Editing

I’ve heard it said that editing is one of the worst jobs ever but I personally find it wonderful. Not all the time, mind you. I’ve written secretly for decades and used a variety of word processing apps and programs which can mean the text, opened in Microsoft Word, has a ton of unnecessary formatting. While I’ve tried to make these disappear in a wonderful way Word can sometimes manage, often it comes down to just removing them manually, which is the definition of tedious.

However, now and then there are wonderful edits where I can unkill someone I really never wanted to die anyway. I just change a word or two, alter a sentence, and that person lives on!

Character development is when the main or a supporting character learns or chooses something that alters his course, alters his viewpoint, alters them forever. Losing someone is one of the main ways that occurs but in the same way saving someone can also alter a character. Did they realize they’d put themselves in danger? Did they realize they had the power to alter another’s course of life?

It’s an interesting situation to ponder but I didn’t save that character for any of those reasons? I saved him so the main character can get used to not losing so often. So he can have more hope. Blame it on 2020 when life has been so difficult for so many. Blame it on a pandemic that has altered our nation, we hope, forever so that freedom and liberty really do apply to all! Well, it applied to Olozcho who will quite possibly die in a sequel somewhere. The real challenge here is, in future edits, I’ll need to remember that Olozcho isn’t dead anymore!

Thanksgiving prompted me to do the housework so now I just have a ton of homework to complete as the semester nears the end then decide what I want to take next semester. I’m considering a marketing class since that is certainly a part of writing I know absolutely nothing about. I also need to continue renovating the house, getting rid of all the things my Dad refused to throw away. Lots of things on my To Do list but I’m still on target to get the Print On Demand of Joanna 1 out before Christmas and also get Joanna 2 out by the end of January! As to the editing, I’m currently working on Dorian 1 and 2, getting them closer to being done so I can start the copyright process.

I love writing!

Coming Soon!

Publishing my first book was a revelation. I was introduced to a very new concept of self-publication/marketing/promotion/Graphic Design/Career Management. When I wrote the book, I honestly never considered any of those things so this has been a learning opportunity.

I decided to go back to school for Graphic Design which has kept me quite busy! Still, I think about my ultimate goals. The Print on Demand Joanna 1 will be available before Christmas and, I’m hoping, to have Joanna 2 up in a digital version in January.

The copyright came through for Joanna 2 so I’ll be designing the cover and managing the content for publication. Then I’ll start to work on the Print on Demand version of Joanna 2 while also focusing on getting Dorian 1 ready to submit for Copyright!

Whew!

As my first semester of studying Graphic Design nears the end, I’m also looking forward to next semester and planning the release of a whole new series next summer!

Saying Goodbye

It was my mother’s idea to get a brother and sister after my Mitsey died. We adopted and got Sadie and her brother Joey. They will be 15 in January of 2021. Sadie won’t see 2021.

My mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia shortly after we adopted Sadie and Joey so they pretty much became my cats. All these years later, after traveling with me through my Mom’s dementia, her brother (my uncle’s) heart failure and losing my Dad to complications of diabetes, I had really hoped we could settle in for a few years and just enjoy the time we had left.

Sadie was diagnosed with advanced lymphoma 3 months ago and she came home on medications, basically on hospice. The time has come to say goodbye.

It’s so odd how it’s harder to say goodbye to my furry friend. I hated losing family members but for some reason this loss feels so much worse.

Listmania

1. I love lists. When life is complicated, lists allow me to break life down into manageable bits.

2. The kitty in my profile pic was my Mom’s cat. A year after we adopted her in 2006, my mother was lost mentally to vascular dementia. Sadie became my kitty and was diagnosed with cancer this month.

3. Cancer sucks.

4. Done writing and editing Joanna vol. 1 book 2 and it’s off to the copyright office. I’ll be working on the cover next month as well as preparing the first book of my new series for publication!

5. Regarding the national change shortage, it’s my Dad’s fault. Still going through their house, living here too, and continue to find tons of loose change in pill bottles. I’m sure he’d tell me it’s a Great Depression thing.

6. I got my first royalty payment and am so excited about writing and publishing. Eagerly waiting for my first review!

7. Be well, everyone!

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Mass Communications

I have always been eager to learn more. While I was caregiving for my mother, I took at least one class at the local community college whenever I was able. This year’s lockdown and quarantine has given me a lot of time. I love renovating but some days I just want to sit. What better way to spend that time than on a telecourse?

Mass Communications was the choice I made for this short summer semester and it opened my eyes to so many things. I would very much recommend taking a course in Mass Communications for anyone who likes telecourses and for anyone who wishes to broaden their minds. Stanley Baran’s book was a great read, one of the few textbooks I really enjoyed, and included so much about communications on a mass scale as to be truly informative. The instructor then pulled out even more information in the assignments which included the Black Press and many documentaries including Miss Representation and The Mask You Live In.

In a world where all of us are exposed to communications on a huge scale day after day, often without our permission, it’s always good to be able to look at an ad or anything and be able to see the messages which might not be what the communication is primarily trying to promote. In fact, the way I write will be better informed now and when I’m editing, I’ll have a better idea what needs to be altered to be more inclusive and more progressive.

A Life Long Dream

The year was 1984. I was transitioning into the 8th grade. My life was chaotic because both parents were chronically ill and my mother was schizophrenic. The summer before my 7th grade year, I’d twisted my ankle really bad and spent most of summer vacation recuperating. No biking or skating or anything really. When I got bored, which took all of five seconds, I was given a book.

I had slogged through an adult novel once before. One of Andre Norton’s. It took two years for me to finish it. I was in the 4th grade when I started it. To say I wasn’t much of a reader would be honest. I was a anomaly in a family of devoted readers but that all changed that one summer. I pulled a book out of the stack my mother brought home and my life was altered forever.

Patricia C. Wrede’s Daughter of Witches was the book I chose that summer and I must have read that book 30 times that summer. I even got brave enough to write the author and got a reply back! Ms. Wrede’s encouragement to a young person was so wonderful and created an enthusiastic desire in me to write.

My life was so chaotic then. Family violence was a topic no one discussed in the 1980s. I adapted and learned and all the feelings and issues I was working through, not knowing how else to work through other than funneling them into my writing. I wrote all the years I took care of my mother who needed long term care and supervision and medication assistance. Now, the 1980s are a distant memory and I’ve published my first novel. I don’t know if anyone else will see Joanna: A King’s Failure in the same way I did, having written it while caregiving. But just holding a copy of my own book, a piece of my own therapy, is a testament to how far I’ve come.

 

Writing

I’ve been writing off and on since I was in 7th grade. I really got serious about it in 1999 when I finally finished a book. Yay!

It was awful!

I know you’ll say that I’m my own harshest critic but I’ve still got the original manuscript and it is quite literally rubbish.

The hardest part of writing is to get it all finished, to actually write a book with a beginning, middle and end then have it end! It’s hard to see it through to the very last page. It can be utterly exhausting to get it all down on paper but I’ve made a pattern I can follow now and I use it to create other books. The goal of writing is to get it all down and then to start editing it, changing this part or that part, making sure all the verb tenses are correct and that words are spelled correctly. I still have that book I wrote in 1999 in it’s original content and I have what it became after several years of editing. The two look nothing alike except for the characters’ names. Editing is supposed to be horrible but I found it to be so much fun. I enjoyed playing with the characters and trying new ways to make the dialog and the story interesting.

I’m looking into self-publication and what that might mean. I need to get some legal advice and ask questions and do some research but next year could be the year. With that said, I must say that writing was the most exciting, exhausting and liberating thing I’d ever done.

When I started caring for my mother and having flashbacks of what it was like being raised by a woman with full blown schizophrenia, I had no where to put all my feelings and those terrible memories I’d worked so hard to forget before they came back at the worst possible time. Writing gave me that outlet. It wasn’t like a diary nor was it a memoir. Instead it was a way to make use of those things, to put what I was feeling into words on a computer screen and make them behave. That’s the hardest part, making the characters behave. They often go off and do things I never, as the writer, wanted them to do! Then I have to find out how they’re going to get themselves out of that. But, I also confess to going back and rereading books I’ve written when I’m feeling down or sad. Oddly enough, I don’t remember what I was feeling when I wrote them. All I have left are the characters and the choices they made.

I grew up on print media. Holding a book in my hands is how I was raised. I’m hip though and I love Kindle and digital is the wave of the future. I’m not sure how I’ll feel when my book is finally published and ready for people to read and critique. I’m not as attached to that first book as I was so many years ago when it was like something sacred I gave birth to. Now it’s just a book, taking up space on my hard drive. But going into print could change that.

I may never see my  book in print, not in the traditional way. Handheld books are quickly becoming a thing of the past. I’ve recently delved into Audible and discovered I really like it. I can read and crochet at the same time! But having my book out there will be an experience and, whatever happens, my life will never be the same.

I’ll have to dream new dreams once I get my first book published.