Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy Anniversary

March 26 is the day I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease. Nine years ago. Still in remission.

And still editing away. The word count is inching down.

Toying with the idea of taking out Seona's POV entirely. Will it strengthen the story? Maybe so, maybe no. It would certainly help trim the word count, but the most original voice I've ever written would be gone. Many layers and textures would be lost.

I'll maybe save it for a last resort. Or see if any of my test readers make the suggestion, without my prompting. You guys aren't reading this are you? *s*

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Busy as a Beaver

It's been a busy month (writing-wise), so thought I'd post an update--this is meant to be my editing journal, after all.

I'm still editing my way through Kindred/Take 2, and feeling encouraged by how much I've been able to cut out the past few days, just weeding through my wordy prose. Man, do I ever have the tendency to overwrite. I'm working through a section that was written nearly four years ago, and happy to think I've grown some, as a writer. Or at any rate, enough time has passed since the writing of this bit for me to see the forest for the trees. There's a lot of trees. I'm pruning and thinning and clearing out that messy undergrowth.

I'm also debating about cutting one particular chapter altogether. Not sure it adds enough to the forward movement of the story to warrant the space it's taking up. I'll decide tomorrow whether or not it stays or goes. If it goes I'll parcel the necessary bits of information out among a few other scenes.

Two of my beta readers, Joan and Lauri, have requested I send Kindred to them in 50,000 word chunks, as I get them edited. I'm looking forward to their feedback (they are both fellow writers whose knowledge and instincts I trust), and I'm a little nervous too. The first chunk should go out by the end of the week, depending on how much extra work this current chapter-cutting debate causes.

I'm also reading Donald Maass's book WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL (subtitled: Insider advice for taking your fiction to the next level). Sounds exactly what I need. I've heard much good about "the Donald" from those who know him or have sat through his classes at writers conferences, and figured it was time for me to give his book a read. If I glean one insight--just one--from his book that makes Kindred a leaner, cleaner, better-told story, I'll be a happy camper.

Who knows? Maybe I'll find two or three... or ten insights. I'm hopeful!

Went for a hike today after church, with Brian and Hiero. 7 miles around a lake. I'm beat and sore but feeling great for getting out of doors. I need that, once a week. It's part of my Sabbath. I don't mind being home alone in front of a computer five-six days a week. I seem particularly suited for the life. I crave solitude. But if I don't have one day in seven that's the complete antithesis of my work-a-day life, I suffer for it.

A cold but sunny day. Spring is flirting with southern Oregon.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

A Meeting of the Minds

Or a meeting of the Muses?

Here we are, the Southern Oregon (unofficial) Chapter of ACFW, at our second quarterly meeting yesterday. From left to right: Beth Goddard, Bonnie Leon, moi, Ann Shorey, Lorena McCourtney, and Lynn Ludwick. All these lovely ladies are published (or newly contracted) authors... except moi.

We had an inspiring three+ hours of fellowship, food, MUCH talk on writing, and even a little brainstorming for Beth and Bonnie, and maybe a few others, too. I love hanging out with writers. You never know where the conversation will go. Yesterday's conversation veered from the use of symbolism in writing to the pros and cons of staging a murder in a recognizable lakeside lodge. Hypothetically, of course!

And they treat us well at Heaven On Earth. They're a bakery as well as a restaurant (that plate of cookies in the foreground was complimentary, to get us started).

It rained/snowed off and on, but the sun was peeking through the hurrying clouds as we finally made our way out to our cars. I was the last to leave the parking lot. Did anyone else see how brilliant that faint rainbow we saw as we came out of the building turned? It was the most beautiful rainbow I've ever seen and seemed to be arching directly over the mountain hollow where Heaven On Earth is nestled. I didn't notice it until I was almost on the freeway, so I skipped my exit, made a U-turn and hurried back to try and snap a photo. In the few seconds that took, the rainbow had faded!

Hot coffee, notebook, pen, and cookies. Yep, it's a writers meeting.