Five days, four hundred marked up pages, and a good idea just where I am with my manuscript.
It started off well, editing seventy-five pages on the train up to Tangers. In these first chapters, I realised I still have work to do on them to improve descriptions and flow.
I got another seventy five pages edited on the ferry across the Mediterranean to Spain, slowly working away as it made it's long traverse and pulled into busy port of Algecerias. These chapters were markedly better.
A bus took me to Gibraltar, where I walked for a long time, up the gentle hill of the quirky English town. I arrived at the hotel the guidebook recommended, it was at the far end of town, way up at the top of the hill, and my shirt was damp with sweat when I arrived.
The guidebook said twenty pounds. The hotel demanded forty.
"That's a lot more than the guidebook!" I said.
"It's an old guidebook, prices go up," said the employee.
"It's not that old. And yes, prices go up, they don't double over a few years!"
So I trudged back down the hill, to where a youth hostel charged 15 pounds, and passed the night in a cold dormitory with other farting and snoring travellers.
My third day was a shopping day, and I took a bus to the big Carrefour supermarket, and later walked to the Decathlon sporting goods store. Most of my purchases were gifts for Siham and clothes for Zack.
My bags were overflowing with clothes and food when I caught an afternoon ferry back to Tangers, where I edited another 75 pages on the boat.
It seemed a common theme, seventy five pages per stint, and editing passed the time.
I noticed various traits in my writing. It had picked up considerably through the middle chapters, before improving considerably through the middle and maintaining the strong writing up to the end. The learning curve left my middle chapters incredible, and I'm confident if all the chapters were that good, the book would be easily published.
After I get these changes made, my next stint will be hammering out the first five chapters, editing them and making the necessary changes.
I hope to have the changes made by Christmas, while my wife is away welcoming her parents back from the Hajj and I can slip away for a few more days.
I needed this trip, it reinvigorated me and got my head back into the book again. Something I've been struggling to do for months now.