Dogs, Coffee and a Need for Warmth


It is frigging cold today and my benevolent nature is wearing thin. If I only had proof of how many calories are being burned while shivering, I would stop complaining so much!

It’s now 9:48 am and the temp has risen to 34º, up from  29º –simply balmy!

3 siberian huskies napping

three mad crazy nappers -so sweet when unconscious!

Living with 4 Siberian Huskies while working from home is a challenge. Between 10:00 am and 10:30 am, I close the door to the screen room, turn back on the heat and everyone but me settles down for a nap. I call my home the Gulag and the woman who runs Southern Siberian Rescue, Dawne Howard, told me that once she looked up the word, she had to agree 100% with the usage.

I am starting my first round of edits on The Last Daughter and feel very optimistic. My first book, The Mount Merryhill Suicides was killed by a hit and run during edits. I plan on reviving it with Scrivener and the advice on editing given by Jenna Patrick during last Saturday’s CRW’s meeting. Jenna calls her process Cut the Crap and as a poet I can relate. In poems, you consider and agonize over each and every word, ruthlessly trashing all by the absolute skeleton.

It quickly became obvious to me, how and why I was committing Novel-cide, my method of editing was 100% opposite her logical approach. Like a mouse, I was nibbling at the bottom of a mountain of grain and only getting buried. To paraphrase Jenna’s Cutting the Crap:

  1. Start with the Big Picture, look at turning points, know your characters, consider story boards.
  2. Continue to the Pieces, look at the scenes, how they fit, flesh out / cut out and connect turning points.
  3. Finally, the Details, remove the adverbs, analyze paragraph by paragraph.

I always started with the Details, after all it seems like the easiest place to make an impact –spelling, grammar and then a tweak here, a shift there and before I knew it, Novel-cide! Jenna’s approach just makes sense and I am looking forward to rebuilding The Mount Merryhill Suicides after editing The Last Daughter.

Okay, enough talking, more doing!

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