I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD SLAPS, SPEED BUMPS and LIGHTBULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Read lines


I thought when you submitted a manuscript, agents and publishers cut you some slack regarding editing because you are the writer, not the English teacher. I thought all I had to do was my best and they’d understand. I thought wrong, wrong, wrong. (I meant to repeat those words.) After receiving my manuscript back from a hired-by-me editor, I now know my best sucks.

When the edited attachment popped up in my inbox, to say I was shocked by all the read lines and notes is an understatement. Feeling stupid and unworthy sums it up. The repeated words, lack of correct punctuation, and sentiments which in my mind were touching, turned out to be unclear left me feeling devastated by my sense of inability.

I wanted to rush in and fix everything even though I didn’t have a clue how the computer editing program worked. And then the enormity of what was ahead had me wanting to set aside the whole damned thing. Why fix it. It’s crap. It’s shit slashed by read lines. I was depressed.

I would have shelved the entire book but for two reasons:
I drained what was left in my writing-account to pay the editor. I saved that money as an investment in myself. I did not want all that effort, all those words from the columns I’ve written, (which paid a pittance), to come to nothing. And then there is the emotional connection. The effort and gumption it takes to open myself up counts for something. My personal kind of writing puts me on display. It ain’t easy but sometimes you just have to say what you have to say.
I waited.
I took a deep breath.
I went slowly back in, one line at a time.
I found my footing.
With each word, line, paragraph and page I am learning.
The process is making me a better writer.

While implementing the edits I’m finding parts which are building my confidence. Some bring me to my knees because I am so proud of them. The tears I have shed related to a baby lost to miscarriage, my wonderful daughters, my amazing mother, Sandy Hook, and the love and loss of a special canine-companion (these are a few among many) have convinced me to proceed. This process instills in me the absolute honor I feel by creating this thirty-year record of why I write what I write AND why I wrote what I wrote and what happened after.
Will it sell?
The articles, columns and essays already have.
Wrapped in “why” will they sell again?
I’m sold on finishing.
I’m on it.

I'm sure this post deserves red lines. Spare me.
When was the last time editing stopped one of your projects?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Not my house but I could live 'write' there.
One year ago today my husband and I downsized, half the house, one quarter the land. What we have is still too big, still too much to mow, but perfect considering the size of our family. It’s just the two of us, plus a little wiener of a dog, but when the kids, and their kids show up, what we have suits us fine.

We will eventually have to whittle down the space again. I am hoping, that when that happens, it will be a choice and not a forced quick carving up of what’s placed on our plates, like illness or the death of one of us.

In two weeks I am retiring from my 9 to 5, into what is commonly called semi-retirement. I’m still working but less hours. It’s like before and after getting a driver’s license, before and after graduation, marriage, children and their licenses, graduations, marriage and children. One of those life events redefining life.  Very exciting.

All this downsizing, as I ramp up writing, means the house won’t be any cleaner and I won’t be cooking more. Less time on my feet and more time on my ass, (close to fridge), means…well you know what that means.

I will fight to finish my projects and not expand my pants-size.

What was your last life event?