Due to Difficulties Beyond Our Control…

Like loss of paid work, I will need to cut back on my blogging schedule.

Yup, I lost my job last week. It’s not a surprise. (See my previous posts on Fear.) It’s even a blessing in many ways. The job hasn’t suited me for years and my managers and I hadn’t seen eye to eye – ever – on many issues. Also, seventeen + years of employment at one location, one job means I am severely burned out of anything remotely resembling office administration and clerical work. Better to start fresh now and they were generous with the severance package.

So for those of you wondering, I am interested in freelance writing/editing/proofreading work. I have experience writing marketing and training materials.

So why do I think I’m going to slow down here? Because I can’t afford to rely on finding said freelance work all the time, which means I will continue to look for full time employment AND continue to write fiction and whatever else I think of. All of which means, I suspect this blog will suffer.

My apologies and I promise if I run across opportunities and/or stories that must be shared, you’ll be the first to know. I hope this won’t take long, but I simply don’t know what God has in mind.

That’s part of the adventure. 😀

The Fateful Day Has Arrived…Almost: Crested Butte Writers Conference

Okay, the truth is, I wrote this several days in advance of our departure and the “fateful day” will still be twenty four hours from when we leave. That said, it’s the week of and I’m more nervous than the last turkey in the pen on Thanksgiving morning.

My “To Do” list keeps growing, and I refuse to guess at how I’ve overshot my grocery allowance for the month. Snack foods are expensive. I need to pack most of my daughter’s wardrobe to insure against nudity. Sigh. I’m sure to forget SOMETHING, which is why I intend to take notes.


Yes. My list keeps growing because of my notes and that won’t change at the conference. Most folks take notes at conferences and I’m sure they share much of what they learn. I am an avid scrapbooker among other things and know from experience, I’ll forget much of what happens and/or is said unless I write it down. That’s why I wanted to let you all know there will be a blog fest upon my return from Crested Butte. In fact, I’ll probably write a daily journal there and post those comments if I can find an available computer. I don’t know if I’ll see any of you, but if you are coming, I hope we meet!

Addendum: Much to my shock and delight, I discovered that I DID get a pitch request from one of the attending professionals. My relief and stress levels have skyrocketed. How on earth did God make it possible for humans to experience both sensations at the same time? Well, however He did it, I want to thank Him for the opportunity. I could never have come this far without Him.


You know that thing they tell you to do that no one wants to do? I did it.

I cropped the first six chapters, approximately 8,000 words, out of my novel. Granted, about two thousand went back in. You do need SOME backstory. I have no idea if it still flows and if so, how well. I started the task in February, had a meltdown of brain and flashdrive cells and had to restart that and several other projects. (Have you run a backup recently?) I think it’s been for the better. When I launched into the restructuring two weeks ago, I had a new vision for how to do it and well, what do ya know? It worked. I think. Give me a few months of not staring at the blasted thing to get it out of my head – or a new beta reader – and I’ll be able to give you a better idea. At any rate, I hope to receive some sort of guidance from the writers conference and the agent that’s had my original opening. If she tells me I should never have cut a thing, fine.

My one concern has been how flummoxed everyone was by the number of characters and their names. (Be grateful I did not include the original novel’s massive cast.) Those readers who got confused pleaded with me to start the book slowly and give them time to acclimate. The problem with that is, no agent and/or editor wants to see a book start slow. Since publication has always been a goal, I elected to kill more darlings. There were already little bodies all over the floor anyway, what’s a few more?

Chopstick Editing

Aren’t these chopsticks the coolest? Many thanks to Christina Farley. I won them from her Shopping in Korea contest. Ironically enough, I’d already decided to make stir fry the night I discovered these little guys waiting for me in the mailbox. So as I ate with them for the first of many meals, picking up each tiny piece of steak, broccoli or carrot, it occurred to me how they forced me to pay attention to details.

Where’s the best place to pick up that floret? Will the beef slip if I hold it crossways (yes), how many noodles can I handle?

It also occurred to me that the whole reason my current novel took me so @#$! long to write was I edited like this, too.

I’m a Detail-oriented person with a bolded D in the largest size font imaginable. I made a habit of nitpicking through each and every draft because I kept getting entranced by individual LEAVES on the trees, when I needed to see the forest. Don’t do this to yourself. Do NOT consider each word of your ms until you’ve gone through the thing structurally. Several times. There are a hundred tools out there to help you. I used Cheryl Klein’s The Art of Detection.

Once I did that, I realized 1. I cut off probably another decade’s work. 2. Made the book ten thousand times stronger. It went from 120k words to 104 and it’s down from that by a few thousand now. Don’t use chopsticks when you need a butcher’s cleaver or even a filleting knife.

Do you chop at words, but leave pointless scenes standing? What are you working on to improve your career?