yeeeesh … kill me now ….


I’m a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to editing.

<Laughs in near hysteria>

Okay, whatever, you inner thought fool.

I ditched (for the most part) editing for the past two days, since I had to fill a gap into Forget Me Not: Non Compos Mentis. It wasn’t the ‘necessary or the world will fall apart if you don’t’ rewrite’, but since it’s a romance, it ya, kinda did.

Without the rewrite, there would be no decent clash between guy and gal. The male love interest would have no reason to act less decisively, since he’s a decisive kind of guy. Main character would have no ‘who IS this person and why did he…?’ Sure, she has her own issues to battle, but no looming worries over the love interest.

The tension of attraction wouldn’t be strong, because readers liked tension. And I just wasn’t feelin’ the tension.

Hey, we may not like to fight with our spouses in real life, but let the sparks fly in fiction, and –for me, the read is more satisfying.

If you fight with your spouse in anger, I highly recommend praying for each other and seeking counsel. Now. But, not in fiction–they misunderstand each other, argue, feelings get hurt, you know–guy gets girl, guy looses girl, guy gets girl back. Or in this case, girl hires guy (for real work, git your mind outta the gutter!), guy accepts job, girl… okay, that’s enough of that.

I’m a gimme-a-message kinda gal, too. Show me the worst side of the characters, how they overcome the obstacle: a fear, misunderstanding–or a real physical obstacle, and I might just realize how to face my own personal writing-demons-from-the-abyss. Or just the regular Hades abiding creepazoids, trying to fill me with fear and self-doubt.

Please, writer, don’t make your main characters perfect. *Yawn.* What are they physically, emotionally, spiritually struggling with? Is it a struggle I can relate to or empathize with? Think *Wounded Warriors,* men and women who see the worst in death, the heroic in saving the innocent, lose limbs … and the mind-torture of things you can’t un-see.

Well. Dang it. Just thought, I need to fiddle more with my antagonist.

FINE. ‘Time for some thrilling heroics.’ (Image: Firefly)

<slouches, reaching for another cup of Joe>

Going to the manuscript. Again.

<laughter emits from inner thoughts>

Shut up. Twit.

I am NOT Your Arc Enemy!

computer woes

Decidedly decided to be an ARC reader. YES, though I decline to go through a publishing house (well, I may).

ARC reading costs the publishing house. It comes off the back end of your royalties (they say no, but read the fine print. If they send 150 or more ‘free copies’ to ARC readers, how do they pay for that?).

Self publishing and Indie writing is like swimming in a shark tank. Think  about it.

You’ve finished your book. You’ve had it professionally edited (or you are smarter than the average reader). The professionally-designed cover is perfect. 

The baby is ready. Bathed. Clean diaper. Fed. Giggly.

You are about to put it on Create Space or whatever venue you have readied. Create Space is great if they sell your book for 18 bucks and you get … $4.50. Don’t forget the free promos to market. Okay, so you don’t want to overwhelm readers with an $18 book. You lower the price to very reasonable. You get that very reasonable royalty at $1.50.  

You realize you need to market every day. All your waking moments (when you are not working on the next WIP). It’s cheaper to have Print on Demand copies sent to you. Costs, but cheaper and you can pocket that cash (don’t forget taxes). You pay $2.50 per book, one hundred, obviously $250.00. You sell it at $4.50. Great!

Now all you need is one HUNDRED THOUSAND readers to get rich, and no reviews. Now you might. The average runs around $2000 in sales (per book, not month or year). That means you are prolific. You must write and sell about ~ 6 books in three months, and now you are producing trash. I’ve read novels put out by Bethany House, Avon, Harper-Collins that rush a book through. With trashy writing. Why? Because they mass market crap. They want YOUR royalties. Even great writers fall into the hands of the greedy PH.

And, remember this: READERS FORGET TO REVIEW. GOODREADS takes out the majority of your 5 star ratings. If you use Create Space, they do the same. Why? They don’t have to pay the royalties unless you reach a certain number of copies sold. Who is going to sell a 1 or 2 star book?

What if  a publishing house stamps your book with a horrible cover? Back flap? Tough. They believe it will sell. You think it sucks. Publishing houses want perfection. They now are moving to the side of the Chicago Manual of Style and roll their eyes at Strunk and White. But … you still need to have your edit near perfection in content, spelling, grammar, fresh voice, sale-ability, and YOUR marketing plan, and why should anyone read your work?

Think Fifty Shades of Grey, or John Dies at the End. Full of horrific writing. But, everyone is into BDSM and erotica or aliens.  Both made the big screen. If you write sweet romance, being Amish is all the rage. What? Wait, what?  

If you choose erotica, you’ll do great. If you choose Amish, maybe great. Here’s conventional wisdom: Get an agent (15% off your royalties), publishing house accepts it (another 15%), an entertainment attorney (15-20%).

Skip to the chase, Claire!

You get free critiques from critique groups. You run it through the Beta groups. Great! Now what?  Like the PHs, you want to know (before you invest in the pro edit – or not -that’s your call; before you pay for an awesome cover), you want to know. Will it sell?

An ARC reader (like my small plan) reads your work as average Joe or Josephine, and gives the PH (or you) the likelihood of a great read. A good review. Suggestions if needed. ARC readers are not editors, Beta readers (although if there’s a major plot hole or confusion, a million distracting SPaG issues – I would) will.

But you want to know WILL THIS SELL? Before you throw your work to the four winds, find an ARC. Either through traditional means or ME. Of course, what do you think I am, silly?

Don’t pay the cost of all of the above until you know your book is worthy of 4-5 stars. The two things I DO recommend, however you decide: Get an entertainment lawyer. They protect your work, go over fine print and help you navigate the shark tank of PH and even the rules of SP/Indie.

As a freelance ARC, I charge a one-time, ten dollar fee to read your work in a timely manner. You send me a LOCKED pdf (means I can’t change a thing), consider a copyright (means no one can steal it), and I send you an honest critique via email–privately to you, and I give good reviews. If your baby needs work, I will tell you. When your work is done and on the shelf, you let me know, and my review hits your favorite site, i.e. GOODREADS, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Nook, etc.  

You might THINK this is torture. It is not. Promise.

So tag me here, on Facebook, Word Press, or Twitter. Here on WordPress: Cindy212 Twiter: authorclaire1:  Facebook:  OR my gmail account : . PM, DM or as you want.

Pardon the language of the above. It’s picture perfect. The one bad word is pardonable, yes?



Edit. The four letter word. Add a gerund, and what author action have you? This:

Plunges katana, with no one to help. Seppuku, she whispers, over and again. Screams in agonizing silence while the katana button, otherwise known as DELETE, slices the lifeblood from the WIP. Yet, dignity is preserved. Oh, yeah. For everyone else.

It’s past midnight. The moon casts eerie light upon the computer. Wailing continues, then wanes. Shh.

Howls of death throes would wake the spouse.

So, I bang my head on the table.

That, my friend, is what the newbie writer does for ‘hope-for’ money.

I don’t know ’bout you, but I think Earnest Hemingway got it wrong. Shoulda been, ‘Drink sober, edit drunk.’ At least seppuku wouldn’t be so painful.

“In case of seppuku, cut along dotted line…”





Love this post! (by Kristen Lamb)

Baby Spawn….budding novelist.Get it? You’re newbie is showing? Ah we are talking about the deeper stuff today . Writing seems like it just shouldn’t be that hard, and yet? It’s deceptive. Seasoned storytellers make it look easy, and that does us no favors. Sort of like when I was four years old and, high off…

via Oops! Hold on. You’re Newbie is Showing. — Kristen Lamb

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.


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 …


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) I tend to write on every subject that hits my fancy.

Twitter: @authorclaire1 – and I follow back.