Time for WiP Wednesday and I’ve declared February an editing month! That means I don’t have to hit my 30k word count goal, but can write whatever I want… provided I stop fussing and get my head down over the final edits for Swings & Roundabouts.
This is the drawback when self-pubbing. There’s nobody stopping me from fussing and fiddling forever more, nobody to take the manuscript away from me and slap me around the face with it. I somehow need to find a third hand to do it myself. 😉
I know I’m useless when it comes sticking a fork into a story. I always feel I can make it better if I just give it another edit, another polish, another read-through. I really need to learn to accept when something is good enough and walk away from it. Even if it’s Jack and Gareth. Or especially when it’s Jack and Gareth.
Hence a kinda public declaration. And from now until I’m done I’m going to use the WiP Wednesday post to share bits from Swings & Roundabouts as I’m editing. So here goes…. Jack winding up Gareth.
“M25 anti-clockwise, accident in the contra-flow between Junction 15, the M4, and the Heathrow Spur Road. Stop and go for six miles.” The newsreader sounded almost gleeful, when there was nothing remotely cheerful about the misery she was relating.
“Come on!” Jack revved the engine without the Range Rover making any progress along the crowded motorway. The eternal tail-to-nose through and around London was one of the reasons why he had never bothered to acquire a car. “We’d be faster if we dump this heap by the roadside and walk the rest of the way.”
Gareth stretched his long legs as best he could in the cramped quarters and crossed his arms. “I might be able to muster some enthusiasm for this plan if I knew where we were going.”
“I’m sure you might, but I’m still not telling you.”
“… and why I wasn’t even allowed to pack my own bag.”
Jack bit his lip to stop a smile from slipping out. He’d been prepared for a flash of temper, even for another fight. Never in a month of Sundays had he expected Gareth to sound so whiny just because he was out of the loop.
Gareth wasn’t the only one who didn’t know. Jack hadn’t told the boys or Roz. With everyone trying to wheedle the information out of him he’d had a week of fun keeping secrets. Except, perhaps, for last night, when Daniel and Nico had surprised him and Gareth with a crazy Valentine’s Day dinner, just to remind them love came in all shapes and sizes. It had been amusing to share cakes and croissants, which were cleverly disguised savouries, and they’d laughed over heart shaped chicken casserole and triangular roast potatoes, before finishing their meal with marzipan shrimps on skewers and bite-sized chocolate cakes looking like cheeseburgers.
After being told how worried Nico had been over his and Gareth’s fight, and after watching Gareth carefully edit every word he said, Jack was doubly grateful he’d pulled in a few favours to give them both a break. Only to sit in a traffic jam, six miles from where he needed to be, with a moping Gareth in the Range Rover’s passenger seat.
They’d dropped the boys off with Aidan on the way to Heathrow and Gareth had already gotten a couple of texts asking if Jack had finally told him where he was going. It didn’t help Gareth relax and Conrad, clearly egging the two on, was a certifiable arse.
“Why won’t you tell me?” Gareth asked when traffic started to move.
“Because it won’t be a surprise if I do.”
“I hate surprises.”
“How old are you again? You’ll find out the moment I hand you a boarding pass. Two hours max, faster if this mess unsnarls itself. Two hours, Gareth. You should be able to last that long, right?”
Gareth’s grumble rivalled Nico’s on his worst day and Jack took a deep breath to calm the butterflies in his gut. This could be the best idea he’d ever had or the most stupid.
Only time would tell.
Despite the nose-to-tail they made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. They only had carry-on luggage and Jack had checked them in online before they’d even left home. He wasn’t going to let Gareth anywhere near a staffed check-in counter. In the mood the man was in, Jack wouldn’t put it past him to state loudly he hadn’t packed his own bag and didn’t know what was in it. He’d get them both arrested before they could even board their .