Updates and Inspiration

In our house, as in so many houses across the country, it is a busy time of year. The school year is starting, the garden is bursting, and there just plain aren’t enough hours in the day.

As we navigate this busy time, The Phone Call is being edited, That One Small Omission is being proofread, and the first set of edits on Keeping Away has arrived, and is being integrated into the manuscript right now. Book 4 (still untitled) is a work in progress.

During this time, we also lost our friend Fluffy, who was the best chicken ever. As I thought about Fluffy, I realized how often she was inspiration for my writing, whether it was on Facebook or in my books. She was also an inspiration in terms of how she found the simple pleasures in life, and how she kept going long after her hearing and vision were waning. Inspiration can be found everywhere, sometimes in the simplest or least expected situations.

Updates, updates, updates

As we go into the weekend, it’s a weekend of incredible joy and pride, and some sadness. Our youngest will head off to his sophomore year of college, and we are so very proud of him. But, his leaving home again makes my throat tighten with unshed tears.

In the midst of getting him ready for college again, we also have the busy time of the start of another school year for me, as well as the garden bursting with produce that needs to be processed. It is a busy, busy time, and there aren’t enough hours in the day.

In the writing world. I am continuing in the writing of novel 4, waiting for edits on Keeping Away, doing the integration of the edits on The Phone Call, and waiting with bated breath for the proofreader to finish the work on That One Small Omission. Such fun!

Novel 4

As I work on my fourth novel, which is a sequel to book 3, I am learning more and more about myself as a writer. My other novels are separate works, and this working on a sequel is very different. I have realized that it is hard to fully separate from the characters in book 3 and let the new characters really show who they are. How much fun it is (and will be) to see them fully!

Wow!

It was a very busy weekend around here. Lots of time spent editing, writing, working in the garden, picking the bounty off our land, knitting, cooking, and spending time with family. I am thrilled to announce That One Small Omission has moved from editing to the proofreading phase, moving toward a publication date, and I can’t wait to see the edits on The Phone Call later this week.

In other news, I also made a couple new teasers for the books:

 

Love

I write romance novels, so clearly, I like love. I mean, who doesn’t like love? But with all the discord this week, I’ve thought a lot about the idea that the band Twiddle shares of loving relentlessly. It’s an active verb. It isn’t sitting quietly on the couch saying you love someone, it’s actively looking out for others, it’s actively caring for others, especially those who are marginalized. I don’t have the great policy answers about how to heal the anger and divisions, but I do know that I will continue to love relentlessly. What about you?

A cover, a couple teasers, and the editing process!

I am thrilled to share the cover for That One Small Omission!

That One Small Omission -- cover

Over the last few days, I have ventured into the scary world of book teasers. I understood the concept of creating an image with text that hopefully will draw readers in to want to read your book. While I understood the idea, actually sitting down to start making them was a huge leap for me.

Finally, I sat down and made a few. Some got scrapped right away, some I have kept, some are still being edited and tweaked. Other authors have given me some feedback, so I will be making more with their feedback in mind.

For The Phone Call, this was my first real teaser:

The Phone Call -- teaser 3

The feedback I received was to make the text stand out more, and to increase the font size of the title, both of which I plan to do in another version or in future teasers.

Then I tackled making a teaser for That One Small Omission, as they are simultaneously in the publication process, so I don’t actually know which one will be published first. Here is my first attempt for that novel:

That One Small Omission -- teaser 3

The funny thing was that once I had “completed” one teaser, it became a lot of fun. I was searching for images that connected to the stories, playing with color and black and white, and trying to put it all together in a visually pleasing manner.

So, maybe later today I will make another teaser or two, and if I do, I will share them out for input.

In other very exciting news, That One Small Omission arrived in my email box this morning, ready for me to start incorporating the Solstice editor’s suggestions. Having just looked a the first couple pages, I am thrilled by the suggestions, and can’t wait to see how it all comes together.

Summer

Summer in Vermont is a wonderful time. Our weather (usually) is good, the gardens, farms, and orchards are bursting with wonderful fruits and vegetables. The lakes and rivers give us such opportunities for swimming and kayaking.

As the summer begins to wind down, denoted here in Addison County by when the fair is done, we continue preparations for winter. The wood is in the shed, we are getting ready to can this weekend, the dehydrator is going all the time, and the garlic is curing in the barn. The final load of hay that we need for the winter will be in the barn next week, meaning that we are ready to feed all the humans and animals all winter, as well as keeping us all warm.

This summer has had the added joys of our newest grandchildren, twins who are now 7 months old, and the excitement of the journey towards publication of my first two novels. As much as I look forward to fall and winter, I have to admit that I hate to see this summer end!

An Update

As of right now, both The Phone Call and That One Small Omission are in their editing process with Solstice Publishing, I have my front cover image for The Phone Call, and my back cover (author’s photo) for both.

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Version 2

Book 3, Keeping Away, has been revised heavily, and is in the process of being edited and reviewed. Book 4 is beginning to look like a novel. Phew! It’s been a busy couple of weeks.

The Beauty Around Us

Some days it is easy to forget how beautiful the natural world around is. We get so busy with day-to-day struggles that it can be difficult to see the beauty. But every once and a while, it’s a good thing to take a couple minutes and stop and look. I did this over the last couple days, and it did me a world of good. The first picture is of a couple wildflowers in our pasture, the second cone flowers that I planted by the rhubarb years ago, forgot about them completely until they decided to bloom this year.

 

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The Writing Process, continued…

As I have started on this publishing journey, I am having a wonderful time reading posts on a closed authors’ group page. Often the posts are about our excitement about our books moving through the process, or getting a great review, ideas for promotion, or just little frustrations such as computer glitches. Some of the posts are about the actual writing process. Do you write in a particular space? In a particular chair? Listening to particular music? Do you write long-hand and then type it in, or type directly onto a computer, or dictate your stories? Then there are discussions about the process of revising works. Do you immediately get the work out to another set of eyes, or revise yourself first? Do you print out and edit in pen/pencil or edit directly on the computer? Laptop, desktop or tablet? Red pen or other colored pens? Do you revise as you go or do a complete draft then start revising?

For me, I write wherever the light is strong enough for me to see the keyboard, whether it is the keyboard on my laptop or tablet. Sometimes I want music, other times I don’t. I type directly instead of writing long-hand because I type much faster than I can hand write something. I revise constantly as I write, directly in the computer file. But, when I get to the point when I think I have a draft complete, then I print it out, put it in a binder, and start the actual revising on a hard-copy. The binder becomes a rainbow of multi-colored post-it flags, each denoting something that only I understand. When I get a chunk (more than 50, less than 100) pages edited, I enter the changes into the computer file. Finally, when all of that is done, I share the file with a friend who has an amazing set of eyes, and she starts her critique.

I guess what I am learning in this journey is that we each have our own way of writing, and I love learning about how others go about their work.