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?”