Thursday, July 17, 2014

Polishing and Editing

I don't usually like to steal blog posts from others, but a friend of mine shared this one on Facebook, and it really made sense to me. So please, if you are like me and preparing a book to go to a publisher or editor take a few minutes to read this blog post!

Number 6 is probably the trickiest for me.

#6  IN HISTORICAL FICTION, DESCRIBING A LOT OF STUFF YOUR CHARACTER WOULDN'T ACTUALLY NOTICE.  Roger Sutton puts it this way There was this great article in School Library Journal by Joan Blos called ‘Bunches of Hessians’ where she talks about the various mistakes that are made in historical fiction. She said to take something from a historical novel--for example, a mother making dinner--and translate it into contemporary fiction. And then she wrote this hilarious passage about ‘Mother stood in front of the white box and carefully adjusted the black dial.’ It has to be natural to the person telling the story. They shouldn't be noticing things that only an outsider would be paying attention to.”

I am really good at info dumping, its been a challenge going back through my book and getting rid of all of them. Hahaha! Enjoy!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The C. S. Lewis Journal

A friend of mine got rid of a ton of books he had laying around his office, and was kind enough to ship 2 fairly large boxes of them to me. One was jammed packed with children's stories from The Bernstein Bears to some fabulous Mercer Mayer, and my son's new favorite story Grandpa's Teeth by Rod Clement.

The book that really grabbed a hold of me, and I kept extra close to me as we packed and moved to our new home, was The C. S. Lewis Journal.

As a nerd in elementary school, I was the first in my class to read the entire C. S. Lewis Narnia series. I couldn't get enough! I loved the adventure, the twists, the magic, and I found my self right along side the mesmerizing characters each and every time they went back to Narnia. My favorite will always be Prince Caspian. If I hadn't already decided I was going to marry either Batman or Henry from the Boxcar kids, I would have put Caspian on the top of my novel crush list.

I've kept journals for years and years, but since having my adorable little monster son I have almost completely given up. Juggling a 3 year old at bed time, plus a puppy, and now a house that seems to breed messes all by it's self, does not leave much time for reading or editing the book I've written, who has time for journal keeping too!?!

Still the journal seemed to call to me somehow. It's not fancy or sparkly by any means, its not very big either. So today I finally cracked it open and took a peek. The editor Patricia S. Klein is a women after my own heart. She begins the book by pretty much defining why I am a collector of books, why its important to share them, and then finishes with one of my all time favorite quote from Lewis. This quote is one I've read countless times to keep me working toward my publishing goal. It says:

"When ever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the greatest cure for all human ills."

Isn't that beautiful!

So I've decided I'm going to start journaling again. I'll probably switch off and on between a plain notebook and this journal, my goal is to eventually get to the point where I'm writing every night again. It's so relaxing, and its such a great way to clear your mind before bed. I highly recommend it.

The first quote, for the first journal entry in the Lewis book is titled "Hiding in Plain Sight". "We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate. The real labour is to remember, to attend. In fact, to come awake. Still more, to remain awake." -from Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer.

So many times in my life my Heavenly Father has made himself known to me. Never as clearly as he did for so many in the bible, or even as he did for Joseph Smith Jr. But still, I know with all my heart that he is there, and that he loves me as one of his children. I will forever be grateful for his confidence in me, and for his trust in my ability to be the mother of such a wonderful special little boy. I highly doubt that I deserve such confidence and trust, but I will always be appreciative of it.