so a grumpy perfectionist demon grumbled in my head — trying to ruin my near-perfect day.) But the voices of my friends were louder. All that time, they kept telling me to shut up and stop whining (well, Patti did, anyway :)); they kept saying I should revise this manuscript, should finish it. So, there. At least I have done it.  For them. For myself. For the perfectionist demon in my head. For the crazy-terrible story that just might have some good bits in it.

Step by step, page by page, chapter  by chapter, day by insane day, past fear, past almost incapacitating anxiety, past my body refusing to move forward, past a full-blown panic attack that happened just last week, past all that, I have been moving, now crawling, now sprinting forward, to this point.

Yesterday, I raised a glass of red wine to love — to the yellow roses my husband gave me — to our every single day. I raised the glass to my children who promptly spilled their grape juice all over the floor in celebration 🙂 I raised my glass to reaching this stage of the journey.  Somehow, deep inside me, on the other side of the swirling vortex of fear and doubt, I always knew I would.

“This means you’ll be ‘tranquille’ (French for “calm,” “at peace”) for a little while?” my husband asked me. (Yes, he’s French, and no, we converse in English, with some fun Russian and French words thrown in when they seem to fit best.)

“Yes,” I smiled back at him, “For a little while. Until the next revision. That is the writer’s life.”

He sighed a little — and I think I sighed back. But the truth is, I love it.

Yes, a writer’s life is like that — a series of celebrations.


February 15, 2011 - Posted by | Personal Mirror, Writing Mirror | , , , ,


  1. A series of celebrations with a healthy dose of misgiving in the mix. You sound perfectly normal to me!

    Love the roses. They look just like the ones my hubby brought home the other week. The remind me of fire!

    Comment by Joyce Moyer Hostetter | February 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. Fire — yes! Fire is my element — love fire :)Almost as much as I love the writer’s life — and finishing revisions! 🙂

    Comment by Katia Raina | February 15, 2011 | Reply

  3. I haven’t had a panic attack in years. They’re paralyzing.

    Revisions are done and you had a sweet Valentine’s Day. Good for you. 🙂

    Comment by Medeia Sharif | February 17, 2011 | Reply

    • Yes, they are freaky. (It was my first ever. My last?? :)) And I think it was all about the writing. Funny how your body and mind can sabotage you like that. Well,not funny at the moment it happens … just looking back at it. And yes, Medeia, loving the place I am in right now. My friend Patti keeps updating me as she reads, keeps telling me she likes it. It’s hard to believe and lovely to hear!

      Comment by Katia Raina | February 17, 2011 | Reply

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