Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer's End

What?!  It's Friday again?

Yes, we're days away from one of the biggies:  Labor Day, the "official" end of summer.  Come Monday, you can put away your white shoes and start thinking of the new fall fashions.  We can all sit back and enjoy the next three days, free from toil and trouble.

Right?  Uh, no.

Have you happened to notice all the Labor Day sales in the newspaper, online ads and email?  Somebody has to be in those stores to take your money or answer questions as to which kitchen faucet is best.  Police and firefighters are still on the job, around the clock.  And writers just might be spending the 3-day weekend pounding their keyboards.  Okay, we don't rank up there with police and firefighters.  We don't save lives, but we do enhance them by offering take-me-away stories to readers.  Or something like that. ;)

My plans include working on edits of the first draft of CMHM (The Cowboy Meets His Match), which is nothing more than a working title, so don't read too much into that.  The day will be (I hope!) quiet and uninterrupted.  Or maybe I'll do some mowing.  Or wishing it was Saturday again.  A seven-day weekend would be heaven...until boredom set in.

I do know where I won't be.  Shopping.  Too many crowds, too many children climbing on shelves and racing through the mall.  It's not that I don't like children.  I like them when they're relatively well-behaved.  And, no, my own daughters were not perfect.  I remember how they would race down the grocery store aisle with the basket, much to my displeasure.  They would also plead for candy and fight with each other.  Typical kids.

I won't be at one of the area lakes.

  • The ex got the boat in the divorce.  
  • We've just managed to get out of a 2-year drought, and every person, young and old, who believes going to the lake is the ultimate summer adventure, will be there.  Again, crowds, not to mention those who have decided to imbibe in too many spirits.  And I'm not talking ghosts. ;)  Case in point:  While water-skiing at one of the lakes, years ago, we encountered a large group of nude young people in the cove next to ours.  Enlightening.
  • Every time we've camped at the lake--and there have been several--there's been a storm.  Except for one time, and the wind nearly blew us away.
  • After rain, rain, and more rain--to fill those lakes, of course--we've had two weeks of unbearable heat and humidity.  Being anywhere without air conditioning would be insane.  Obviously there will be lots of insane people at the lake. ;)
Still, I support a holiday for the working people.  After all, most of us work at something.

So back to editing, which is not my favorite thing to do, but a must.  I've mentioned that I do a fast first draft of the book.  That's obvious when reading through the manuscript again.  Sometimes I wonder if gremlins have had some fun, while I've left the story to "simmer."  Even the first three chapters, which my editor has read, had some side-splitting aka groan-able goofs.  This is why I put it away for a week or two, before attacking it with edits.  And there will be a third edit.  Who knows what I might have missed or messed up even more?

Sometimes we're not sure what needs editing...other than everything.  What should we be looking for when we edit?  Kristen Lamb had a great blog post a week ago.  Six Easy Tips for Self-Editing Your Fiction.  If you're not sure what to look for, take a look at Kristen's list.  If you do have a clue, use it as a refresher.  Sometimes we become so bogged down in our story and fixing sentences that have been changed by gremlins that we miss the basics.

Whatever you have planned for this weekend, enjoy it!  If you happen to be on Facebook, extolling the holiday or just goofing off, stop by the Harlequin American Romance Authors page and say hi.  Or "Like" it.  That would be even better!
If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend. ~ Doug Larson

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