#279–Writing keeps me sane . . .

Note: Post #280 will post on Sunday, February 21.

What a bizarre world we are living in right now. I’ve been listening to parts of the impeachment trial and it just seems totally obvious how anyone should vote, but since it is a political, not a criminal or civil, trial, it will probably end in acquittal. If the vote were secret ballot, then I’m sure it would go the other way. But that’s now how our government works, nor should it. Enough of that.

And I in my bubble of one (bubble of two, Groucho informed me), due to the pandemic, have days of loneliness and depression just like so many others, but I try to overcome them by being busy. Nothing like a deadline to get you out of the doldrums.

It’s a bizarre world for more than one reason but writing keeps me sane. That’s why I write my blog each week. That’s why I’m writing my new book. I’ve said more than once, when I’ve finished writing a piece––whether an article or blog post or chapter of a book––once I’ve tweaked it and got it where I want it, I feel great. It gives me a high—better than any drug. So, that’s my antidote to this bizarre world we’re living in.

My view of the world this past week. Only picture me in the chair with Sir Groucho on my lap.

This week, I made progress on all fronts, and each one gave me great satisfaction, but none as much as the progress made on my own book.

Editing Jobs

I think I’m finally finished with my part on the first novel. I thought I was done last Sunday and sent it off to the publisher after putting in some changes requested by the author. But I decided to just look it over for mostly formatting changes and to look for those lines under words that Microsoft Word does to alert you to a problem. I was just going to give it a quick scan. Ha!

Before I knew it, I was reading it and finding the occasional introductory phrase without a comma and more independent clauses connected with a conjunction but no comma. And a few other things, so minor nobody but an editor would notice. I had to let the publisher know that I had made more changes and then had to resend to the author. So, he read it through again and, of course, he found a few “oops” and found a few things he wanted to re-word. So, yesterday, I got his last changes in and sent to the publisher. Finally, it’s ready to move forward in the publishing process.

I really enjoyed reading and editing this book and think it will sell really well. All I’ll say is that it’s set in western Oregon with lots of familiar places mentioned and that it’s a love story with legendary creatures and a wildfire. Sounds like a winning combination to me.

And the second novel is almost twice as long and has a more involved plot. It intertwines a nautical story with a military one with science fiction overtones. Very exciting! I look forward to each editing session.  In order to finish by my deadline, I need to do a certain number of pages each week. On this book, I send these to the author each Friday. He gets a chance to see what I’m doing to his manuscript and return it with his changes and comments. Yesterday, I reached the halfway point of the book as to the editing. Tomorrow, I will start putting the editing changes both his and mine into a fresh copy. When we have finished all the segments, I will send him the fresh copy of the entire manuscript for a final read though before it goes to the publisher. So, progress is being made here too.   

I have learned in editing these two books just how important it is to develop a good working relationship with the authors.  One of these authors has written several books, and for the other, it’s his first. As it has turned out, each of them has been a pleasure to work with.  I’m kind of enjoying this editing gig.

During my bald days, when I was undergoing chemo, this was my “happy hat.” Everybody who saw it smiled!

My Book

Last Monday, I sent my publisher, Bob Serra of Maple Creek Press, my possible title with a couple of subtitles to choose from. And another informative segment for the cover. By Tuesday, he had the first draft of the front cover and told me what he wanted from me for the back cover. So, I got it written and sent to him. By Tuesday evening, we had first drafts for both front and back covers. The next couple of days involved some tweaking and back and forth emails. By Thursday, we had a cover we were both happy with. I also tweaked the Dedication, the Table of Contents, and the Introduction that I’d written in the last couple of weeks and sent to him yesterday.

This book will chronicle my battle with caner six years ago. It will consist primarily of my weekly posts during my six months of fighting late-stage Lymphoma from first symptoms, through chemo, and recovery. Just like my blog posts, it will have several photos and be in color.

Since my battle with cancer, I shared some of the posts with folks newly diagnosed and was often told that I should put them into a book. I was working on a new book at the time and didn’t want to even think about another one.

Don’t know why, but right around this past Christmas, when I was running off copies for someone else recently diagnosed, it hit me that these would make a decent book! Duh! Now, that it’s “my idea,” I’m off and running, full-speed-ahead!!

Tomorrow, I’ll send the one chapter I’ve just written that was not a blog post to my publisher along with a number of photos. It’s called, “The Importance of Hair.” If I have the time, I’ll also send the first five chapters with their photos. These were blog posts that I’ve already re-worked. I am so excited and thrilled at each step along the way with this new book––much to my surprise I might add, since I pooh-poohed the idea for so long. Who knew!

So, amid all the craziness of the world, my writing (and editing) keep me sane!

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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