Transforming One Pile of Paper into Another

Did you hear those loud cheers coming from somewhere in eastern Vermont yesterday?

No?

I guess I’ll just have to shout louder.

Notebooks for Thieves of Fire
Notebooks for Thieves of Fire
Proof copy of Thieves of Fire, the 2nd Carding, Vermont novel
Proof copy of Thieves of Fire, the 2nd Carding, Vermont novel

Yesterday, I finally printed out a complete edited draft of Thieves of Fire, ready for my proofreader.

Can you see the date on the notebook on the top of this pile of four? That is when I started writing Thieves of Fire, May 15, 2012.

Let me repeat that. I started writing this book 31 months ago.

At that moment in time, my family was deep in recovery mode from Hurricane Irene. We were involved with building a new structure to take the place of the office and workshop that we lost.

We were scrambling to figure out how to pay for and construct a retaining wall on the river side of our home so that we could save it.

My son had just met the woman he’s now married to two days before I penned the first words of this novel.

Since then, we’ve built the retaining wall, saved our home, constructed the marvelous “cute little building” where I write and sew, watched our son fall in love and get married, lost my brother Mark, seen our nephew Andrew graduate from high school, and worked to grow the Parkinson’s Comfort Project from a tiny idea to a full-blown non-profit that’s now getting national attention.

I’ve produced books by other authors through my company Full Circle Press LLC, conducted a lot of publishing workshops, spent (not enough) time with friends and family, nursed our dog through some pretty serious ear infections, stacked wood, weeded gardens, and even got in a couple of kayaking trips.

Unlike most authors, I have to write my first drafts of fiction by hand. I have to feel the stories. For me, when the writing is going well, it is absolutely one of the most joyful sensations in the world.

My personal euphoria.

But first drafts are just that, first. They’re rough, full of stuff you don’t need in the final manuscript and missing stuff you do need. The sentences aren’t clean and smooth but jagged and sharp. They need honing so that readers never realize where one starts and the other ends.

That’s what editing is for. And editing takes time, lots of it.

So now, at last, I can turn all of my attention to marketing Thieves as well as the first Carding novel, The Road Unsalted. I’m looking forward to that.

Thieves of Fire will be launched to the public on May 19, 2015, just about three years to the day since I penned its first words.

Stay tuned. I’m hoping lots of you will join me on this long strange trip very soon.

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