Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I've been going through "Riverbend" looking for typos and such and guess what? I found a huge, glaring error that if let slide would have had hundreds of readers contacting me to let me know how wrong I was.

Ahem. That's if I get the book published and it actually garners hundreds of readers. However, I am optimistic. You have to be in this business or no one would ever write anything.

In the novel, I write about an attempted murder and a trial. The murder weapon is a saddle girth that the villain has cut so that it tears apart and throws the rider. I tell that there might have been a mistake when the villain mistook the son's saddle for the father's.

As I re-read it, I said to myself, "A nine-year-old boy would not be using an adult saddle on his pony."

For one thing, I doubt the pony would put up with it.

So I'm going through the story again to remove all references to the doubt about the intended victim.

Because I really don't want to get angry fan mail. (In which case, can it be called "fan" mail?)

Have you ever come across a glaring error in a book and been tempted to write the author and correct her? Or did you decide never to read another of her books?

Either way, I'm glad I caught this error. And if I have any more, I hope my beta readers will catch them before I begin sending the manuscript out. If an editor catches it, the chances are "Riverbend" will never see print.

Even optimism can't overcome carelessness.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Almost there

I wrote awhile back that I was considering shortening my novel, "Riverbend," to make it more commercial.

Didn't work.

As I got into it, I  realized what I needed to do was dig deeper into the characters, their hopes and dreams, their failures and hard-won victories.

As a result, I added several thousand words. And I'm not finished.

But oh, so close. It's taking awhile because it is emotionally exhausting getting into a character's head. Seriously. I write a scene and when it is done I have to leave the story and think about something else for awhile.

I get mad at the characters for their foolish decisions and want to do a happy dance when they finally get it right.

Then there are the literary "rules" I have to follow. What is the plot? The character arc?

Most writers have this sorted out before they write the first word. I'm a "pantser." (The term evolved from early airplane pilots didn't have instruments and had to fly "by the seat of their pants.")

There is a plot, of course, or there wouldn't be a story. Lonely wife, a seducer on the prowl, a deranged and jealous rival, and the rigid rules of society that rule them all.

Or are those the characters? It gets complicated.

Love is the key. Love that ennobles and love that destroys.

A woman discovers her deepest desire is not what she thought.

A man finds redemption in sacrifice. (And he is not the hero.)

I made a pledge to finish the book by the end of this month. It looks like I might make it, but it will be like coming back from a long journey, leaving new friends behind.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Best camping trip ever

Rain, rain, go away!

The yard is a bog, the creek has risen, the flowers are limp, and spirits are low.

Summer is the time for outdoor fun, not pressing your face to the win
dow and wishing for a rainbow.

All this rain reminds me of the time I took the three boys camping in Delaware. It was a really nice camp, with lots of activities for the children, walking trails, and all the things a good campsite should have.

Unfortunately, it rained all week. My one week of vacation, which I  had paid good money for, and all it did was rain.

Was the trip a washout? Heck, no.

The counselors carried on with their games. The kids made ponchos from garbage bags, shucked their shoes off, and played along.

I rigged up an awning from a sheet of plastic and some clothes line so we could sit outside. We had a very small, Swedish camper that barely had room for me and the boys to stretch out at night, so we had to cook, eat and sit outside. Which we did, to the pleasant accompaniment of rain hitting our makeshift "roof."

My sister and her family had the site next to mine. We got together and made endless cups of hot tea and read our books around the campfire. Her husband napped. I was a single mom at the time, so entertaining another adult was nor something I had to worry about.

It was a great trip and we had a great time. Toward the end of the week the clouds dispersed and the sun came out.

By that time, it really didn't matter. We had learned to work with the weather instead of fighting it or complaining. When I mention it now, the boys (now with children older than they were at the time) tell me they don't remember the rain, just the fun they had.