Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Whenever I get feedback from my editor or copy editor, I quickly open the envelopes and read what they have to say. Then I walk away from their advice for a few days(sometimes a week.) Something powerful happens in that time period. I may be doing other things, but thoughts often drift to my story. Usually when I return to the notes, I'm ready to begin.

Two weeks ago when I received both the copy editor's and the historian's notes, I was a couple of days away from leaving for Shannon's graduation. My mind was consumed with that event. But I read the notes before leaving.

Last week, I started back to work. As I explained in an earlier post, I've been tackling the queries, bird by bird, page by page. Making the changes hasn't been too difficult--

Except for three scenes I need to rewrite to make them historically correct. (I will think twice before covering a twenty-six year span in a story again.) Yesterday I rewrote one of the scenes, but today I'm facing the others. The added pressure of already being late doesn't help.

So what's a writer to do?

Escape to the kitchen a few times to sneak a spoonful of cashew butter.

Watch the birds eat outside my kitchen window.

Light a candle.

Then it's back to work!

At this stage, it's important that I use the same color pencil for my changes. Since the copy editor chose red and my editor chose a regular lead pencil, I selected green. Directions on the copy edited notes request that all queries be answered with a sharp pencil. So whenever I get to those difficult parts, I stop and head toward the sharpener.

Several times in the last few days, I've misplaced that pencil.

Yesterday I was in a panic, searching for it. "Have you seen my pencil?" I asked Shannon.

She laughed. "It's behind your ear."

Was misplacing my pencil wishful thinking? I have an understanding editor, but I doubt she'd appreciate a call from me, stating, "I've lost my green pencil so the manuscript will be even later than I thought."

Such go the days of a procrastinating writer.

But even with all the dread of facing those difficult parts, I've awakened every day, feeling such gratitude for those notes and the people that cared enough to write them.


  1. Thanks so much Kimberly, for giving a peek into your writing world! It's fascinating! I hope to be where you are one day . . . I, too, am working on a historical novel (for MG readers) & it's good to know that some publishers will have a historian look over the manuscript.

  2. Thanks, Crystal. I asked for one because, I knew the chances were I'd overlooked something. I've researched this book for a long time, but there was so much area to cover.

    Good luck on your historical. That's exciting.

  3. Oooo-ooo-ooo! Can't wait to read this one. We are both working on historical novels and revising at the same time. That's got to be good mojo. And it means we'll run into each other next year, maybe several times -- hooray!

    Thanks again for the guest spot last week. Good luck with revisions.

  4. Hi Kimberly,
    I had to come and visit you after your story on TRACY'S blog this morning. WOW, is all I can say. I loved your blog entry and I am sure that I would love your books.
    I want to read 'Keeper of the Night'.
    I also am a procrastinator. What is that all about?
    Anyway, I am glad to meet you through TP. She attracts the most interesting wonderful girl's. I just wanted to say Hi and I will be sure to check in often.
    Thanks again for the story on Tracy's blog about rejection. It will help me persevere with my quilt patterns. I will think of you and your signing books.
    Have a Happy Day!
    kelly g

  5. Debbie,

    I read your blog this morning. It's so funny how much we have in common--even our work cycles! I mailed the manuscript today. We just returned from celebrating at a Middle Eastern restaraunt. You've certainly have had big things to celebrate, but I'll bet you agree with me about celebrating the little ones, too.

    Thank you, again for allowing us a peek inside your home.


    Thank you for stopping by the nest. Don't you love Tracy's blog? She is such a wonderful supporter of the creative process. I especially loved what she had to say today.

    Thank you for your kind remarks about my comment about rejection. And no, I don't know what it is about the creative process and procrastination. This may sound like I'm defending it, but I believe that sometimes stepping away from a project helps me be more creative. I just can't use that for an excuse too often.

    I'm going to check out your blog too. I hope you will stop by the nest again, soon.