Earlier this morning I finished the second draft of “The Popcorn Thief” — the make-it-not-broke draft.

Best Popping CornBlue ribbon prize at the Kentucky State Fair for ten cobs of the best popping corn

I wrote the first draft fast and furious. I knew I would miss things, though, so I kept good notes, in a spreadsheet, of what I would need to add. I ended up adding a little over 4000 words between drafts 1 & 2, at least three distinct scenes, plus lots of layered in things.

Next step? Put the book to the side. Let it rest for three weeks. I have to write a short story this week (tentatively titled, “Love in the Salt Mines.”) I’ll also be getting back all the comments for “Siren’s Call” that I’ll have to incorporate, and so that novel will be finished by September 15th (and sent to the copyeditor.)

After the 15th, I’ll get back to “The Popcorn Thief.” This novel is all about Voice. It was one of the things I was practicing with this novel (if I don’t practice, how can I get better?) So I’ll read every chapter out loud, because my ear will catch things my eye misses. Plus, this is all done with a southern accent. I have to make sure none of those damn Yankeeisms have crept in.

And then? I’ll send “The Popcorn Thief” off to first readers, and I’ll turn to short stories. I’ll announce that challenge when the time gets closer. Hint: It’s bigger than “Baker’s Dozen.”