Happy Canada Day. To go along with the celebrations, we are having a heat-wave. I took my first swim of the year a couple of days ago and the lake felt as warm as it usually does in August. With the advent of warmer, longer summers our tried and true gardening knowledge has to play catch-up. We are already eating tomatoes, basil and fresh cilantro. A veggie and chip dip made from cilantro, pressed garlic, plain yogurt and a bit of Helman’s for smooth, richness is the order of the day. Even a confirmed anti-cilantro person like Bruce is hooked.
We do worry about the lack of snow-cover on the mountains and what these hotter summer months mean in the grand scheme of things. In the meantime, we adjust, plant and harvest.
Oh, and speaking of the garden – the automatic-timer watering system is driving me crazy. Wonderful in theory but we are having a devil of a time making sure each one works the way we programed it. Last night one of the sprinklers didn’t come on. This morning the water pressure was way down. I discovered that the reason one hadn’t worked was because another hadn’t turned off. The pressure was too low for all those sprinklers at once. That has resulted in going back to manual override on a couple. Never a dull moment.
I want to update everyone on the blog contest I ran last week. The winner of a softcover copy of Chasing Down the Night is Geralyn who blogs over at Where My Feet Are. Her copy is on the way to her as I type. Congratulations, Geralyn and many thanks for commenting on my blog post. I hope you enjoy the book.
Just a quick plug – if you’ve read Chasing Down the Night, how about posting a review on Amazon? You may not realize how much reviews matter as a part of the whole mysterious way in which Amazon promotes books, but they do.
My second publishing project of 2015 is soon coming to fruition – The Crater Lake Series: Box Set One. This newest offering is part of my five-year marketing plan – get as many writing products out and about as I can. I will set the price for the box set competitively and hope that this will be an economical way for readers to start at the beginning and enjoy all three books. My idea for the cover came from browsing through several examples of other box sets on Amazon. I popped over to Fiverr and found someone who makes 3-D cover images for a song and I’m using the service of Doug Heatherly at Lighthouse24 for e-book formatting. Viola – another e-book soon to be selling on Amazon.
Before company descends on us for summer fun, I will be dedicating myself to a line-by-line edit of Maelstrom. It is amazing what some distance from a manuscript can lead to. When I left this book in the drawer back in early April, I thought it couldn’t be cut anymore. It seemed the story was wound so tightly together that no string could be tugged without unravelling the whole. Not true. I now see a number of things that must go. I’m looking specifically for my crutch words (you know what I mean – those words and phrases that we can’t seem to live without – I have people hopping out of vehicles so often it seems like I’m writing a novel about kangaroos!), clichés, redundancies, overly florid or wordy descriptions, awkward dialogue and explanations where none are necessary.
Many of you know that I began this novel by building onto a scaffold provided by a lengthy, old manuscript that my mother had written years ago. Many cuts, revisions and new sections later, I am editing my fifth draft of the work. What I see are layers of words, mine and my mom’s, especially when it comes to dialogue. At times, I took her idea of what the character would say and then added an additional line of my own to explain the same thing. I must now decide which line stays and which line goes because these characters are far too wordy for their own good.
Once again, many well wishes to fellow Canadians as we celebrate this great country we call home and a shout out to American followers with their big day just around the corner. Let’s enjoy the parades, the flags, the cakes, the fireworks and the pride we take in the places we call home.