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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Brief Pause

Photo by Laura Bear
First set of revisions completed for my upcoming novel WHERE THE HEART LANDS through Unsolicited Press! A grueling month, indeed, but well worth it. I gained new insights on my characters and their story. Now for the copy editing.

Building a book is a tremendous undertaking. Yes, it really is like giving birth, but I prefer to think of it as a soul journey. This photo taken on a walk during my first visit to a splendid little writer's retreat in Vermont called When Words Count illustrates this journey well (minus the blood and guts it took to get there, but that's another story). It's a beautiful road, but there's mountains up ahead, so better be prepared!

Anyway, I took a day off from writing because, I admit, I was a tiny bit burned out. After all, I was working two full-time jobs all month: intensity all day in my other career, driving home, making dinner and spending a few minutes with the family (currently consisting of spouse, three cats and hyperactive canine--bless those writers who still have small children in their care), maybe a workout on the bike trainer in the basement, then writing the rest of the night until my eyes gave out. So my reward was a whole day to ride my bike (outside!), bake apple pies, and hang out at home watching shows on Netflix. It was lovely, but it's time to get back to work on the next book before I get the copy edits back on the first one. No complaints here, though. This is what I've been working up the courage to do all my life: write a book. A book of fiction, nonetheless. It's just as hard as I had imagined--the only difference is that now I'm ready for the challenge. My goal, as always, is to touch a reader and to become a better writer in the process.

I met a woman the other day on my weekly trip to the liquor store (you didn't expect me to write without a little lubrication, did you?). She was hosting a little wine tasting and noticed my t-shirt from Writer Unboxed When she asked me if I was a writer, I didn't hesitate. "Yes!" I said, eyes reddened from hours of staring at words on the computer, hair tousled from lack of attention. After she asked me about my book, she told me that she was an English teacher, had always wanted to write a book, but just never made the time. I told her I had all kinds of excuses, too, but finally, I just decided to do it--no turning back. Eyes twinkling just a bit, she said, "Maybe someday."

In my day job at the hospital, I am bombarded with reasons not to wait. If you have a burning desire to create something or to visit somewhere or tell someone you love them or to follow a dream, why wait for the "right" time? Make your time right now. What do you have to lose except regrets?

Thank you for taking a little time to visit! Now, get out there and do your thing!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Revisions, Revisions

Photo by Kevin Tomasello
Hello all,
Sorry I've been delinquent in my posts. I received my manuscript back from the publisher late in September and am deep into the revision process. This post will be brief, but I relish the break.

Here is a lovely photo my husband Kevin shot, showing the beautiful fall days I am missing sitting inside on the computer. Because fresh air and exercise are necessary for mental health and clarity, I will be getting out today for a quick bike ride or walk.

Revision is grueling, but also exciting. I sent my little story on its way because I thought it was ready to meet the world. Turns out, not so much. Yes, they liked it, but boy, does it need work! All the molding and shaping and creating and caressing was just the preliminary outline of a story. Now it's time to get down below the dirt, to the tap root. Didn't I slice open my soul and bleed all over the pages already? Not in the objective eyes of my fine editors at Unsolicited Press Time to go for the jugular! More description, less redundancy, more depth, more soul, more emotional connection, more of this and much, much less of that! Indeed! What does a reader expect? As a reader myself, I should know, right? But, knowing it and feeling it are different than writing it. I have more work to do. but I am challenged to make that essential connection--to touch the reader's soul. You'll have to let me know if I do so when the book comes out. Meanwhile, back to rewriting!

Bless you for reading. Create your best day.