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.


“There but for the grace of God go I.”

We escaped the ravages of Ian by fleeing to Georgia on Tuesday morning. We planned to hunker down and stay home until three things happened. First, it occurred to me that staying proved nothing, and eating canned meat while melting from the heat when the power went out sounded wholly unattractive. Second, because of the creek behind our house, we are level B evacuation in case of flooding. Level B evacuation became mandatory on Tuesday morning. The final reason is our dear friends Sue and Paul urged us to leave. I usually heed Sue’s advice.

My other thought was about all the times I yelled at people on the TV who didn’t evacuate when they should have. We didn’t want to be the people who put first responders in further danger.

Army of utility trucks heading south on I75

The drive had a few delays but it wasn’t too bad. On the way north we saw an army of utility trucks heading south. They continued coming and even today there were more on the road headed to help. Last night after dinner a fleet of trucks pulled into the hotel parking lot.

“Are you going to get our power back on,” I asked one of the men.

“I’m gonna try my best,” he responded.

I thanked him and hoped to get a picture of the row trucks this morning. By 7:00 they were gone. Thank you to all the utility workers coming to our aid.

St. Mary, Georgia was our place of refuge on the first night. When we told the person at the Riverview Hotel–a lovely old hotel, oozing with charm and character– we were fleeing Ian her eyes grew wide.

“And you came here?” she responded.

I laughed and told her just for the night then we’d head west. Saint Mary lay in waiting for Ian to attack so we needed to move inland for days two and three.

Storm clouds were forming and preparations for Ian were underway when we left Wednesday morning.

I started looking for a place as soon as I woke up Wednesday morning and found a room in Lake Park, Georgia. A lot of hotels were full. Everyone has been very kind. A neighbor checked on the outside of our house and sent pictures. Everything looks fine except for a few plants in need of attention. Our power has been out since 11:30 Tuesday morning which is nothing compared to what our neighbors to the south have endured.

My heart goes out to all those south of us who sustained such devastation. It looked horrible and as my mother used to say, “there but for the grace of God go I.”

Getting Closer

My book is with beta readers so now I wait to hear what they have to say. I’ve gotten some feedback already so it goes in the hopper for me to cogitate. Once I get all my input, I’ll see about making changes. The next step is finding an editor.

Entering Bergen, Norway at sunrise

Our trip in June was a marvelous respite from focusing on my book. All the sights were wonderful. The spectacular beauty of Norway, mystical Stonehenge and seeing King Lear at the Globe theatre in London were a few of the highlights. The architecture in Spain inspired me to get out my paints, which I will soon. Windmills in the Netherlands, the medieval town of Bruges and a return to Honfleur in France rounded out the trip.

During our stay in Paris in 2015, Tim and I went to Honfleur for a couple of days. I painted while Tim explored the town. This time I got to see much more and I loved it. We ate at the same café because they had treated us so well during our last visit. One place I found during last visit needed a repeat, Caramels du Normandie. Yes, a shop devoted to caramels.

While we were in Norway, I looked up an old friend who had moved there after college. Forty years had sped by since I last saw Dave so I was a little unsure about contacting him. I found his website and sent him an email. He invited us to dinner at his home in Oslo for a typical Norwegian meal. We dined on salad and prawns on bread spread with a horseradish or cocktail sauce. A special joy comes from connecting with old friends, we were both glad I sent that email.

Undredal, Norway