Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Are you Furreal?

I never grew up with pets.  My mom was "allergic" and my dad didn't want us to cry when it died as they all ultimately do.  So because of limited exposure as a child, I'm not too fond of animals.  Besides, I have enough poop and pee to clean up without an animal in the mix.  But, like all children, my kids beg for furry friends.  Rosie pants when the neighbors German Shepard strolls by and the others love, cuddle, hug every animal that will let them.  Jonny tugs at my heartstrings when he bats his puppy dog eyes and says, "I'd be much happier with a dog to love.  Every boy should have a dog."

We all know I'm a pushover and can't stand my ground. So meet the newest member of our family.  Her name is Kitty and she purrs when you rub her back.  She is especially happy when Hayden combs her fur.  The best part about our pet is that she doesn't eat which means no excrement to clean up.  The kids love our new pet!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Samurai Time

"The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction.  By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say."  Mark Twain

For me, editing is the most exciting part of writing.  This is when a decent manuscript becomes good.  The characters become dimensional and theme emerges.

I have read through Awakened (my working title) at least ten times not including the dozens of times I have read through each individual section.  I did a final read through.  I called it done...for now.  I set it aside, there was a wedding and then a cruise.  I needed to finish Hayden's quilt.  Weeks went by and I was content with my second draft.

Cruise finished and quilt bound, I found some time to edit. I pulled out my (proverbially) dusty manuscript for some minor editing and fact checking.  After two hours I had only managed twenty-six pages.  The next morning was spent on the same twenty-six pages.  I moved forward but meandered back to the beginning again.  And heaven help me, those are the best twenty-six pages in the whole novel and I fully expect to go back to them to make them even better.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Editing tip #1

If it bores you, it's going to bore the readers.  Don't be afraid to cut.  Cut. Cut. Cut.  Use that little scissor icon to your heart's content.

If you are so deeply attached to a bit of writing that you don't want to get rid of it, open a new file and paste it in there.  You can delete that file later when you realize it really was that boring.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

You wanna know a little about me?  This says it all...well, it says a little.

"Mom, can I play a video game?" my five year old asks, batting her eyelashes.  She knows this is not allowed.  Not this week anyway.  This week my husband had a fabulous idea--one week without video games, one week scorning television, and one week only taking peeks at Facebook.  But the rules can slide.  I know.  She knows.  Everybody knows that Mom is not one who plays by the rules.  "Just one tiny one." She adds.  "Just ten minutes."

"No,"  I say with a sigh.  I should support Jon in this endeavor to give up screens for a week even if it makes my life harder.  Even if it means entertaining a five year old all afternoon.  Even if it means neglecting my writing.  "Daddy said no.  Remember?"

"But can't we just not tell him?"

My breath stops.  This is a perfect idea!  We could have lots of fun! Her playing!  Me writing my next chapter!  Oh, who am I kidding?  Me reading that new regency romance I synced to my Kindle!  What a perfect way to spend an afternoon!  But my conscience stops me.  "Hayden," I say, putting on my most grave mom face and seeing the bliss slip from my grasp, "that would be lying.  Sorry, hon, no computer."

I look at my Kindle being chewed on by the baby.  My laptop sits lifeless on my desk.  I sigh longingly. "Hayden," I say, "Go get a book.  I'll teach you how to read."