Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Finally got some honest feedback!

Two people have now told me some honest feedback about "A Haunting at Mackinac." I find this good for two reasons:

1. People are reading it, actually reading it!! And paying attention to it!
2. So far I've heard how good the story is, and how interesting it is, and everyone is encouraging me to get out a print version. But before the print version comes out I wanted to make sure it was as perfect as it could be. Well, each time I go through it I find more to change. It's never going to be totally perfect, I began writing it almost 20 years ago or more. It's just not ever going to be my best work. But some of the things people have come up with are continuity errors that should have been caught by a previous read through. The funniest one is this: apparently in the first four days they are on the Island, they hire the same carriage driver for a week at time on three different occasions. Each time they are pleased and surprised to see it's the same carriage driver and at the end of the trip they pay him for a whole week. Now, even the most greedy cab driver will let someone know that they already paid him a fair wage. This was clearly a problem with me forgetting as I was writing that I had already had the characters hire the guy for the week.

So I am in the process of reading through it again for continuity errors before I put it out in print. I will also update the Kindle version. So anyone else who buys it for Kindle will get the corrected version. I don't know how it will work for people who have already bought it. So I apologize about that but I can't do anything about it.

I have also added quotations to the beginning and a glossary of Ojibwa and Algonquin words and phrases. So I will keep you all informed as to when this whole process will be finished so you can go to your local bookstore and ask for them to order my book for you in the print version! Can't wait to hold it in my hand!

On other newsy fronts: I have three new ideas about screenplays that I could write for April's Script Frenzy. I'd love some feedback about which one would interest you the most. See the sidebar for a short synapses of the three projects.

Thanks for your input!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Was today wasted? You decide!

I started out today with the simple mission of getting enough ink to print out my next novel manuscript for my Editor Clover McKinley. She's read 250 manuscript pages of it out of about 1500 pages. I went to Cartridge world and got three new refills of ink. Came home and installed one. Started printing and managed to print about half of the first part before I had spooler problems. After rebooting the computer and the printer both about three times, I finally got so it would print the rest. But while waiting for all of those reboots, out of habit, and out of pure joy, I began to read what was in front of me.

What was in front of me was my own novel. I just started picking it up and reading right where it was.

I got the printing done and kept on reading. Now, let me tell you. I have re-read this book about fourteen times. Each time I was in some mode, clear the clutter, read for typos and misspellings, read for wordiness (yeah like that works!) I even read it through once to find out if the dialog was plausible. You have to read that out loud to discover it.

But today I just kept on reading out of the pure pleasure of it. I wonder now if Stephen King ever picked up a copy of Cujo by accident in a library and just opened the book at random and at once was pulled into that world and got caught, a world of his own making? Or maybe Dan Brown in a hospital waiting room happens to see a copy of Angels and Demons in a staff book exchange shelf and started reading chapter 16, just to have something he wouldn't have to concentrate on and then get caught. Or maybe Dickens, in one of the endless handwritten re-writes looked at David Copperfield with new eyes and lost himself in the text instead of copying it.

All at once Jake came out into the living room and said, "Hey mom, are you busy?"

I didn't know how to answer him. I wasn't doing anything I needed to do. I've been through this manuscript a dozen times. Now it's up to the professional editor to have at it. One part that I had read this afternoon had already been printed out for the editor so any changes I made on it would not be on her print out. How useless is that? I went to see what my son wanted and he suggested that the bananas I was saving for banana-nut muffins, were already at their optimum amount of black-peeled ripeness and should be made toot-sweet or they may soon turn into garbage. So I quickly made a double batch (I do nothing in singles) and as I put the first pan of them into the oven to bake, I realized that I had been hurrying that job so I could get back to the book.

I don't know why this book has me this captivated. Unless it's the two main characters. Nick and Sarah. Nick is a very hurt man. He was betrayed by his friends and took the rap for them. He did two years and eight months in prison on a five year sentence for breaking and entering. He admits to being there but wouldn't say who else was in the building with him. When he gets out he clings to the one thought that he never wants to go back, not for any reason. Yet, within a year he is again arrested. Why?

Then there is Sarah, she has also been hurt, in the worst way a girl can be hurt and still survive. She wasn't even able to confront her attacker because she was whisked away from the area without even putting forth an accusation. When she meets the hurt man, Nick, she is at a crossroads in her life. Nick too is at a crossroads in his life. Will he be able to make it outside of prison, and keep his word to himself? Will he find something to live for and be happy about? Will Sarah be able to heal herself from her abuse and go on to lead a productive life? I already know the answers to all of these questions, but still I found myself drawn up into their stories, and wishing to experience it again.

Is this vanity? Is this like that one girl in high school looking in the mirror and saying, "Oh my, I'm so cute today!" Is this me saying I'm God's gift to literature? Maybe? All I know is I love what I write. I was experiencing pure joy today re-reading the most emotional parts of this book.

I have never been in a position of self-aggrandizement before this. I was never the cutest girl in school, or the smartest, or the most talented, or the best dressed. But I know one thing, and that is this. I love this book!

So did I waste my time today, re-reading just for the joy of it? Or did I need to do this today to boost my self-confidence and self esteem. Now that I'm out there, being read, (and I am being read. Someone shared with me that they got their book club to read my book) maybe what I really needed was to reassure myself that what I write is good, enjoyable, worthy. Maybe I needed this today. Tomorrow it goes to the editor.

Cindy K-K