Nitty Gritty

It seems everything is a blessing and a curse. I am eternally grateful to Tim for going over every chapter, word by word, for my final edit. He is very good at pointing out places that need clarification and punctuation. But, you knew there was a but in there, didn’t you? He never read Kurt Vonegut’s quote from Man Without a Country

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”

Kurt Vonegut

We continued our task at nine o’clock this morning, going over chapters fourteen and fifteen. We’ve reached the half-way point now. I listened to him a little differently today because this past weekend I attended the Florida Writers Association’s annual conference. The closing panel discussion included agents and publishers. “Don’t edit your voice out of it,” they said.

After months, and maybe years–time has become a blur–of hearing how important editing is, I was taken aback some with that comment. Writing and painting have more parallels than I realized. When a painting is overworked it loses its freshness, so too with writing. Knowing when to stop is an essential part of the puzzle.

When Tim says, “That’s not how I would have said that,” I know to say leave it. Other times it’s less clear. It will be interesting to get input from my editor when we reach that step.

In the meantime I have played around with some cover designs. All opinions are welcome.

Hands included
Without hands

If you don’t like either cover, please let me know that too. Of course, I may have no say in what the cover looks like depending on where this goes, but it’s fun to play with it. In re-thinking the title, my friend Laura suggested leaving off “waters.” I like that idea. Again, I may not have a say in that either.

Thanks for playing. Maybe by next month it will be in my editors hands and I’ll be on to my next book–yes, I do have another book in my head.


No, I don’t think that’s really a word but I’m hoping it got your attention. The re-inspiration is an interesting turn of events. It’s about my Paintbrush Graphics business. I came up with the name back around 1995 after a family trip in which we drove out to Wyoming to go to Yellowstone and Tetons National Parks. One of the highlights of the trip was a backpacking hike in the Tetons. Now, being a “Jersey Girl” the whole concept of backpacking was rather foreign to me. But I also love an adventure, and a challenge.

Paintbrush Graphics business card, does your business card work for you?

I had planned our hike using a one of the many guidebooks I had bought for our trip. We arrived at the ranger station to check in and let them know our route and get our back country permit. As it turned out, the route I had planned had already reached the maximum number of permits allowed. Also, we didn’t have ice picks with us to go across the pass, which apparently was still frozen even though it was July. That being the case we chose a different trail. It turned out that the trail we would hike was Paintbrush Canyon. The Paintbrush is a wildflower found throughout Wyoming and it is their state flower. It was a wonderful experience. But in the process of hiking I thought I should name my design business Paintbrush Graphics, because if I could make this hike I could do anything.

Now, here it is, 2012 and I’m reviving my design business but it’s a little different. Because I have been doing design work for the last several years for my painting business I thought I should specialize in doing design work for artists. Between my experience and the fact that many artists are, to be blunt, technology averse, it seems like a good approach. Then I thought, my name, Paintbrush Graphics, it works even better than it did when I first thought it up. So, I have re-designed my web site and I will be soliciting work as a designer. I will still be painting so my time management skills need to be fine tuned as well.

I am particularly fond of designing brochures. I think because it seems to be just enough space for pictures and text. Business cards are limited but that makes them a fun challenge. I really enjoy doing more with a business card than occurs to others. There are many opportunities for marketing your work, between web pages and print materials which have become much less expensive to produce. Presenting yourself in a professional manner is very important to me. Coming from a publishing background with a major publication based out of New York, my training forces me to make sure all my i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. While in the midst of that training I may have complained about Art Directors being too picky, but then I became an Art Director and then my own designer, that put my standards at a whole new level.

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