Friday, September 16, 2016

Theme: Forgiveness

“I think it’s time to forgive your sister. It’s a fact of life that sometimes unforeseen circumstances prevent people with the best of intentions from keeping promises they make.”   Dear Abby, Sunday, September 07, 2014.

“How can you just get over these things, darling?” she had asked him. “You’ve had so much strife but you’re always happy. How do you do it?”

“I choose to,” he said. “I can leave myself to rot in the past, spend my time hating people for what happened, like my dad did, or I can forgive and forget.”

“But it’s not that easy.”

He smiled that Frank smile. “Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things.” He laughed, pretending to wipe sweat from his brow. “I would have to make a list, a very, very long list and make sure I hated the people on it the right amount. That I did a very proper job of hating, too: very Teutonic! No”—his voice became sober—“we always have a choice. All of us.”   The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

I picked these quotes about forgiveness because they reflect my own feelings. I especially like the idea of forgiving once. So simple and practical. So useful on a personal scale—for everyday living.

I’ve always felt it costs nothing to offer everyone a polite “Good morning” when passing on the sidewalk or bike path. I’ve chosen that course because it was easiest for me, no need to constantly dredge up past wrongs. It’s more of a matter of here and now.

I wanted to use something of this philosophy in my novel, to make a spirit of forgiveness relevant for my fictional families present and past.

I hope I’ve succeeded to some extent. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

First Book Sale

Jody, my neighbor, fellow See YA book club member, milkweed supplier, and all-around great person made my day yesterday afternoon. 

She knocked on my back door and asked to buy a copy of my book.

All I did was mention that I'd picked up some boxes from the Midwest Writing Center. 

I had to scramble to make change. To find a pen. To inscribe something on the first page that was totally inadequate at expressing my feelings. 

Here is my memento. 

Thank you Jody!

(Yes, I always have piles of paper everywhere.) 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Misty Urban, Editor

I have been fortunate to have many fine editors help me with my first book, Clouds Over Bishop Hill. Misty Urban provided line editing on the final leg of my journey to being published with MWC Press, an imprint of the Midwest Writing Center.

Misty took great care and ample time going over my words and sentences, while still being prompt on returning corrected copy.

Misty has a great eye for details, catching the small mistakes that many others, including myself, had missed for a long time. She also found a few “biggies” too. Uncovering those lapses, the kind that would really be embarrassing to explain to a reviewer or a reader, are the ones I’m most grateful for.

She introduced me to the Chicago style and we were able to work together to smoothly shape my manuscript into a coherent whole. I can recommend her editing work to anyone. It would be money and time wisely spent.