Not for the lily-livered…

I have definitely neglected the blog these past couple of weeks… not completely but considerably. I assure you I have not been laying around eating chips and watching reality TV…

During my two week personal retreat, I have dedicated heart and soul to two things: the cleanse (going very well, thank you) and the editing of my novel (going kind of well)

I began writing “If You Only Knew” in 2008. I had never written fiction but with my characteristic over-confidence and lack of experience, I figured, ‘How hard can it be?” Well… you don’t really want to know. It is very, very hard. But it is also very, very fun! Not like any other kind of writing.

This is “Command Central”… where I write.

My story has been through many incarnations; the tense has been changed four times, the name a couple, the first page has been re-written (I kid you not) at least 100 times.

I have many books on writing and there are writers’ websites I visit, but my two constants are the Nathan Brandsford  blog and Stephen King’s book, “On Writing.”

At the last San Miguel Writers’ Conference, I met my current editor… R.W. is experienced, perfect at what she does, direct, and honest. She is also very diligent and good natured which means I also have to be both those things.

I can’t tell you what an asset a professional editor is.  When I wrote “Tomando Agua de Pozo – A Guide for the Neophyte Yucatecan”, my good friend Juanita Stein was invaluable. With “Magic Made in Mexico” David Bodwell introduced me to his skills and the book would not be what it is without him. Although my present editor is not connected to a publishing house, with her help, “If You Only Knew” (or whatever title the book ends up with) will be ready for publishing this summer.

  Can you make out the 4 Commandments?

I have my 4 Commandments taped right over my head so I don’t lose sight of what I’m doing at this scene editing stage; Set-up , Action , Follow-up , Result. I look for ways to define my characters better and to show their world.  To get feedback, I will pass a few sample chapters around soon.

Writing “the great Mexican novel” … it is not for the lily-livered, let me tell you.

Be well and thanks for checking in on me.

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2 Comments

Filed under Writing

2 responses to “Not for the lily-livered…

  1. Welcome back, Happy Mothers Day mañana, and all the rest!

    May I suggest–next time you might want to try a series of “time outs,” or “mini-retreats.” You might find these as helpful as doing a big one. I now believe any many people need these.

    I was particularly interested in the part of your post regarding discouragement.

    Maybe the test of any artist is whether they continue to do it, despite discouragement, even rejection. The artist, whether writer, performer, visual artist, who does it because they love mastering the art, will either succeed, or at least continue to be content, itself quite a “success.”

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