An Editing Tuesday

I’m digging in today, editing did not make it on the agenda yesterday. We have family in town for their work, and they are at a motel near the Corporate Headquarters. Evenings are for family!

I have a new FB friend, an author of one novel and several children’s book. Sounds like my brother from another mother! Jordan J Scavone, Author posted something yesterday that stole my attention and made me feel so good and get over the apprehension of editing. Just because I’ve never done this before doesn’t mean I can’t. (Thank you, Billy McGuigan, the absolute KING of doing things he’s never done before)! (P.S. If you’re in Omaha, go see his production of Willy Wonka this weekend at the Scottish Rite Theater downtown. It’s going to be a blast! Get tickets at Rave On Productions. You’ll be glad you did)!

I’m in!

I printed this out and have it on my desk to look at when I get frustrated or confused. I have some great feedback and suggestions from my illustrator and a friend who publishes books about grief. Couldn’t have asked two better ladies for feedback about my book.

After publishing the blog today, I’m staying right in my seat, and starting with a fresh copy of “Roxie,” and begin on the cover (or the first page of the story). Have you ever wondered about all those pages, the cover, the obligatory blank pages, the legalese page, the dedication page, other blank pages before you reach page one? Someone had to put those together! They’re vital to someone, somewhere on this earth. We all flip past them, unless we’re looking for a date published. I used to do that with books for school. Bellevue University had HR books from the 80s when I enrolled in an accelerated degree program in 1994. $500 for a box of books that were pretty old. Sheesh!

I love how Eric Carle says those who write picture books begin with 200,000 words. An exaggeration but the point is valid. Before we meet our illustrator, we have many, many words. I used them to describe many, many, many things I wanted illustrated. Two creative people, one with words, one with illustrations talk. The illustrator nods, she goes to her creative corner to draw. Jordan Ullom did a fantastic job. Just wait until you see the illustrations. I found it magical when I saw my characters come to life! Oh my gosh, it was fantastic! It’s a rush. My heart rate is up just writing about it! Or it’s the coffee. Never mind. It’s a rush.

I absolutely adore kid books. When my kids were little, we read constantly. I loved doing all the voices, and often did. When I first did that for Addison, she leaned back on my lap and looked at me as I talked in a different voice. She laughed. So did Joell and Gavin. That’s the reaction you go for, and they were always eager to have a story. She and she are now 15 and in high school. The kids who have sat on my lap as I read to them are many. I hope to influence other kids to love to read and their parents to instill it by reading to them from birth. It’s a great bonding experience.

My dad always said, “If you can read, you can do anything!” He was so right. I think of those words often. More so, I recall the example he set for us. He consumed printed material as he consumed coffee. He always had a book, magazine, or newspaper nearby. A childhood friend told me one time, “Your dad must be so smart.”

I asked her, “Why?”

“Whenever I see him, he’s always reading something!”

That scenario stuck with me forever, too. Our mom also read, but during the day we only saw her doing chores and taking care of us. She had women’s magazines from the grocery store, and we had bookcases full of books in several places in our home. The example was always right in front of us. I cannot thank our parents enough for their example of reading. Mom has macular degeneration now and has very limited vision. She hopes to at least read one page a day, on bright days when she can see better. It’s a cruel twist of fate for someone who loves to read.

Here we go, boys and girls! I’m on the high dive at the Olympics and don’t know how to swim! I’ll learn on the way down from the diving board, just before I hit the water. Here’s hoping the Eric Carle phrase gets me through my first session of editing. You all have a great day. I’m going in! See you tomorrow!

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