Thursday, January 8, 2009


This morning I stayed a bit longer under the heated blanket. It wasn't because of the icy temperatures, but because everything I needed to do in the next couple of months started forming a list in my head.

I have two editorial letters for two books--the fourth Piper Reed and the historical novel. My editor assures me that there aren't many changes to be made, but I want to do my best. I read the new Piper to my daughter at Thanksgiving and cringed at some of the bumpy sentences(which is why it is important to read your work aloud.) Smoothing out sentences is one of my favorite things about rewriting. I feel confident that I'll meet the two week deadline.

Then I can turn my focus to my historical. Christy's letter arrived the day after Christmas and I immediately read it. I always look forward to what she has to say. The letter was a followup to our October lunch conversation during my New York visit. It is the second editorial letter on this book, the second round(not the second draft, of course!) so there is not much. I agree with everything that she's suggested I need to work on. That's not always the case, but usually our thoughts are compatible and I am always aware that she wants the best book just as I do. She challenges me to reach farther. And I love that challenge! The draft is due at the end of February.

Since it is a historical novel I'll dedicate a couple of reads with the facts in mind. I will question everything--the geography, the time, the details. That doesn't mean I won't miss something. Which is why a fact checker will also read the next draft I turn in. Then I'll address Christy's concerns.

Today though both manuscripts will have to be put on hold. I need to read Christy's notes on the third Piper Reed's final proof pages. I'll add my notes to it and then return the pages to her.

As I write this, I try to avoid the pile of reader correspondence on the corner of my desk. I'm not complaining. I love reader mail. But answering it is one more thing on the list.

This month I'm honored to have received invitations to write posts for two other blogs. So the last few weeks I've gathered thoughts in a notebook, but I haven't written the first sentences yet. Tic-toc, tic-toc. Can you hear the clock ticking my head?

This morning it feels overwhelming, but I have faith each item will be crossed off my list. The challenge will be trying not to succumb to M&M's. Barbara Walters once said, you have to have a reason to get out of bed. And I feel so lucky to wake up each morning and know I have good reasons to throw off the heated blanket.

Now to start on that list.

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