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I’m working on the final stages of my novel. So–to make sure everything ties together with a little bow–I find myself doing nearly constant research with my previous books. And today I had a good laugh, because I discovered a document entitled Bloopers. All I can figure is that during the backbreaking work of editing Xsardis, my mother/editor and I went a little bit crazy. We created a Blooper Reel of editing mishaps, misunderstandings, mis-writing, and snarky (albeit well-meaning and well-received) comments.

Take, for example, this comment from my editor and chief: “Doesn’t this person have a name? Call him a small elephant if you want, but give him a name!”

Or this one: “Why did coloring help her use a slingshot?”

Or this encouraging word: “It’s probably written right. You just can’t read.”

Or how about these completely random and I-can’t-quite-see-how-they-are-relevant comments: “Pant girl!” and “I think you need a chicken in this story” and “Put a skirt on a continent.”

Hmm… What does it all mean? I can see how I could mis-write “asked us to flee” as “accessed a flea.” I can even see how my poor description of someone’s downcast eyes as “his eyes fell down” could leave my mother with the impression that the eyeballs “rolled out and dropped onto her shoes.” But the rest? Well… Let’s just say that what happens in the editing room should probably stay there.

In the pursuit of a refined novel we’ve pinned each other to the wall to discover how to break free; we’ve chucked paper at each other to get out angst; we’ve drank too much coffee; arm-wrestled for who is going to read; and had some minor mental breakdowns when I need to get a sentence just right and she wants to discover if a character lives or dies (really, why is she so impatient?). But, all in all, as evidence by the Blooper Reel, my editor and I have had a glowing good time doing it. So I’m looking forward to round 5 with the Lure of Lemons… That editing process will come sooner than I think.

Ps. If you can’t tell that I absolutely ADORE my mother and that we have a fabulous working relationship, you really need to read this blog more often and get to know me better… She’s awesome.

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I am at 41,073 words at only twenty-three days into the NaNoWriMo challenge. I am so close to the end that I can taste it. Of course, this is not a particularly high word count for a supposedly-full-time-writer, but considering the equal parts law firm, publishing, and writing life that I have I guess I am doing okay. Nor will 50,000 words be the end of my journey into the Lure of Lemons. No. It feels much more like the beginning. But I am nearly at the blissful end of the challenge.

There is something brilliant about having to challenge yourself to write everyday. Still, I think that perhaps my ability to see ahead and to write with actual talent may be suffering. So while NaNo was fun, I may opt out of the WriMo life next year. We will see. For this year, it was exactly the push I needed to get back into writing after months of editing. Maybe it will be useful again next year.

I am looking forward to the end. To find time to re-read and fix and sharpen what I have written. To gain new perspective on where I have been and where I am going. To enjoy storyboarding and to capture inspiration by reading again. Yes, I anticipate the end of 50,000 words. So why is it so hard to put the remaining 8,927 words on the figurative paper?

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