After ruthlessly casting Chapter Two into oblivion I had a change of heart and, Madonna-like, reinvented it to sit triumphantly in Chapter Four. We really couldn't do without Chapter Two, albeit in a revised form.
Just a minute, I really can't write until I've got a full cup of tea...
Ahh, that's better. While boiling the kettle I was watching the birds in the garden. They are back in force and I have been encouraging them with birdfeeders and those disgusting little fatty seed balls they seem to like. Since Mr. Cat from Next Door But One moved out they have been partying non-stop. There used to be a family a really cute woodmice that lived under the shed but Mr. Cat used them a source of presents to ingratiate himself with Next Door, apparently.
Anyway, after re-instating the new-look Chapter Two (now Chapter Four) yesterday I read the entire book again. I surprised myself by laughing out loud at a couple of parts and one line made me gasp with shock. "What's going to happen next?" I asked, eyes wide. Oh, wait. I wrote it and should know. But it does stop being yours the moment the words touch the page, like a baby that becomes its own person the moment it breathes in its first breath of air. It aquires a life of its own and its own momentum. Re-reading it, it is not the same book that was in my head.
And I will read it again today to see how the changes I made yesterday as I read it affect that strange life. It is possible to continue this process forever but maybe at some point it is better to stop; it may be as polished as it can be and to keep going may be to rub away the features that give it its identity.