I had a WONDERFUL time in Mt. Dora yesterday. The city library was sponsoring a Literary Festival, and I spoke at the luncheon. Raintree Books, from Eustis, furnished a book table, and I met some really wonderful folks who know all the stories about Mt. Dora–in fact, there’s a Mt. Dora “secret” that I explore in SHE ALWAYS WORE RED, and these folks knew all about it!  I can always console myself with the fact that only the long-timers know about it.  For everyone else, it is a secret.  🙂 

Anyway, it was a great time.  Saw Jeanne Mason, a friend I haven’t seen in over twenty years, and made many new friends.  Hope to see them again sometime.  
I also met a lady who brought photos of her mastiff.  🙂  Like one of mine, hers is a rescue, and he thinks he’s a lap dog!  I can so relate! 
Back to the BOM:

It’s been a long time since I originally wrote Gentle Touch, so I don’t remember a lot about it. I do know that it took no more than three months, because ten years ago I wrote everything in that time frame. (Working ten hour days, sometimes, but I got through it).  

These days I write a little bit slower–first, I travel a lot more, and second, I’m a lot pickier.  I carefully consider every word and comma.  

I can tell you this about the revising–I did not go into it intending to completely rewrite the manuscript. I have this feeling that each novel is as good as I can make it at the time I write it, so I didn’t want to go overboard and do major surgery on the work. I did, however, want to clear up any glaring things that I’ve learned to do better since 1996. So I went through and cleaned up interior monologue in italics (ick! The book was filled with it, and now I really, really dislike it except in short, abrupt thoughts), as well as scrapping unnecessary adverbs and useless speaker attributions.  I kept thinking, What if my students read this?  They’d think I don’t practice what I preach!  

My Steeple Hill editor also had a couple of questions and concerns, and it was a simple matter to address those things to both our satisfaction. The updated medical information was easy to switch out, too.

It wasn’t out of laziness that I didn’t want to do a complete rewrite–it was more a matter of thread pulling. I’ve learned that if you pull a thread in a tightly-woven book, you’re going to end up with a snag, a snarl, or a gaping hole if you’re not careful. So I didn’t want to tug on anything that was working just fine.

Tomorrow: The editing



  1. Mocha with Linda

    I love reading about this. Even on my blog, I’ve noticed I tend to want to keep tweaking a post here and there. I don’t other than mistakes I’ve missed (funny how you can proof it in the preview and it looks fine, and the minute it posts, it’s like there’s a flashing light on the error), and certainly not once comments start coming. I guess it’s my copy editor tendencies showing through!

    Glad you had such a fun day in Mt. Dora!

  2. Lisa

    I do the same thing with my blog. I read my entry over and over. Check spelling and punctuation, and then read it again. I have to get anything I send home from my classroom cleared with the school office. I’m told I over-use commas. I guess there are worse things in life.
    Sounds like a good time in Mt. Dora.

  3. Karen D

    I have always used italics for inner thoughts but I see now that this is antiquated. What is the current proper way to show those interior thoughts? It seems awkward to change from narrator mode to what the character is thinking without some indication, but I want to do it right.


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