Edit Review Proves Stressful

Edit Review Proves Stressful

I dragged myself down to the kitchen from the office after working five hours through the review of the first book. A big bowl of chocolate chip-zucchini cookies that I’d left in the kitchen unbaked in my hurry to begin, sat there forlorn. They went into the oven; I made some hot chocolate and poured in a lot of Snoops to recuperate.

The next day my husband, Bud, and I drove three hours south to Spokane to have ourselves a red-hot pre-planned Valentine celebration. This soul-refreshing cultural events began as we checked into the boutique Lusco Hotel downtown, and then visited the MAC Museum, enjoyed a cowboy dinner grill before taking in the IMAX Avatar movie. Second day in town, I found a new way to make blackened potatoes at Madelines, a little French café, found wide-legged casual women’s pants at Nordstroms, had dinner at Moxies, and took in the mystery musical, Curtains.

 Topping off the grand date with Bud was breakfast enroute home at the Chewelah Casino. Best of all was playing a hand or two of their new three-in-one table game that features high card, blackjack and poker. No, I wasn’t lucky. But, there’s always next time.

 Note to the Editor The day after our return, I completed the edit of the second volume in Lebensborn. This morning, I wrote the following note to my editor: After many years of dedicated work and research, I thought there would be no more work left to be done. Now, upon seeing and working with the fine tuning your edit has produced, it reminds me again that many persons have been similarly by my side to help me tell this WWII story. Thank you for your time and efforts to improve the spelling where needed, especially to change insure to ensure. The difference when using Directoress/Directress was insightful. I liked your suggestion to change the word crept. Perhaps my changing it to “moved stealthily” improves the meaning even more. Plotting was enhanced through your suggestions. You told me, “Don’t disappoint your reader—take the love scene at scene at the beach to conclusion, add paragraphs to strengthen the scene at the Lebensborn Home when the car arrives for Antoinette, and, of course, the best add of all, your great idea to show a bit of magic at Himmler’s castle. The addition of the magic act along with Peter’s words as the eagles fly, is proof for the SS men that they, too, have same majesty as eagles and reaffirms their faith in the SS. It was magic for me, too, as it brought tears to my eyes as I wrote it.


Follow Lebensborn through Production

Momentum Lost & Gained Again


   The driving power, push and energy taking Lebensborn to the next step is stolen by our ten-day trip to Chicago.  An interview for a military collectibles article was put on hold.  Weeks later the necessary information and the writing of the article is again side-tracked by the arrival of spring and outdoor projects.

    A delay has been announced by the publisher.  “Please understand,” says Georgie, “Currently we have been forced to place a hold on new productions for two to three weeks. Please be assured that this is a temporary situation and one that we do implement from time to time so there is nothing to be concerned about.  Your manuscript will go into text block production in two to three weeks at which time I will contact you with the print Manager who will be handling the layout of your book.  If you feel that three weeks has passed and you have not heard from me, please do not hesitate to e-mail me.”

    Georgie finally sends details.

    Ellen Green, press department, and Kira Robbins, art department, send e-mails: “We want to get started on your cover and marketing materials.  Please fill in the attached form.  It is our pleasure to work with you on cover design, including back cover text, and to promote your book when it is ready.”

    E-mailing their form was a nightmare.  Kim wrote, “Looks like everything after the genre question is coming through blank.”  “Okay Kim,” I write back, “What last bit did the computer swallow?”

    They both forward another form, a word attachment.  I breathed a sigh of relief when a fully-completed document went through.  “Got it,” says Kim.  “Thanks for your patience and diligence.” 

     The genres I’ve chosen to list Lebensborn are: fiction/historical, fiction/war & military, and drama/European and Continental.  Another suggested third: fiction/action & adventure if the drama idea isn’t appropriate.

     The large and small synopses of the book were written, along with a lengthy listing of the main characters, fifty or so.

     The writing questions:  motivation for the book, themes of messages, setting.  The questions that concerned writing were fun.  They wanted to know why and when I write, my day job. When did I realize I wanted to be a writer?  They asked about my writing schedule, obstacles to writing, influence of life experience, writer’s block, and inspiration. 

    Where did I grow up?  “In Iowa,” I said, “where the tall corn really does grow and where some natives do get restless and move west.”  To answer where I live now, I said, “I make my home at the base of a mountain in Eastern Washington State five miles from Trail, British Columbia, where my husband and I have created a rustic bed and breakfast called the Lazy Bee.”

     I’ll hear more from the art and press departments.  The really big step is the print-block phase.  No one ever said writing would be an easy career.  Every job has challenges!

My main obstacle: “Living the mountain lifestyle, while at the same time keeping the ranch supplied, cleaned, planted and landscape in pristine condition for possible B&B guests.  I think I’ll find a little cabin by a river and do like Marjorie Kinnen Rallings.  She found a cook/housekeeper and sat on the porch and wrote.

Once the novel is accepted for publication, it progresses through several departments of the publisher. The first department edits the manuscript.

Due to the December holidays and a skeleton staff, I learned that this would not take place until the end of January. That month came and went with no edit in sight. I’d queried the edit department a few times through client/care but no response. So, I did what any anxious writer might do, I contacted Tania in administration and five minutes after I heard back from her, “I’ll see what’s happening,” I received the manuscript for review. Along with the edited manuscript there was copy edit instructions and samples from the Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, as edit authorities.

Long ago I used proofreader’s marks as a medical book editor and at seven newspapers. I wonder if there are new marks. Work to do. I was very excited. How will my editor like the manuscript? Writers are so sensitive to how others view their work. I took one peak at the second book edits. I think I’m going to enjoy this.

In the edit I noticed, she had changed “the girl crept,” to “the girl stepped.” However, to convey the true meaning, I knew I would soon change that to “the girl moved stealthily.” To me, even such a little change means the ms. will be enhanced.

In her edit of the first book, she said in one of her comments, “Underlining is usually a distraction in the regular exposition of a novel. When special examples seem necessary, it will be rendered with italics throughout. Indeed, the clarity and quality of your prose makes this kind of emphasis largely unnecessary.”

Even though the manuscript had been professional edited before, her subtle word suggestions are excellent: sadness and pain ‘shown’ to ‘shone’, stood behind the desk ‘poised like a’ is now ‘stood ‘poised’ behind the desk like, ‘insure’ corrected to ‘ensure’ and ‘to look at his eyes’ better than ‘looking at his eyes.’

Best of all were her suggestions for a love scene. She thought it should be taken to completion so as not to disappoint a reader (it’s the beach scene in the first book if you’re interested). and fleshing out of a magician SS officer’s work during the scene at Himmler’s castle for his officers. Her idea made the chapter sizzle when I wrote a new a paragraph. It’s good. You’ll see. It’s in the first book toward the end.