Cleaning Up My Mess

Cleaning up my mess

Cleaning up my mess

NO PROBLEM, I GOT THIS
If I had a dollar for every time I rewrote or edited one of my novels before it went to press, I’d be sitting here like Scrooge McDuck counting my stacks of Gold Doubloons. I’m all about tidy perfectionism, particularly when it comes to stuff I put my name on. If three times is a charm, then three dozen assures spotless brilliance–right?

UM, WRONG
There’s a really good reason why even editors don’t edit their own work. Because when it comes to sentences we’ve raked over a bazillion times this side of Sunday, the brain has a quirky way of turning off the main switch when it comes to assessing the things it’s brought to life.

AVERTING A TRAGEDY
Although it’s been years now, I still recall certain early reviews heralding the release of my debut novel, The Secret of Lies–gorgeous and poetic–they arrived as if carried on the wings or angels. Golden morsels suddenly slamming to a jarring halt and leaning toward hostile when these same readers found themselves stumbling over typos and grammar homicide perpetrated by said author. Ouch. That stuff hurts, even more so since I myself was the boob providing the bullets for critics to load into their guns.

AND SO THE QUEST FOR THE HOLY GRAIL
Or, in writerly terms, the hunt for the editor you surely NEED to find because this essential pied piper of prettified prose isn’t you. Seriously. It isn’t.

EENY MEENY MINY MO
…is absolutely not the right way to go about finding the perfect word-mate to comb through your brilliant creation. Make no mistake, you’re not only making an investment in your career, you’re pursuing a relationship, in which case it seems something of a romantic approach is in order. Get out there and mingle. Saunter through cyberspace and stop in at a few online writer hangouts. Pull up a keyboard and join in the chit-chat. Note those voices which most resonate. Collect recommendations from starry-eyed writers madly in love with their editors. Make more notes–mentally or on paper–just make them.

ONE SIZE FITS ALL? NOT QUITE, CINDERELLA
If what you’re looking for is a set of eyes to align your p’s & q’s, and sort your “then and than’s,” your task might prove less complicated. But me, I’m a romantic with a hankering for truelove. In writer speak, it means pining for an editor with knowledge, chutzpah, confidence, wisdom, and of supreme importance–someone who connects with my scribbling. A courtship? Yep, pretty much.

SNAGGING A WORD SHARK
I now fast forward to introduce the winner of my own carefully versed Dating Game–tah dah *shoots confetti–reloads–double shot*–Karen Sanderson, The Word Shark.

BEWARE OF CHEAP IMITATIONS
Seriously, that’s it. Beware of cheap imitations.

ENTER THE WORD SHARK
Certainly there are oodles of noodles and mighty word slayers, so how to choose wisely, Indiana Jones? For me it was a definite series of clicks heard round the world–or at least loud and clear within the vicinity of my head.

Sample edit: concise, professional–CLICK. Initial and subsequent correspondence: honest, wise, generous, prompt, and oftentimes hilarious (bonus points considering my general buffoon tendencies)–CLICK.  Timely edit-in-progress updates to soothe my anxious soul–CLICK. Essential nit-picky comments leading me to prune and  fine-tune the clumsy, clanky, scratchy bits from my pile of pages–CLICK. Suggestions, immediate reactions and impressions of plot twists and character motivation, aka exposing junk masquerading as literature–double CLICK. And the grand finale, an editorial letter wrapping it all together–strengthens, weakness, applause–multiple CLICKS.

SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED
Finished. My mess is now tidy and polished, and Painted From Memories is mere days away from release. The construction dust has settled and yet still here, lending support, cheerleading,  blowing-up balloons, ready to uncork the champagne, is my wildly cool new editor and aforementioned Word Shark. A gifted word whisperer who continues to step above and beyond–and then–beyond beyond.  Long term keeper–CLICK.

 

And you, what cha thinking? Have you found your dream editor? On the hunt for the perfect fit? Still wondering if you really even need one?

 

 

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So, As I Was Saying…

  …Okay, So…To Continue

as i was saying

Alright, alright, fine. Yeah okay, so I’m bluffing. As if you could be so easily tricked. But I just thought maybe if I tip-toed in here quietly, brushed of the dust and slid up to my keyboard, no one would be the wiser. But that’s one of the things I love and  most missed about you–your Solomon-like wisdom–and the no-way, fat-chance, of you being so easily fooled by a long-time absent buffoon.

Lost In Translation, Wandering the Sahara, Trapped in a Cave

You can bet any of those overwrought  glitches strike me as a whole lot easier to surmount than attempts to pick-up the threads of my misplaced blogging mojo. Make no mistake, I’ve been writing some truly genius and unforgettable posts in my head (where all things scream of perfection until they come out and land on paper or blank screen) but, yeah, that doesn’t count for much unless you happen to be the Long Island Medium and you’re sitting next to me on the couch.

Channeling Stella…

and wondering just how she got her groove back.

But, But, But

We live in a world of excuses. Everyone has them, some legit, many most just a pile of baloney. For this reason I’ll spare you mine. They’re not all that intriguing or unusual after all. Just my own stuff. (Cuing Hubby’s voice and one of his favorite hugely annoying when repeated one time to many quotes, “We don’t want excuses, we want results.” Yeah, that.

Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead

So minus the excuses and getting straight to the results; the treatment went very well (not mine), the operation was a success and the recovery fairly smooth (again, not mine), college selection nearly confirmed (child #4), grand opening scheduled for March (child #2), the diagnosis allows for a certain amount of confident optimism (you know who you are), and book number is heading into the home stretch (mine) (Spit-shine and polish coming up, thank you and amen for an awesomely answered prayer that goes by the name of, Word Shark, Karen Sanderson!)

Full Plate, Yes–Multi-Tasking Skills, Nada

I know who you are, I see you juggling a half-dozen dramas with one hand, arm tied behind your back, neck in a brace, and one leg in quicksand. I aspire to be you, but when it comes to emotional, personal, real life stuff, I’m still a klutz with the baton. I need seven hands to juggle two pins, and even then there’s a good chance something’s getting dropped.

And All This Time You Were Thinking I Just Ran Out of Stuff To Say

How amusing that you’d ever assume such a thing (or maybe just hoping), but no, my blog motor, though idling for a while, is still running. One of my New Year resolutions was to sweep the cobwebs from my blog and get back on track. January 1– February 19. Not too bad. Considering.

Meanwhile On Your Side of the Fence

So that’s me, but what, pray tell, have you been up to? Would love you to share your milestones, achievements, aspirations, and tidbits. Come on then, toot your horn, we’re all listening.man with balloons