In Which She Takes a Break (Also Known As: Yah, Right)

My first novel, the one that has taken me nearly two and a half years to write, is finally being read by actual people for the first time! And by actual people, I mean someone who is not me. Of course, directly after I sent it out to my wonderful beta readers I started re-reading it again and found it lacking in SOO many areas. Apparently I have learned a lot since starting my third edit and finishing it. And I’ve started getting feedback which is awesome and amazing and a bit soul crushing to think of how much work that novel still has left. Continue reading

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Arrggg!!! (Or Chapter 10 is a Mess)

  Editing. A necessary step in completing a book. I shudder to think how awful my story would have come out if, after first writing “The End”, I had decided it was well and good to send off. And, I actually have decided that I like editing. I’ve come to visualize the editing process like a painting. A painter begins by first using broad undefined strokes for shading and under painting, adding more details with the next layer, and with the next layer comes even more detail and refinement, until a finished product emerges – one that is hard to imagine started out as blobs of color.

But then I encountered Chapter 10. Feel free to blink absently into space here because that is exactly what I did after reading the chapter to refresh myself and to generally note areas that needed work. What the hell was that? I thought to myself.

Now, to be fair (to myself), Chapter 10 covers two different times, and two different POVs. During my second pass through I decided to edit each story separately without the breaks to help with continuity. So, it wasn’t until now that I read it all together. One of the major issues is that so much stuff happens in this chapter – like three or four major events – but not enough to stand alone on their own. I wanted to keep them together to keep the tension and show how rapidly Ruby’s life is changing at this point, but I don’t think it works. 

Other issues I have are just some poorly written-getting close to the end- rushed words. I think I cut scenes that need more exploration, but then I come to the conclusion the book is getting too long. I’m trying to keep around 75k although it keeps creeping up, I think right now there are 78k written. 

Anyway, Chapter Ten is a mess and a bear at close to fifty pages long. And nothing is getting done by just sitting here complaining about it. Although wouldn’t that be a dream? “This [insert house/book/what have you] is a mess!l POOF! No mess. “Well, that’s better.” 

Ah dreams…

An Open Book

New short story available on Describli.com   These are a bit addictive as I can write one off in such a short time — sigh. I am so easily distracted! Anyway teaser below.  Perhaps I should collect these here too for easier reading. Thoughts?

An Open Book (prompt – Much Needed Advice)

I shifted slightly on the couch, aware of every movement I made. I could feel my joints occupying too much space and I knew space was what she needed right now. She needed to come to me, although it took everything I had not to make the first move.

“Mom?”

“Yes?” I said, too quickly, too eager.

She shot me a quizzical look. “Can we change the channel? They’ve already played these stories.”

“Oh,” I replied, trying to not let the disappointment show. She was right though, the news was now repeating the same segment on a local street fair this weekend. I had not been paying attention really. “Sure. Here, why don’t you take the remote?” I tossed it over and she caught it with one hand, a practiced move. “Do you want a snack or anything?” I was getting antsy waiting for her to ask. I needed to get up, to move.

“No, thanks.”

“Ok.”

I was not really hungry. I got up anyway and wandered down the hallway, pausing to look at my reflection in the bathroom mirror. The bright light from the window accentuated the grooves on the side of my mouth. I stretched my skin back towards my ears, simultaneously wondering if I should get Botox and how I had gotten so old. I let my face fall back. Somehow the skin seemed looser than it had a moment ago. I hope I hadn’t done permanent damage. I looked past my reflection to the mirrored image of Rebecca’s room behind me. Her door was open wide to her room. Sunlight, filtered through gauzy curtains, highlighted the tossed remnants of childhood buried like sediment under the cheap makeup and the garish accoutrements of a young teen. It was open like that yesterday too. Only it was different.