Editing Begins

Break time’s over …

… on to editing …

Chapter 1, scene 1 …

… a steam locomotive pulling a line of rickety-rackety carriages slowly winds through a long mountain pass. It’s Autumn, a beautiful sunny day, but there’s a chill, a hint of snow in the air …

I do believe it’s time for afternoon tea though

I do believe it’s time for afternoon tea though

Can’t Talk Now, Busy Editing Previous Posts, However …

… here’s a little something I came across to brighten your day …

Lubricating Lady-bits – Not what you’re thinking … well sorta, kinda …

One of the (many, I’m discovering) downsides of this combination of healing from thyroid cancer and menopause, is vaginal dryness. It’s uncomfortable, annoying, irritating, time-consuming, frustrating, and on occasions downright hilarious. (nope, not going to give any examples of that last one)

So like any citizen of the 21st century, my first port of call was to ‘google’ possible remedies. Among the tens of thousands of results, was this gem, (unfortunately the link doesn’t work anymore so you’ll just have to take my word for it)from which a wonderful sentence stood out like a sore thumb.

And I quote: (the emphasis is mine)

“Exciting movies that keep you in suspense stimulate the central nervous system, increasing blood flow to the gentiles which in turn lubricates the vagina.”

I personally would like to thank all the persons of non-Jewish persuasion who offer this service.

The moral of this story is, of course, check for typos before you publish. (emphasis mine) because the one that gets through (and there will always, always, be ONE) will be the most embarrassing.


“A good editor doesn’t rewrite words, she rewires synapses”S. Kelly Harrell, author and modern shaman


Rejection Becomes A Call To Excellence

Having our stories rejected is, if we’re prolific, an almost daily experience. Even if we’re a ‘once-a-month-er’, (or week, or year) those rejections are a bitter pill to swallow.

We rant, cry, eat chocolate to excess, (or other drug/comfort food of choice) eventually dust ourselves off, and get back to work. Because we are storytellers. That’s what we do, what we are.

Once in a while, among the ‘form’ rejections, something different this way comes. A personal note from an editor. Someone, whose job it is to read tens of thousands of words a day, has taken the time to respond. They give us clues that might help us negotiate the ‘getting published’ morass, encourage us to keep trying to do better, and remind us we’re not alone.

Occasionally something like this happens:

Last year I submitted a short story, told entirely with dialogue, to an eZine. I’d written it almost like a play, but of course, all the action had to be told through the dialogue.

For example – (not from the story but to illustrate my point) “This truly is an excellent cuppa tea. Oops. Sorry. I’ll clean that up.” (someone spilled the tea)

Writing the story this way challenged me, and I was happy with the end result. So was the eZine editor, but … the story passed around the reading table and everyone else liked it, but … they all wanted ‘more’. They didn’t know what ‘more’ they wanted, but they knew they wanted ‘more’ of it.

In her rejection letter, the editor apologised for not being specific, and invited me to resubmit when I had ‘more’.

Neither Mrs Widds, or Widdercat could offer any suggestions as to what the ‘more’ might be. Nor could any of my writerly friends. I stared at ‘more’ for about a week, then put it, and the story, in a metaphorical drawer, hoping it would miraculously appear while I wasn’t paying attention.

More eventually did, but not because I left it in that drawer. I tore the story apart, edited the characters, the action, the story arc, the ending, the beginning, threw all of the above out, retrieved it, went for long bike rides or walks in the rain depending on the weather, emptied out gazillions of cold cups of tea, rewrote it, and finally created a story that was more than it had been before.

Does the editor think it’s more-ish enough? We’ll see.


Some time later … another rejection – le sigh.


“I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat” Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone – actor, screenwriter, director