Category Archives: editing

Book at editor, and I’m feelin’ blue

I sit here, hanging fire (old phrase, look it up),waiting on the good/bad news from the editor and feeling my stomach complaining about it all. Writing is difficult; I have now five WIPs all in disarray (except maybe one, I’ll know tomorrow). It is not yet post-partum depression, but maybe a dress run for that, if and when I publish. I have a formatter/designer llined up for when I rework after the editor returns, and the publication date is still September 18, but, hoo-boy, does it all look dicey. My cover artist is waiting for me to tell her the final page count so she can do the spine and all, and I don’t even have a blurb written yet.

So what do I do to cheer me up? I watch the Red Sox which is passing strange since the are trying hard to imitate a cellar dwelling club. An occasional bright moment, like last night when they beat Chris Sale amidst the gloom. They have two more innings after this one to lose this game, and I will watch to the bitter end.

Three of the WIPs take place in Peary’s world. One is an actual sequel, and it’s the one that seems to be moving. Two are the same story with different protagonists. I have discovered this world has griffins. I refuse to call them gryphons. My college mascot is the griffin The funny thing is that the two books take place about twenty-five or thirty years before Ascension of Peary, and the characters from the two are about to show up in the sequel. So I guess the two (and I’m pretty sure which one I’m going to keep) are the origin story for the griffins. It’s too complicated but I guess I’ll start getting it straightened out on September 19.

Final Read Through

Today I am doing the final read through of Ascension of Peary before sending it to the editor. I’ve been through all my beta’s comments, accepted most but not all, and now I’m reading for missing words, homophones, dialog tags, etc. All the annoying things my editor should catch, but shouldn’t have to.

I really want to get this sent off because I’ve started two other stories. One is a steampunk mystery, but I haven’t figured out a few steps yet, and it’s harder to do mystery by the seat of one’s pants. The other started as a short story on the same world as Ascension of Peary. It is, after all, an empire with 100 duchies, principalities and states in it. I figured I could write a short story and give it away free to whet people’s appetite for Peary. I’m not sure I’m constitutionally able to write a short story. I start with a suitably tiny idea and it grows like a weed as I sleep. I’m now thinking that short story I started is at least a novella.

I suspect it takes more self-control to write a short story than I have currently available to me. Maybe come winter, but now it’s summer, and ice cream season, and that is fatal to my sense of self-control.

Ascension of Peary is available for pre-order on Kindle, with a publication date of September 18. In case you’re interested. No picture is available there, but you can see the cover (minus the blurb) on my home page.

The Book is at the Beta-Reader

The book is done, first edited, off to the beta-reader, and ready to go the real editor in a week to 10 days. I’m giving her a month but the target date of September 18 is looking more and more plausible. I haven’t heard if my young fan is still enthralled, but I do have a confession to make. As I was writing the last twenty pages or so, I had to resolve an issue. I did so in the only way that made sense to me. And I cried. Editing it, I cried again. Maybe I’m just a wuss, but I look forward to my beta-reader’s take on the scene. If it passes that test, then it stays and I’ll get to find out out if others feel the way I do.

There’s part of me that wonders if this happens to other writers, that you write a scene with characters you have some feeling for, and find it is difficult to take. I am a pantser, as I have said numerous times on this blog. I write the story the characters tell me. It is, to my way of thinking, their truth, not mine. One of my pantser friends says, “Surprise the writer, surprise the reader.” If this is true, then I won’t worry about it.

The book will in all likelihood be available on Kindle and Amazon on September 18. it is called Ascension of Peary, and it is aimed at young to mid teens. I’m still trying to figure out what that group is called. YA?

Daily Prompt: Twenty-Five

There are 26 letters in the English language, and we need every single one of them. Want proof? Choose a letter and write a blog post without using it. (Feeling really brave? Make it a vowel!)

No way I’m choosing a vowel. My vocabulary is too extensive. See how many of the less used letters I used in that comment? That, I suspect, is the point of this exercise. I know which letter I’m excluding, and it’s probably the one chosen by the bulk of the bloggers responding to this prompt. The problem with this prompt is that it doesn’t spur any thoughts about what to write, other than specious or frivolous comments about the topic. I realize that I’m not using two consonants, so I guess I ought to give the jury something to think about. Did you get it?

I’m at a writing retreat in the Green Mountains of Vermont, and have written many pages for my editor on the novel I’m planning to publish soon. It’s crazy to think I will have a full book ready to send to my typesetter by the end of the month, but this retreat is certainly helping. It’s nice to be saved from the futile exercise of preparing nutritious foods, and to have instead gourmet meals prepared and served.

So I will return to Burlington this afternoon and reunite with my four cats. They will be peeved with me for a day or two, and then very needy. I’m looking forward to it!

Alert! Change of Plans

My editor contacted me yesterday to tell me that she thinks the material in my book should be spread over more than one book, to wit, three and possibly four. Who knew i was writing a series? In fact, as written it is four interconnected stories, none of which I thought warranted a full book by itself. Apparently I am too terse, and maybe a little inconsistent. I make leaps and  bounds in my imagination and don’t apparently give the reader enough info to get to the same place I land. So this may be grueling, or it may turn out to be relatively painless. As a pantser, I may only have to have my nose pointed in the right (or write?) direction and my characters will lead the way.

What this means is that I may have as many as four books published in my first year of publication. And I’ll let you in on a secret. If the first book is really three or four, then I’ve clearly got number five already started with the first 50,000 words of what I thought was the sequel to the first book. And I know the first part of the sequel will morph into a full book if my editor has anything to say about it.

Now the only scary thing is, does anybody care? Does anybody want to read my book(s)? Time alone will tell, gentle reader. I hope you will come along for the ride.

Good News! I’m an Editor

Life is funny sometimes. I got interested in helping indie authors present better books by offering inexpensive proofreading services about a year ago. In one of the ironies of life, I gave up that work except for helping a few old clients in need of emergency work to focus on my own writing. Now I am the official proofreader for the online literary journal, Mud Season Review, a project of the Burlington Writers Workshop. Doing this interrupts my writing time, but I feel it is a service I can render with relative ease.

I have told you that some of my satiric poems are going to be in the 2015 Best of the Burlington Writers Workshop. Tonight I have been asked to proofread some of this volume, and told that I will become an Assistant Editor. Woot-woot! Life definitely has a way of coming and biting you in the butt.

And now for a sneak peak at my novel: the first two paragraphs, unedited.

The last thing Winifred Palmer, known to her friends as Freddy, remembered was taking acid in her best friend’s summer cabin. Now she found herself sliding down a rainbow chute at a casual speed, the colors quivering and morphing. Her hands skimmed the soft sides of the chute as a sense of euphoria filled her. She couldn’t see the sky or any area outside the chute, but she felt no worry.

She left the chute feet first and wafted to the ground, landing gently in a field of wild flowers, with vibrant blues, reds, oranges, and purples. She breathed the fresh air that had a hint of vanilla and lilac. The many flowers she had crushed in her landing smelled familiar but there were a few that she did not know. She reveled in the feel of the warm earth under her fingers, sensing the richness of the loam.

Fantastical Trips, coming soon to a bookstore or e-retailer near you!

Fantastical Trips, redux

My first novel is at the editor and she has given me some initial feedback. It has helped to improve my sanity. First, she says I have too big a vocabulary (comes from word lists foisted on me before the SATs in 1968) and that simpler words could convey the same impression. I have no doubt that it will take more words to say what I was trying to say, or else I wouldn’t have picked the long word to begin with.

She says the magic is consistent so far (phew!) which is a great relief, since it’s a large part of the story. She points out that I tend to wander off topic occasionally, and, heaven knows, I am aware of that tendency. Finally there are places where I tell the story when I should show the story. None of these is earth shattering and leads me to believe that it might see publication by the first of March. I know, I know, I keep moving the date back. But I want this to be as good as it can be before I foist it on an unsuspecting public.

As I have said before, it’s a fantasy based on a woman being snatched from our world to a parallel earth. On the parallel earth she finds 10,000 year old sorcerers of apparent human stock. She finds aware and verbal evolved creatures such as bipedal cats (felixities), enlarged ravens (avanees) and speaking dolphins (fliperlies). There is also a small, apparently human, race of people who are very short but otherwise proportionate. These are called kerps, and you will get their story in the first part of the book. The novel comes in four parts, each involving a different but related problem, with fights, conspiracies, wars and some humor, I hope.

And there is the surprise introduction of another species in the third section. Let me whisper in your ear.  Shhhhh. They’re dragons!