LILA’S CHOICE – Cover Reveal!

Some things are worth waiting for. After months of being quiet on the progress of LILA’S CHOICE, I am happy to announce that things are moving forward, and at a quick pace as well. The first set of good news is that I am the proud owner of a beautiful cover:

Laura Ebook Final-small

I keep looking at the cover in awe. It’s one thing to set out to accomplish something, it is quite another to see it come into reality. Having a cover, with my title and my name on it, is one of those moments. Those “holy crap” moments.

So, the story is written and polished. It has been uploaded to the various places necessary for publication. Now it has a cover… Only thing left to do is make one last obsessive sweep through for last minute errors. And publish.

I think at this point I need a publication date, don’t you?

February 10th, 2014 sounds like a good date to me.

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Fear Revisited

My fear of sharing my writing has been unleashed, yet again. I suspect that as a writer there will always be an element of fear. Therefore I will take each surge as a learning opportunity.

My current fear stems from the daunting task of marketing Lila’s Choice and generating reviews. I saw a place to share an excerpt with other writers. I thought this would great and fun. And then I froze at my keyboard. Granted, I live in New England where the outside world is struggling to get above twenty degrees, but it has been pretty artic on the inside as well (or so my cold hand and toes tell me!).

I took a step back to ponder why I froze, and the answer was glaring at me: I don’t want to do any more revisions. Now, this is not to say that I won’t do revisions. This is to say that I am done doing any major revisions. I’m petrified the novel sucks and anyone who looks at it will want it completely redone.

I’m petrified it just isn’t good enough.

I’ve put twelve years of work into this novel. Money, blood, sweat, and tears. The finish line is waiting for me to cross it. But at this point I want to click “publish” close my eyes, hold my breath, and hide in a cave for a few weeks.

Granted, what I will really be doing is clicking “publish”, closing my eyes, holding my breath, and then sharing it on social media. Then I will try and crawl into a cave but I will really be checking back on said social media sites like an addicted junkie. And speaking of junk I will more than likely be devouring some unhealthy food.

I think it is so much easier to share a work in progress. Because even when you think it’s there, you are still working on it, and welcome the feedback to make it stronger. Sharing something that is finished… the revisions are done. It’s time to step away, cross fingers, and pray that someone, somewhere, likes the end result.

Cutting the Fat

One of the hardships of editing is making painful cuts to a novel. These cuts can happen for multiple reasons. The scene in question might not move the story forward. A novel might be too long and need trimming. Lines might be too revealing. Parts of sections might need to be trimmed but not total. The list goes on and on.

I often find myself in the novel is too long category. The main thing to do is not attempt to cut too early. Let the elongated, bloated, scene stay snuggled in the manuscript. And wait. Different authors may be under different deadlines. Time, if it’s available, can be your friend.

When a story is new it’s much like an infant. A small, perfect little bundle that can do no wrong. And has no flaws. As the novel ages, however, it enters those pesky toddler years. Suddenly there are flaws. This is the time to cut. When the initial romance has died off. At this point a writer can look at their work with a critical eye, and the sting of the cut isn’t quite as harsh.

A common notion is to cut a scene that doesn’t move the story forward. I like to look at it from a different angle: if cut will the loss of this scene affect the outcome? I’ve had scenes that I have loved, loved, but once cut make absolutely no change on the overall story. That’s a scene that needs to be cut.

One major suggestion: before you cut a single word, create a new document. Save the original. You never know when you might need to reference a deleted section. It might become important later on. There is nothing worse than knowing you had something written that you need, but you can’t find.

An Overactive Writer’s Mind

Over the holidays my family had a fun outing at a location that had animatronics. Human animatronics. Something I have always enjoyed since I was a child. Until now I hadn’t had a good look at them as an adult, and as a writer. This location was a happy place, filled with childhood wonder. In my head, it was a horror novel.

The first thing I noticed was that these animatronics looked… angry. Sad. They were all children, yet more likely to resemble zombie-post apocalypse children than your normal everyday variety. These children had seen death and dismay, their faces clearly showed this.

After about ten little scenes like this the stories started to play themselves out in my head. Two children looking into a sweet shop were starving. They had no food to eat and their parents had no money. Soon they would turn to the poor, emancipated dog they had with them.

Then I saw the scene, the one with the full story written for my eyes to see. In a lively room two children decorated a tree. In a corner a little boy sat, scratching a dog. In the middle a little girl, the only girl of darker skin tone I might add, sat tying a bow on a present. In another corner a teddy bear lay on it’s back, kicking feet into the air.

I turned to my husband and whispered the story: the little girl of color was a slave. She was forced to work for this family. As the other children played she had to wrap gifts, gifts she would never see. One could practically see the tears filling her eyes. Who knows what horrors she had seen in her young life!

My husband hushed me and moved on, but the sad faces and sad stories continued rolling in my head. It was all I could not to find some paper and write these down.

As for the bear, I still can’t quite figure out how he figures into the story. There must be a supernatural element I haven’t come up with yet.