Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Progress Report—Back to the Manuscript (Editing Update)

I'm still plugging away on the edits to my latest manuscript. As mentioned in my last post, it's not something I truly enjoy but it has to be done.

Making the edits
The time-consuming and intense process basically involves rereading the 93k words to accept or reject edits, consider suggestions, and answer questions on such things as timeline, characters, and scenes. I can usually spend about five hours daily, with a short break, focused on the manuscript before my head feels like it is spinning in all directions.

The deadline for returning the manuscript is June 1. I thought I would be finished with it this past weekend but now it looks more like next weekend. 

And even then, I will probably sit on it for a few days to mull over parts before clicking the send button. 

It's a slow undertaking but I want to be satisfied (as much as an author can be because we're never totally satisfied) with the final version that will become a published novel.

Until the next time. . . . 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Progress Report--Back to the Manuscript (Editing)

After sitting on the edits to my manuscript for a week, I finally opened the document and began work on it.

As mentioned in my last post, I have to be in the right frame of mind to delve into edits, rewrites, revisions, recommendations, and such. It can be a humbling experience as well as edifying. 

I try to approach it in a positive manner. I know the editor is seeking to make the manuscript the best it can be because her name will be stamped on it. And I want the same because my name will be showcased on the cover. But most of all, I want it to be the best possible read for those who will purchase it.

The novel-to-be is about 190 typewritten pages. I was able to cover 17 pages, taking nearly 3.5 hours. So do the math. It will probably take 30-plus hours to go over the entire 91,000 words.

I hope to increase my output, spending about five hours a day. If I can do that, I should be able to return it to my editor early next week, if not sooner. I'm not in a big rush since we set a June 1 deadline. Another reason I want to get it done, sooner than later, is because something could come up in the meantime that could push things back. Life happens.

Not only am I making or considering suggested edits, I'm rereading the manuscript for the tenth time to make sure it flows, catch any typos, and anything else that might pop up.

Are you wondering why can't I do more pages? I must confess that my eyes can't go much longer than five hours. They get heavy and tired. And I get mentally exhausted. I believe most authors would tell you that this is an intense process. 

And now back to the manuscript.

Until the next time. . . . 


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Progress Report -- Back to the Manuscript

About two months ago I emailed my completed manuscript to my publisher.  Yesterday, it came back with notes and edits. 

So it's back to work. 

7th annual Authors Fair in La Grange, Ky.
I must admit that I was kinda enjoying the break from the manuscript. I attended three book-signing events in April, selling a few books, expanding my network with other authors, engaging new readers, and making a few friends. 

I haven't opened the documents. I told my editor that it will probably be a few days before I delve into the contents that contain edits, suggestions, and grammatical and typo fixes that should tighten and strengthen the story. 

So why haven't I started the editing process? 

I need to be in the right frame of mind. It's not something that I can do for a few days, take a few days off, and go back to it. Once I get started, I go from beginning to end. I have to stay focused. I find it mentally exhausting, even though I know there will be a degree of exhilaration when it's over.

The novel, a sequel to "Old Ways and New Days," is scheduled to be released on Nov. 1. I don't plan to sit on the edits very long (maybe a day or two) because I have other things to do between now and then, such as work with the publisher on a cover, marketing and promotion. 

And once I finish the formal editing phase, which includes reviewing the galley proof,  I plan to start on the next book in the series. So I have lots to do. Now to get focused.

Until the next time. . . .



 


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Story Songs: Me and You and a Dog Named Boo

There's something about driving down the wide-open highway and freedom—in a car, on a motorcycle, in an RV, or on a bicycle. The road ends only where you want it to end.

Lobo, whose real name is Kent LaVoie, captured that feeling in 1971 with his song, "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo." It reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 1 on the Easy Listening chart.

In this timeless tune, the narrator and a friend, along with their sidekick, Boo, leave Georgia in an old car to drive to the West Coast.
But it's not a straight shot as they apparently want to see other parts of the country, stopping in St. Paul, Minn., where they run into some trouble.

"I can still recall
The wheat fields of St. Paul
And the morning we got caught
Robbing from an old hen"

But they were fortunate that the farmer got them to repay by putting them to work instead of calling the law.

"Old McDonald he made us work
But then he paid us for what it was for what it was worth
Another tank of gas
And back on the road again"

They finally reach Los Angeles but it's not going to be the destination. Why? They're ready to hit the highways and byways.

"Though it's only been a month or so
That old car's buggin' us to go
We've gotta get away and get back on
The road again"

My favorite lines are the refrain, which expresses the yearning to be free—on the road.

"Me and you and a dog named Boo
Travelin' and livin' off the land
Me and you and a dog named Boo
How I love being a free man"

Back in the late '60s, a friend and I were planning on going out west but it didn't happen because he fell in love with some gal. I didn't own a car at the time so I was out of luck. But through the years I have ventured on the road, discovering new places along the way.

Lobo had several other hits in the '70s including "I'd Love You to Want Me" and "Don't Expect Me to Be Your Friend." Check out this short reflection on his life, in his own words. I've always enjoyed Lobo's relaxed and easygoing voice.


Now let's listen to this classic song:


Until the next time. . . .






Monday, April 3, 2017

Manuscript Release Date

I received great news today that my next novel will be published Nov. 1.

I'm glad for several reasons:
  • It will give me time to do promotional work several months ahead of the release date. In the past, I've felt somewhat rushed in getting the word out about my books, especially when working full-time.
  • The novel will be available for the holiday season, a prime time for books since we all know that they make great gifts.
  • The novel is a sequel to "Old Ways and New Days," and I hope to start on the third book in the series. Between now and the release date, I can give some thought about what to call the series (if you have any suggestions, feel free to send my way).
  • I've already ordered rack cards, listing all my books as well as contact information. They'll be distributed at book events. Once I get cover art, I'll start working on bookmarks, flyers, news releases, and other marketing items.
I haven't written much, in terms of creative writing, since sending the manuscript to my editor at Wings ePress. I've cranked out a few blog posts, book reviews, and some other things, but  haven't delved back into fiction.

In addition to working on the third book, I intend get back to short stories, and finish a second volume of "Laments."

I'm eager to get back to serious writing, but must confess I needed the break because of other things going on in my life. Writers need breathers once in a while, don't you think?

Now to get back to work.

Until the next time. . . .






Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Discovery -- Josephine Sculpture Park

Sometimes there are points of interest practically right under our nose. Such was the case for me when I ventured about four miles from my home in Frankfort, Ky.,  to visit the Josephine Sculpture Park.

I live  in  a town rich in history, being the capital of Kentucky. But for some inexplicable reason, I never visited the sculpture park, even though I've lived here for nearly 16 years (it didn't become a public park until 2009).



So on one warm pre-spring morning, I decided to drive to park and see what it had to offer. It was bigger and better than I expected.

According to the park's website, JSP is named after Josephine VanHouten, who owned a farm from which the park is located, off Lawrenceburg Road. Her granddaughter, Melanie, is the artistic director.

Josephine Sculpture Park spreads over about 20 acres, south of town, divided into four sections—Queen Anne's Meadow, Native Hill, Eastern Ridge, and Walnut Grove.

As I walked on the quiet paths from one section to the other, I looked at the 40 or so sculptures and murals that adorn the public park. As for the art, some I liked, some not so much, but it was still a feast for the eyes to discover a park devoted to artistic expression.


Visitors Center
The park also has a primitive amphitheater for performing arts, visitors center, and during the year hosts workshops, field trips concerts, exhibits and more. It is also pet-friendly and smoke-free.

I'll be making return trips, with my dogs, to stroll about the park now that spring has finally arrived and the weather will be warmer.



I plan to discover more sites close to home in the coming months.

Until the next time. . . .

Info:
Josephine Sculpture Park
3355 Lawrenceburg Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
www.josephinesculpturepark.org
Phone: 502-352-7082

Friday, March 10, 2017

EPIC Finalist

I hope you don't mind me tooting my own horn but I was notified this week that my novel, "Old Ways and New Days," is a finalist in the 2017 EPIC eBooks Awards category of contemporary fiction.


What is EPIC? It's the Electronic Publishing Internet Coaliton—the "voice of ePublishing since 1998." The organization has been around since the beginning of digital books.

A fellow author at Wings ePress, Suzanne Hurley, is a finalist in the young reader category for "The Teddy Bear Eye Club." Read more about the organization here.

EPIC also has competition for best book covers—Ariana Awards—in 10 categories. Check them out as well to see some impressive artwork.

This is a wonderful organization for small presses, indie authors, illustrators and others in the industry, providing a great voice in the world of publishing. I encourage authors and publishing houses to become an EPIC member.

The organization will hold its annual convention—EPICon— June 16-17 in San Antonio, Texas.

I'm also excited about the recognition because the sequel to "Old Ways and New Days" will be published this year. And I'll soon be working on the third book in the series in the next few weeks. My novels are also available in print.

I'll keep you posted when the winners are announced. For me, it's already a win-win regardless of the outcome.

Until the next time. . . .