Friday, April 23, 2010

Totally NOT the "it" Girl!

As y'all know, I edit on the side between royalty checks. One of my pet peeves is the word "it"—IT drives me crazy! I'll show you what I mean:

Unlike the well-plotted veggie patch, however, this flower garden had no real pathways leading through it, and she was forced to step on many new blooms.

Get rid of the "it" and watch what happens:

Unlike the well-plotted veggie patch, however, no real pathways led through the flower garden and she was forced to step on many new blooms.

Now, get rid of the "padding" words and see what you get:

Unlike the well-plotted veggie patch, no real pathways led through the flower garden and she stepped on many new blooms.

If you love your editor, or want to make an editor very happy, cut the "it" as often as possible. Just restructuring to get the unnecessary "it" weeded out can really tighten your writing in a flash.

Okay, editing rant over—back to work!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wuz up Doc?

I'm working on writing more in my blog, even if it just musings about every day life. Today, I'm writing a little about doctor visits and how strange they are.

I needed prescription filled, but the doc wanted me to make an appt. for a follow-up exam before she agreed to refill. So okay, no biggie. I go in, though I feel fine, and discover my blood pressure is high (157 over 84) not real bad, but yeah, I'll keep an eye on it. The doctor, however, never says one word about this, so I figure it's really nothing.

The next day, my ankles start to swell, for no reason. This happened when I was pregnant so I know what to do: put my feet up and cover in ice. It works some, but I'm a busy gal so I'm on my feet more than I would have liked and just chalk it up to not being able to sit long enough.

The next morning, I finally have an appt. with a psychiatrist my doc referred me to (for dealing with some grief issues since my dad died Feb. 14th.) I'm eager to get some help so I can get my normal life back. Only when I wake up early and get out of bed, I almost fall flat on my face because I'm so dizzy.

I make it out of my room by holding on to furniture and walls, a bit freaked out because I've never felt like that before. But, the more I move around, the less dizzy I am--except my feet are still swollen. Over the course of the day, I'm on and off dizzy and my ankles get really big.

So I go see the shrink, hoping to get some anti-depressants or something--only to find out I'm not meeting with a psychiatrist who can prescribe medicine, just a counselor. I've got plenty of people to talk to all ready, so I'm a bit peeved to A)be referred to a psychiatrist and not get an appt. with one and B) having to travel to a whole 'nother town a half hour away just to find this out.

By the time I get back in town, I'm a bit woozy and my neighbor suggests I call and make an appt. about my ankles and the dizziness. She's right, but I'm really not interested in seeing another doctor. I do the responsible thing though and call in. They can't get me in for two weeks, but they say I can't wait that long and need urgent care. *Sigh*

I show up in urgent care and they tell me the receptionists are notorious for doing this. I'm totally over the whole thing and want to turn around and go home, but I figure I'll at least check my blood pressure. It's 150/100. Okay, not so good.

After 4 hours, it turns out I may or may not have high blood pressure (they want a 3rd check) my dizziness is due to dehygdration, which also caused my swollen ankles. (I'm retaining fluid because I'm not drinking enough to move it out of my body--they say.) In other words--drink a lot of water and come back in a week.

After that, I rush home to nuke dinner (no time for cooking) and get Matthew to Boy Scouts--which turns out was canceled and I didn't get the message because I was in too much of a hurry to listen to my voice mail. The kids need to hit the library and return books and I hit the video store to return tapes. When I pick them up, we head home, do homework, and I spend a lot of time on the phone telling everyone I'm fine.

Finally, I get a minute to chug a bottle of water. It's bed time. Now I've got a doc's appt. for next week, and another "therapy" appt. in two--with a writing conference in between. In the meantime, I'm editing four books, writing one, querying another, dealing with my mortgage company over the four months my hubby was out of work, and putting in the garden so we'll have fresh (free!) veggies all summer long.

Then there's spring cleaning, the field trip I'm chaperoning, and prepping for our annual rummage sale...

Okay, gotta get busy! See y'all soon.


Sunday, April 18, 2010


Hey y'all ;) Sorry I've been gone for so long. It's been a sad winter for my family. My father died on Valentines Day this year. Between visiting with him once a month (he lived far from me) and returning to help with the clearing of his belongings, I've been out of town quite a bit. I'll miss him very much.

I think there's something to be learned from every experience, and when we understand more about the way the world works, it influences everything we do from there on out. I find myself in a strange situation because the setting in my next novel, Detour 2 Death, the third book in the Extreme Hauntings series, is in a haunted hospital. While my father died at home, working with the themes of illness, death, and grief are all the more poignant.

Stephen King writes about being hit by a van and what it's like to be severely injured. His use of this real-world event in Kingdom Hospital is especially interesting to me as I work on Kaylee's next journey—this time directly into the "spirit" realm. I'm not sure I'd feel as free and as motivated as I do if it weren't for the creativity (a talking anteater?) King shared in his illustration of a haunted hospital or as connected if I hadn't recently witnessed the passing of a loved one.

So, as I'm working on this book and editing others (some fun ones coming out soon!) I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. I'll be posting more to my blog now that things are returning to normal.

Wishing everyone the best.


Visit Me at These Events:

WRWA Spring Conference in Manitowoc, WI April 30-May 1
Printers Row in Chicago, IL June 12-13
WRWA Fall Conference in Madison, WI September 24-26