#277–Three hats really keeps me busy . . .

Note: #278 won’t post until Sunday, February 7

This has been a super busy week as I’ve tried to keep to my schedule regarding my blog writing, my editing job, and as writer/editor on my new book where I’m editing me as the original writer and since I’m also beefing up each blog post, I’m the current writer as well.


Judy as writer in 2014 signing new copies of Around Florence just weeks before being diagnosed with late-stage cancer.

I dithered on what to write about this week in my blog until yesterday morning when I realized I didn’t have much time to devote to it. So, here I sit writing on Thursday evening, although I’ve been ready to write this since yesterday morning, but just so busy with other stuff. I have other topics on my list to write about, but just didn’t have the time to do the research needed. So, this will simply update the wearing-three-hats aspect of my life during this week.

For years, I wrote weekly in my blog on what I’d done that week regarding my writing. So, this is a return to that as well as including the editing that I’m now involved with.


I had hoped to finish the first of two novels this week that I’ve been hired to edit for a local publisher. And it looks like I will make my self-imposed deadline of the end of the month.

I finished editing the manuscript last Sunday. It is a delightful book with a love story, interactions with legendary creatures that turn out to be real, and a close encounter with wildfire. It is a good read.

Me this week being totally transported by the story I was editing. Had to keep reining myself in and reminding myself that I was the editor and to get back to work.

As a non-fiction writer, I’m in awe of fiction writers, because they come up with plots, characters, and settings out of their imaginations and experiences and make them so real that it totally transports the reader.  

This manuscript kept trying to transport me, while I was trying to check the grammar and punctuation and making sure that everything fit with what had been said before, etc, etc Every time it succeeded, I had to bring myself back to the nitty-gritty nuts and bolts of writing. It helps that I go through every chapter twice.

So, I sent it off to the author late last Sunday. And this week has been spent having him read though each chapter and looking at all the edits. Some items required back-and-forth emails and reworking some parts. This writer was a delight to work with. At first, I think he thought I had “gutted” his work. But by the end of the week, he felt I had tightened it and made it better and was pleased. Whew!

Me this week in serious editor mode.

Now, I’m putting all the edits in that he has looked at and okayed. I use the original manuscript. I’ve done 11 chapters and have three days to do the remaining 15. Then I will send the whole manuscript in its entirety to him to look over once more before I send to the publisher.

I love editing a book with a good story. Even though I knew the basic plot before I started editing, it is just so interesting to see how the writer gets from Point A to Point B and to see the character development. I hope my second novel to edit, which I will begin next week, is just as enjoyable.


Twice during this week, I woke up thinking about my new book. Both times it was earlier than I normally get up, but I got up and got some work done before my normal day began.

During chemo, I was able to continue working on my fourth book on my “good days.” It was so important to be able to do something “normal.”

A few days ago, I spent some time on the Introduction. I got it all down in that early hour. Later, I spent a couple hours tweaking it. That’s the part I enjoy most.

This book is about my six-month journey through chemo six years ago when I battled late-stage cancer. During the journey, I wrote about it each week in my blog and shared some of the blog posts over the years with folks recently diagnosed. After being told over and over to put them in a book, I decided to do it.

This morning, I woke up thinking about all the folks I wanted to dedicate this book to: two doctors, my sister, my neighbors and other friends whose help made it possible to stay in my home during treatment and recovery, my caregiver during three of my “dark hole periods,” my publisher and illustrator who continued working with me on my book Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known on my good days, and Sir Groucho, my sweet, adorable cat, that never let me out of his sight for six months. So, I got up and wrote the dedication and then did the Table of Contents before I fed Sir Groucho or me.

My assistant in everything. No matter where I am at home, he is nearby. Such a great companion during chemo and during this pandemic.

Earlier in the week, I spent a few hours going through the five chapters I had already gone through once. I dated them as if they were written back in 2014 and 2015 and then tweaked and tweaked. Dating them, made all the difference. Now, I’m happy with how they are turning out. I’m ready to move on. Hope to get a few more chapters done next week and to come up with some title possibilities.  

I think for the next few weeks, my blog post will simply update each week as to my roles as writer, editor, and writer/editor. While it’s keeping me busy, busy, I’m enjoying all of it.

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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