The Big Edit

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Last night, I finished the BIG EDIT on How to Steal a Romance. I was too tired to get onto FB, WordPress, etc. to sing that hallelujah until today.

The intense past two weeks did me in. Whew. I took a day/evening off and hope to gather my wits about me, and in another day or so, will go back…and…listen…again. Via an eReader. It speaks each word



so if you have have an extra word here or there awkward sentence here… or accidentally insert a horizontal line that you thought was a strikeout line that sometimes our eyes don’t see–it picks up on it, and boom, you can hit pause and fix the MS. Even better, ’cause it’s free.

I spent about 20 minutes writing my most used phrases and words this morning (yes, again). Actions and emotions. Dialogue-y type stuff. Things that should individually belong to individual character. While the agent didn’t call specifically for these things, as a reader (and my Inner Edit Zombie), my eyes cast a shadow over them, scarier than Dark Shadows (that … might age me … if you know what that is without having to look it up, you’re in the same group!).

What is a writer’s life without the agony of editing? The rejections? The tunic rent asunder, ashes thrown into the air, with weeping and gnashing of teeth?

Okay, so that last part is 1. too Biblical and out of context … and 2. way over the top. For most of us.

Despite my ‘thank you, Lord’, for the small mercies of getting things done, I am still beat. Don’t think I could pick up a book or write a limerick today. Feel like a Borg. Plug me into the wall and let me stand there until I can fit into that waist-crushing outfit Seven of Nine had to wear (like that would ever happen).

<looks around, fanning self>

Anyone have a nice place in Nova Scotia I could stay at? It’s too hot here, so my tropical island dream right now has a latitude of Vermont or higher.

And surely there is a holiday or birthday somewhere in the world tomorrow, so Happy August Ninth *insert name of holiday* and have a great rest of the week.

 

A Laughing Matter … No Really

What qualifies me to write ‘Edit Zombie,’ anyway?

NOTHING. Absolutely nothing.

*Other than the million websites, books I pile next to me as I edit. Makes … me … crazy*

Of course, my hope is to condense every possible rule(s) down to one simple book, smaller than the Chicago Manual of Style. Easier to deal with, updated from Strunk & White. Maybe a table or two.

Too much stuff comes my way, like a bullet train without notice. Much of the material seems overwhelming, and heavens above, I need those books/sites to quote from.

*Weeps*

I am finishing Forget Me Not: Non Compos Mentis. The synopsis and proposal complete. One more pass through and in the mail it goes. Yes. This time, not email, but whosoever -oh wait- too Biblical. Whomever accepts snail mail because I am computer-illiterate. Yes.

Sure I can get onto a few sites. There are a lot I haven’t heard of ’til recently. Reddit. Instagram’s been around, but … er, I am on social media, so much so that my writing, editing and reading time gulps blinky like a Pac Man. I am that old.

When it’s done, it may look like the image above, that which will haunt your dreams…

your edit zombie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we remember …

Americans today are to remember the Revolutionary War to separate from oppression.

Do you have a DOI? Read it. If you don’t find it online!

Today is the day, we in the United States celebrate the declaration to tear ourselves from the oppression of a king. Penned by John Adams, we find exactly how the states were treated. Why after years of near-slavery, terror at the hands of the oppressors, the law that held us bondage, our Founding Fathers sat down at the 1st Continental Congress, basing it on the Old Testament and the Providence of God.

This reminds me of Exodus. The Hebrews were freed from Egypt after a great struggle and the plagues God sent to Pharaoh. Hebrews were protected from death by lamb’s blood, to pass over those who believed. Became one of the first self-governed country, accountable to follow God’s teachings called the Law. A nation.

It also reminds me of the Cross. The ultimate sacrifice from the Law that kept us in bondage to sin, the yoke of slavery broken, offered to all, giving those who believe on Christ the freedom to self-govern, guided by the Holy Spirit.

Is it any wonder the Revolution was preached from the pulpits? Freedom from a ruthless king who pressed law upon law, pressed into service of the king?  Those who believe are a NATION — one that spans the globe.

Yet many wanted the old law. Freedom from England was much like faith. They had free will.

A small ragtag band took on the second-most powerful nation in Western civilization, England. We also bankrupted France with their help, however that is a story for another day.

So what do we do on Independence Day? (I read first the Bible), well I do every day, but I thank God for this nation. Before any celebration, hamburger, or hot dog, I read the Declaration of Independence. Watch The Patriot. Then the fireworks representing the battle to be free. 

England tried again. Again, they were repelled. Our nation kept vigilant, kept to  the promise of blessings of freedom, and faith flourished.

Now we celebrate what has long been lost – freedom of our nation (Independence Day is symbolic – we again are in bondage, if you haven’t noticed) with rare remembrance of the loss of so many lives in sacrifice, then and today.

Today, read about the freedoms we have in Christ, the freedoms we fought for, and the true freedom our nation is supposed have. If you don’t own a copy of the Declaration of Independence, you can find it online.

Do not give up freedom for the promise of peace and security by laws that will ultimately turn into  bondage. 

Later … we stop slavery, having fell into the sin of bondage of those pressed into service, oppressed and a truly evil thing – and hatred, as evil, still continues. But that war, again is for another day.

Today, it is freedom in Christ and freedom from the bondage of a king who taxed citizens – many to death, and restricted the freedom of religion that many escaped earlier.

We crossed a treacherous ocean, and many still do, to reach the shores of freedom.

Let’s celebrate these things, the blood spilled in sacrifice, and pray for those who put their lives on the line, still.      

 

Today …

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Sunday! Day of rest. Uh. Okay. I already know Who is my Sabbath Rest, every day.

Well … I arose too late to make it to church (this seems to be a routine problem…) but there is a plethora of reading that, every time I read through, shows me something New. Must always be discerning and test, compare with Hebrew and Greek and seek the wisdom from well-trusted pastors.

I don’t want to be an illiterate Christian in any chapter, Old and New Covenant. I mean, everyone in the NT spoke and taught only from the OT. Jesus never baptized anyone. He didn’t write a Gospel. He taught. He healed. He forgave everyone and those who would believe were sons and daughters of God. So yes, I am a bit preachy today. Did you know there is no category for Christian(s)?

To say this may seem weird, but who was the most anti-religion in Christ’s time? He was, and the reason? Religion was a perversion of works. Pretension. The elite who looked down on the lost. The arrogant. Everything the Church, collective, is today. He looks into our hearts. The lost (everyone) needs Him, but not everyone believes they do. How many rich rich rich people ‘need’ the Savior? They have everything they want. Good works won’t do it. Au contraire. It’s the recognition of falling short (all that we do against God), realizing His words in the OT, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Then, asking for the forgiveness only He can give and turning away. Then accepting it, and realizing that God is alive, and He wants a relationship with you (me, and everyone).

I suspect this will turn a lot of folks off (no, I know it will…). But there it is.

Today then, I am happy to say I have reached another edit of Forget Me Not, and my word count is up…I may have to cut and slash, but for now, am filling in the work with the timeline. Have asked my hubby to find my corkboard (which was conveniently moved into a secret place only he knows of…) so I can print my novel timeline and the crime timeline. Not my food/weight/health chart.

After I finish my social media flyby, I will put on my headphones, listen to music, and fiddle with the next chapter. Hopefully hubby will bring me that corkboard.

Ya, it’s old-fashioned. But I like it, so there.  🙂

Have a great Sunday, rest if you wish, dream about the characters (don’t forget paper and pen), stroll about, and watch human behavior.

If you are curious, visit my website (under my pen name – Claire O’Sullivan) http://cmahoneyfnp.wixsite.com/claireosullivan I tend to write on every subject that hits my fancy.

Twitter: @authorclaire1 – and I follow back.

 

 

Deep Point of View

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Not long ago, I learned about deep point of view. The three types that writers use to get into the characters heads. Love it. Creates a depth to characters whom readers can relate to and love. Too much can be … too much. It’s all about balance.

Deep POV is a great way to build an audience. I tire and forget novelists who write characters without this. Deep POV grabs you by the collar and doesn’t let go.

I rewrote an entire manuscript to take me out of the work. Put each sight/sound/emotion into characters internal thought, action, or dialogue. Some telling is important, yes. But author intrusion or shallow writing is forgettable reading.

One critiquer demanded I rewrite the end or she’d go all ‘Misery’ on me. I didn’t give her my address. She realized it was a HEA for now, and forgave me. My editor told me I had to rewrite. She cried. Three times, in the same chapter. Her last statement was, ‘I don’t know if I edited anything, I cried so much. I will be thinking of Calhoun and Cade for a long time.’ YES!

The terror, the anger, the angst, and loss. I want my writing to sing and my readers to be there … to laugh, feel anger, cry. When my critiquers argue inline with my characters, I know I’ve done my job. Grab those readers. This is what makes an author memorable because there is a takeaway message.

If you don’t know about deep point of view (aka deep POV), find it. Steve Laube Agency today wrote on this. Scribophile has a great section and group dedicated to deep point of view.

Deep point of view takes us into the thoughts, actions, and emotion of the character. He/she has to overcome a personal obstacle to address the inciting factor pulling said character into resolving the obstacle. It is always about the character. If characters have no physical, emotional flaws, then they are shallow, forgettable, and off I go to the next book, hoping to relate to the character. You find deep POV in their actions, thoughts, expressions, dialogue, environments. Don’t narrate, please.

I might add … Scribophile has resources on filtering, show/tell, different point of view, style and honest critiques.

Too Hot to Cook. Not for Pulled Pork!

Okay, so pulled pork is NOT in my healthy cookbook.

Pork is NOT the other ‘white meat.’

But, I had a picnic pork, a shoulder cut in my freezer taking up space. I have NO idea how it got there …

I’d been wondering since yesterday what to make for supper today. Okay, truth be told, I pulled the frozen pork from the freezer the day before yesterday …

The temperature hit 110 degrees. It’s hot enough to cook eggs on the sidewalk. Not a pleasant thought. But not so hot that I couldn’t use the crockpot and some cheap over the counter type sauce.

We shop at Winco. Yes, we’re cheap. But the prices are great. Months ago, I hit upon a recipe for pulled pork. I made it during the chilly weather. Yum.

Worked just as well today. Turned out perfect. Even on a hot day.

  • 1 shoulder cut picnic pork (I’m going to try  chicken or sirloin next time for health). Honestly, I don’t remember how much it weighed …
  • Sweet BBQ sauce (I used what I had, Sweet Baby Ray’s) 3/4 cup
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 1/2+ cup Chicken broth
  • Onion, diced
  • Garlic, diced (two cloves was enough)

In pan, braise pork on all sides in 2 Tablespoons hot canola oil (or your oil of choice)

Remove from pan; add diced onion and garlic to pan, lower heat, stir until onions are opaque.

Mix BBQ sauce and chicken broth into crockpot. Add onions, garlic, pork.

Cook on ‘HIGH’ for 2 and 1/2 hrs. Then turn heat to ‘LOW,’ and cook another two hours. When done, use two forks and it should be tender enough to pull apart. Serve by itself or on hoagie buns. Add corn on the cob baked/roasted with tarragon and margarine, and a small salad. After a long day of editing, a sure and awesome reward.

And… easy, inexpensive, and perfect for anytime of year.

 

pulled pork pic

image: Wikipedia

pork sandwich

image: food.com

Fast and easy recipe, my own  🙂

Vindication!

I am shouting it from the top of my scorching hot rooftop.

VINDICATED!

While I scribble, type, and otherwise muck up ‘Edit Zombie,’ vindication comes from Maine.

The Oxford comma is in. Out with the old serial comma (reminds me of murderous grammar).

And … from the liberal state of Maine! Hey, it’s cool. But here it is, another blogger posted on WordPress, so I can’t take credit for finding the article. Vindicated. Yes. Yes. I posted my thoughts on my website. http://cmahoneyfnp.wixsite.com/claireosullivan

The best news of all? The section on the use of commas will be small, and the inner Edit Zombie can breathe. Rest those killer muscles. Down, boy. I’m sure you’ll find something else to terrorize.