Another novel milestone met

I just sent off draft seven of my novel to another reviewer. I very much value this person’s judgment because of her experience editing books for the Oxford University Press and that she helped me revise and edit my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On.

Papa's Shoes (working title)

        Papa’s Shoes (working title)


I spent the last two and a half months working on this draft, looking for repetition, places where I told the story rather than showed it, and rewriting in response to some earlier review comments. As a result I cut out almost five thousand words. It’s now down to 85, 485 words. It’s still a little heavy for a novel, but in the right range.

I’ve asked this reviewer to especially assess the content – are the story and its characters worth even pursuing at this point. My problem is the more I read and work on this material these days, the less confident I get. I said I don’t need her to edit, except for giving me possible suggestions on where to delete/add stuff.

After I sent my manuscript off to my reviewer today, my husband asked what I’ll do with all my free time. I laughed. I always know how to fill up the time with other writing projects. Here are some things I’ll be doing until I receive the next set of comments:

And most important of all:

Organize my poems, decide on some to submit, edit them as necessary, and find the right places to submit them. I’ve had a pretty good track record with acceptances lately, so I want to keep the ball rolling, so to speak.

I also planned to finish this draft before I go on my AFSP Out of the Darkness walk next week. It is nice to have a clean plate so I can concentrate on nothing else while walking 16 to 18 miles the night of May 21 to help prevent suicide. That has been my mission since my son took his life in 1999. I can’t wait to tell you all about it – walking all those miles in hilly San Francisco should be quite a trick.

AFSP poster

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