Terrebonne Parish

Sep09

Final Edits?

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This one came with tabs. Beautiful purple ink, typed notes and blue tabs. Can you believe it?

That’s how good she is; that editor of mine. (Or not mine, as we’ve already established.)

She came to my house on August 23. We did lunch. That’s what we sophisticated people call it when we meet in the middle of the day for a professional-type meeting.

Except, I wasn’t very professional.

This was my attire:

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Yep, that would be my nightgown. Because when you work from home, it’s very hard to change into anything remotely considered professional and still be as comfortable as one would be in a nightgown; so, I was still in this getup when she arrived.

And forget a fancy, catered lunch with all the fix’ns.

This is what I fed her:

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And she began the tedious task of discussing edits, options, ideas and scenarios with me. How patient, that lady! As she picked the pepperoni from her pizza and sipped her water, she patiently discussed the things that (as a reader) seemed confusing and/or out of place in the story.

I listened intently — hanging on every word, because I know without question that her words are wise and need to be taken to heart and fully considered as I finalize the story.

Now, writers of the world: Don’t get me wrong; your story is your story, and there will be times when an editor makes suggestions that you know beyond any doubt just will not work. That’s okay. Stick with that. After all, the editor doesn’t always know the direction you’re story is going in . . . in the end. That makes their job difficult. BUT, you should always consider ALL their suggestions. ALWAYS. Maybe you’re story has an ending even you don’t know about. Hey, it’s possible.

Let me backtrack for a second. Minutes before she arrived, (instead of changing out of my nightie) I wrote her a poem. Actually, it wrote itself . . . as usual. It’s entitled “Red Wine and Purple Ink.” I’ll share it with you one day, but not today. For now, it’s just between the two of us. My gift to her. The only way I know to say “Thank you for being so great.”

So, after gross food, good laughs and deep thoughts; she left.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting.

I did not, as you might assume, get right to work on the corrections. It simply doesn’t work that way. In fact, to date, I haven’t made a single correction. Not for lack of want. It’s just that, the first day or two after such a meeting, I mentally regroup. I think about the ideas and suggestions and write each one of them into the story in my head. I play them out and consider how (or if) they fit and what direction the idea would take the story in. I consider how many changes in other parts of the book need to be made to make the new ideas work.

So, I didn’t get to work right away.

Then, Labor Day weekend took me out of town for several days.

Then, I got a cold.

Then, I had a birthday celebration to plan.

Then, then, then . . .

Finally, today I began to think about starting the corrections; but then, I realized I never even blogged about the meeting as I’d promised to do. So, here I am. Blogging.

And this is the way things happen for writers. Especially those who stay home. Other things take precedent sometimes. Okay, often.

Self-discipline for anyone who works from home is a learned attribute.

So . . . as I sit myself down, in a room push-pinned full of inspiring photos for Terrebonne Parish,img_3409

I am determined to start these changes/edits as soon as I hit the “Post” button for this blog.

And here’s the good news; the next time the editor gets the book, it will be the entire book — beginning to end — with all the requested changes, thus far.

And then, it will be one step closer to being in your hands.

I know it’s been a long journey. Trust me, I know! And as long as it’s already been, it’s really only the beginning.

This process . . .

It’s long. It’s tedious. It’s exhausting.

It’s exciting. It’s tremendous. It’s exhilarating.

It’s the life of a writer, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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