Yesterday was crazy. Life has been beyond insane as of late, and I was taking a few hours out of my schedule to actually get my hair done. My therapy under the expert hands of Dina at the Temecula Salon and Day Spa, with the added benefit of getting an awesome cut and color in the bargain.
At any rate, with one foot out the door, and a final check to e-mail – it came. A note from Elizabeth West. My hero. The one who saw something publishable about All or Nothing. The one who loved my book enough to buy it. AND, I’m discovering, the one who keeps me honest with my writing. She has located every nook and cranny in the pages where I subconsciously cheated. Would RuthAnne say this that way? How could they walk past the stable when they just left it five minutes ago? How could a stagecoach perched on a ledge be wedged in a crevasse? All of the questions on continuity where needless to say – I blew it.
So, time to roll up the sleeves! Elizabeth rocks. I will review each comment with my own fine-tooth-comb, and make sure the characters remain true to themselves and their story. To make sure that my bandit is just as dastardly as he needs to be, and of course, that everyone lives happily ever after.
When I handed the pages back to her last time I thought I was sick of them. Now that they’ve been returned to me – as one of my editor friends mentioned – bleeding from all of the comments and deletes and changes – I am prepared to go to work. To dress the wounds. To resolve the unfinished issues. To find all of my choppy sentences and flesh them out. To not change my name to Miss Placed Modifier (haha) but to institute good grammar wherever I have broken a Chicago Manual of Style rule. Except in conversation!
I’m in school. I’m learning every day. My husband asked me this week where all of this entrepreneurial and creative energy stems from, and honestly I don’t know. All I do know is that I write because I love it. I love this story as much as I love the home that I am cozying up each and every day. Each wall that I’ve painted. Each plant that I’ve dead-headed, planted, grew from a seed, or hole I’ve dug with the strength of my arms and the sweat of my brow.
The story is growing, as my garden is growing. The fact that Elizabeth is pouring her heart into these pages is stunning to me. She is equally involved in RuthAnne and Bowen finding each other. Realizing they are made for one another. Making sure that nothing tears them asunder. This project that began in the wee hours of a fall morning, with Ellie asleep in the swing, in a post-newborn, hormone induced frenetic moment – is now a labor of love for my editor and me. And so, it is with great care that I will go back and read each note. Evaluate each one in the spirit it was given, and finish this story so that we can get this book to print. All by July 10th. Holy cow.
Thank you, all of my author friends who’ve been up this creek I’m frantically paddling… for your sage advice. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without you!