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Category: Revision

Hello, again, Monday!

Remembering to choose happiness!

Why did you start so early?

I hate springing ahead. I really don’t care for spring. I can see that the blooming trees and plants are truly beautiful, but they mean the flipping heat is on the way. (My perpetual complaint.) Maybe if we lived farther north, where we had a shot at an actual winter… Maybe I’m a little cranky from lack of sleep! But I don’t really understand why we need to save hours most of the year. Terribly distressing to someone who needs a little less unblinking sunshine.

Maybe that’s enough complaining!

Finished my synopsis–at 10 pages. I edited it back to 8, and I’ll look at it again before I submit. This week, I need to finish the last chapter in the proposal and edit deeply before I submit. Can’t wait to have a submission out in the world again!

And finally, I bought two happiness journals this weekend. Clearly in the nick of time! I need to remember that spring and summer are only distressing for crazy folk who have their wiring backwards. I can’t help loving cold and rain and best of all–snow! And wind! Pardon…

Anyway, one for my girl and one for me. I heard about them from Jill Weatherholt, and remembering to choose happiness is an excellent plan, in the time of year when I’m not good at doing that!

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I have a synopsis!

I spy unattended toys!

As I told friends, I could disappear forever into the plotholes, and it’s so rough, I could lop off a limb on the jagged edges, but I’m about to go edit–and that’s when magic happens–when you see what you have, and how your unconscious has been plotting behind your back. I know a story/synopsis is working when I start to see things circling back–motivation, emotion. The story starts weaving itself together.

Very busy around our house. As you can see, Georgie loves when babies come to visit!


Monday, Monday!

Writing Assistant, Fiddle-faddling!

What are you doing this Monday?

My proposal underwent major surgery this past week and weekend. I excised an especially insistent secondary character and got to the heart of some emotion. And I enjoyed it. A little over a year ago, I was diagnosed with diabetes after a particularly nasty bout of DKA that apparently addled my brains. I’ve had the worst wrestling matches with writing since then, but in the past month or so, I can actually feel my brain working the way I need it to. Juggling storylines and motivation.

So–this proposal may be rejected, too, but I’m enjoying putting it together. For the past two years I’ve seriously considered not writing ever again because it hasn’t been just hard. I like hard work. It’s been baffling. I’ve had 21 books published, but the ones in these past two years have been like every day punching through luxuriantly thick drapery. I thought I no longer knew what I was doing. Now I think sugar-addled brains are not as adept at critical thinking.

So–back to work. Unlike my writing assistant. He’s taking a break!

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Still Revising

The Hubby’s Handiwork!

I’m going to whine. I’m in the oh-my-heavens, every muscle in my body aches stage of a cold, and I’m trying to add emotion to my story.

Yesterday, edited 18 pages, and ended up with a net gain of 0 words. That would be because I didn’t have emotion, and I had some blah blah blah on the pages. Along with pushy secondary characters who needed to go to their own homes and stay out of my hero and heroine’s very important business.

Meanwhile, the beloved is building bookcases. He wanted one for his office and apparently couldn’t find one that was made of actual wood so he decided to make his own. I’ve been begging him to make some for me for years. (He made me one many years ago, but he didn’t consider it lovely enough, so when my back was turned during a move, he dumped it in the portable dumpster.) This is also one of his rejects. He meant to add three shelves, and he was so distraught at having only set in two, that he couldn’t bear to keep it.

I love a perfectionist!



Is not for sissies. Every word starts to sound like a bad choice. Every plot point feels weak.

I’m ignoring my surly internal editor and moving forward. Taking a chance, and remembering, this pass is for layering in emotion. And these folks have plenty of conflict and emotion. Usually, this is the part I like, stepping into their shoes and reacting to the situation.

But I’m riddled with doubts, so that’s trickier than normal.

Yesterday, I started editing, moved my characters to a different setting, and added about a thousand words. So that was actually a good work day! If you ignore the doubt!

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Word Surgery

Yesterday was a painful writing day. I had to cut. Cut deeply. The thing about fast draft was that I got a story going, and I wrote a ton of words. I just cut a painful number of those words. I thought twice. Did I really want to go that far back to the beginning?

The answer had to be yes. Because words that don’t help the story don’t belong in it. I was trying to find ways to adapt those words when I realized the error of the path I was about to take. And also, that I’d end up cutting the words anyway.

You know, I wanted to make this a writing post. Talk about listening to your own voice and your instincts and cutting the words that don’t further the plot, the conflict, your character arcs. A lot of hooha to say, don’t keep the words you don’t need. (I’m cutting everywhere!)

So–I’ve had a setback. The story is not going to be finished as quickly as I’d hoped. But it’ll be stronger.


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Monday Arrives Again

Big desk, growing ever more crowded with revision!

I wonder if I’ve mentioned how much I love Mondays. I loved them a little more when the beloved had a job outside the home because I had the place to myself. As I write this (late Sunday evening), he tells me he’ll be removing tile tomorrow. I’m working outside our home come the Monday. Even in summer, the rest of the world is still quieter in places where no chisels or flying tiles disturb my chi!

I’m editing my Fast Draft book, and that takes concentration. I’ve been listening to Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know since I started writing this story. (Isn’t Pinterest an amazing thing?) Something about the leashed passion in the song works for me. And for the story.

But unless I can persuade the beloved to chisel in time to the music, tile removal will not work for me or my burgeoning book!

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Hello, Random Monday!

I’m not as slackadaisical as I look. I’ve been revising a proposal, and I decided to focus on that before I came back to blogging, post-holidays. I finished the changes and mailed the proposal mere moments ago, so here I am again!

(Pardon this tangent, but while I’m writing this, I’m watching a movie, and I fear one of my favorite actors is about to expire. I hate when that happens.)

Not a lot to report since last I blogged. We had company for the holidays, which was wonderful. We played tons of Taboo and Harry Potter Uno, and we made the traditional holiday trek to Cheesecake Factory for the pumpkin cheesecake. I actually only had a bite of my daughter’s pumpkin cheesecake, because I switched to a slab of chocolate cake at the last possible moment. It was so worth the calories. Seriously.

Have you noticed the lighthouse up there on the right? I wonder if it also makes you weep with joy? My daughter and my husband gave it to me. The second I saw it, I spewed some projectile tears of joy. Every morning of the early years of my life, I looked out my bedroom window and saw that lighthouse. I seem to have taken a crooked photo of it, but I still wanted to share it. Someday, I’ll post a level pic, but for now, you should gaze in wonder. And if you find you’d like an amazing artist to do something as beautiful for you, you might want to take a peek at Margalena Lepore’s website.

My next writing task–I’m going to edit the rest of the book to match the changes to the proposal. It’s a little worrisome that I’ve added over 20 pages already. Gotta keep an eye on that word-o-meter!

It’s nice to be back!



Working Holiday

Don't worry--I'm on the lookout!

Have the holidays started at your house?

Our company arrived early, and somehow I’ve fallen behind in my revising. I’m on the last read-through, but terrible things happen here while I’m focused on work. The house falls apart. All cleaning ends.

That’s fine unless you hear someone you love is able to arrive early for a visit.

While I cleaned, Kitty kept watch for the arrival. I’ve spent most of the weekend discovering we live like animals! And not very tidy ones either! However, we’re back in shape now. All happy and together. As long as everyone avoids certain doors, no one will be crushed by falling clutter!

And my revision? I have this urge to hurry and get the proposal back to the editor, but I’m going to assume good is better than fast. I want these pages to be good, so I’m throttling back on the panic and I’ll work when I can to get it out of here sometime this week. Unless I’m overtaken by cutthroat family Uno!

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Dear, Friday, you’ve arrived too soon! I have work to do and shopping to finish and a house to clean and dinner to sort out.

Everyone in this house is a better cook than I. Wonder why they wouldn’t rather eat their own tastier food? The other thing–I lack the carnivore instinct. Tonight, we’re having one of my favorite meals–Navy beans, salad, and cornbread. Mmmm. Wonder if I should run out for the fixings for Aunt Dorothy’s cole slaw. Always uber tasty! There will be wailing and gnashing of carnivorous teeth. But all they’ll have to gnash will be beans!

I’m putting the finishing touches on the proposal. Doing a final weaving of the new thread Karen suggested. Then, I need to do another read to cull errors. Do you have a mistake you always make? Before I submit a ms., I have to search every instance of it’s vs. its. I know when to use which, but my fingers rarely cooperate.

This weekend, I redo the snopes, that mysterious albatross for all writers everywhere. (That may not be true, but if you don’t find a snopes trying, you’ll be kinder if you keep it to yourself.)

I’m setting up old movies and the coffee pot and iTunes. Work beckons! After I submit the revised proposal, I plan to edit the rest of the book for this new thread. I cannot wait to write a scene that has to go in at the end. Writing it will be my treat for submitting!