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Monday, November 30, 2009


So I have a manuscript peppered with Sam's revisions, my self-editing bible, and a rainy day. But despite having hours of work to do on this thing, I am paralyzed with indecision as to how to begin...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

If I had nails to bite

Sam called. The edited manuscript will be here tomorrow. I can't wait to see his thoughts/revisions/suggestions. I hope he ripped it up!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A find

I stumbled on a poem I wrote while developing my ideas for Grace. I wrote this poem almost four years ago and, surprisingly, it encapsulates the character as she unfolded in the book. It was written as a letter from her to her husband-a suicide note of sorts. Now I need to decide whether to include it in the book somehow. Here it is, let me know your thoughts:

My mind slides back and forth like a breeze
caressing each branch of a tree,
gently rocking the chimes,
tossing the leaves about.
No longer still.
No longer steady.
No longer constant.
Just as the wind dies down at the end of the day,
slipping over the waves and chasing the setting sun,
I feel my mind kissing the tips of my fingers,
leaving me.
As the sea swallows the sun
the air stills and the darkness falls.
I pray for peace
and that my heart, too, will still.
For I cannot live in the place of the unknown
where I do not know my own name
or yours.
Where my mind is shut,
my memories sealed away forever.
For without them, I am but a shell.
No longer here.
Locked away in an abyss where no one,
not even you, my love,
can rescue me.
So because I sense that dark night creeping
and my love for you flickering out
I must leave you.
Please forgive me and do not be angry.
For it is not my intent to harm,
but to save you from an intense sorrow that would scar your heart,
change you from the man I love,
and rob you of your fondest memories of me.
To save our tender love and you from excruciating pain,
I leave you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Interesting Quote

You never expect TV to provide lightbulb moments, but I just watched "Criminal Minds" and heard an interesting quote: "Better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sam called last night. He's about half-way through editing Grace and has some incredible ideas about making it better. I can't wait to see his notes! One of the most interesting parts of our conversation was about a supporting character. When I wrote the book, I could envision all of the other characters so well. But not Cooper. He was more the embodiment of an idea and philosophy. A voice to a position that needed to be included to round out a theme of the book. Yet this was the character Sam liked most. It's always so enlightening to hear how other people interpret your work.

Friday, November 6, 2009

What's the difference?

As I'm starting to pour over the hundreds of listings in my Literary Agent's directory, I'm struck with the dilemma--is my work commercial fiction or literary fiction? What's the difference? I always thought of James Patterson or Nicholas Sparks as commercial fiction and the classics (and contemporary novels like them) as literary fiction. In querying agents, I have to identify my "genre." In researching these terms, they're beginning to blur for me. Apparently, literary fiction can be fiction that addresses social issues, which is the core of my novel. Are Jodi Picoult novels literary fiction or commercial fiction? I feel as though to define myself as "literary" requires a certain hybris. Then again, assuming that people want to read what I write requires a certain hubris, doesn't it?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rewrite already?

So as I was cleaning yesterday, I stumbled on the little brown notebook I used when I had my initial ideas for "The Beauty of Grace." I was shocked to see my first note dated 3/10/06. Has it really been three-and-a-half years? Interestingly (or not), the five main themes of the book stayed exactly as I'd envisioned them. The characters, however, did not. The main protagonist didn't change, but the names and personalities of all the others did. People have often asked me if I know the whole story when I begin to write. I've responded that each book is a living, breathing thing that evolves as I write. This became more apparent to me as I re-read my notes. They also reminded me of a few things I wanted to say in the book that I didn't.
So I'm already re-writing before I even see Sam's editing notes!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Here we go!

"The Beauty of Grace" is born! After many months, I finally completed my novel. It was a labor of love that explores quality of life, women's decisions regarding family and career, and faith and science. Jamie just took it to FedEx to send to one of my favorite people in the world, Sam Greenberg, to edit. Now begins the process of trying to land a literary agent. Writing the novel was the easy part...