Since I’ll be in California, we’re planning a trip to Disneyland.
Wouldn’t it be fun to track my main character, Humphrey’s journey, step-by-step in pictures? I’ll post the pictures and write blurbs to describe each scene.
Probably sometime in July, so stay tuned …
My friend, Carol, is on the right. I’m the one grinning on the left. We’re at a graduation party.
Tomorrow is the last day of school here in Idaho. So today, I’m doing some housekeeping and sprucing up some old manuscripts, getting ready for the flurry of activities that will soon be filling up my days.
All good stuff. Ready, set, go …
This summer my little nine-year-old son and I will travel west to find a new adventure. And what will that adventure be, you ask? To explore a hidden valley outside of San Diego named Escondido, which when translated means “hidden.”
My whole family, including aunts, uncles and cousins – all live there. The little travel trailer, remodeled with hardwood floors, white painted cabinets, and flowery wallpaper borders will be parked in an RV park by tall palm trees (my son’s favorite tree) and a swimming pool.
But even better, our little house in the RV park will also be next door to my parents little house. Or close to, anyway. So, we look forward to our summer adventure. But most of all, we look forward to being with family.
The other night I presented my dear (the name I call my husband), a fresh copy of a revised portion of my manuscript. “Could you proofread this for me?” I asked.
While reading and without looking up he said, “This is terrible.”
I will pause here to explain something. I like to pour over Newbery award winning novels, studying them line by line at times, to learn how to become a better writer.
So I ran over, grabbed a Newbery book, had him read a few lines, and then asked, “What’s the difference between what I wrote and what you just read here?”
This time he looked up at me. “Ahhhh – this is written well.”
And that is true. It is written well. The sentences are clean, they tell the story, simply and beautifully.
Sometimes less is more. So I rewrote the whole passage in question. And then had him read it again. “Now, what do you think?” I asked. “Is it better?”
“This is fantastic!” He smiled.
Whew! Okay, well – good thing. The first two pages have been “dear-approved,” now another 100 or so to go. But for the sake of our happy little home, I think it’s best I just stick with my critique buddies.
And if anyone would like to read the new pages, request Humphrey’s Secret Kingdom, and read the prologue. It has been freshly revised with a DA (dear-approved) stamp of merit.
Taking a line out of my book, “At least that’s better than a stick in the eye. Isn’t it?”
After all of my work is done, and my family taken care of, I sit at my computer moving words around a page like a house decorator moves furnishings around a room. Oh, perhaps that should go there. No. It doesn’t work. I’ll try something else. That word doesn’t fit. Let me see …
And I’ve just come to realize that whether I find a literary agent for my book(s) or a publisher, it doesn’t matter. I’ve had to remind myself that the journey can be just as adventerous as arriving at the destination.
The most exciting part of any story is when the protagonist is struggling toward their goal. So I’m at the most exciting part of my journey already. Aren’t I?
A doctor told me I have an inflamed, bleeding stomach. Wow. That didn’t sound too good. So I need to stay calm and not stress too much. That’s hard to do in life. And the bible says “Expectation postponed can make the heart sick.” With that in mind, it makes sense how a person who spends their time moving words around a page all day, hoping it will mean something to someone – well, that’s a recipe for disaster. Isn’t it?
I can’t stop arranging the words. I’ve tried. Truly.
So here is what I’ll do.
Sit here at the computer, obsessing over words, BUT – with tea and crackers. They seem to make everything much much better.
A beautiful white bird swooped down and held two copies of my manuscript in her beak and flew away. Her wings flapping, she went way up high. Higher and higher, deep into the sky, until I couldn’t see anything but a white dot. And then POOF! she was gone.
I’ve been rejected. But I’m okay.
And so we carry on …
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we all sing the same song. We – well, I forgot that writers, agents, editors, people in general are all in the same boat. We all want validation.
Here is a wonderful post from the Bent Agency that really hit home:
I’m done with my eighteen-hour pity binge.
My son says that “paper clouds” are in the sky. That means it’s going to be a nice day.
Perhaps he’s right. Paper clouds always come out after a terrible writing storm.
All is well again.