May 30, 2010

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Editing as a Way of Life.

Elie Wiesel once said, "There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don't see them."
          When I was looking for something to recommend my style of editing for writers in my critique groups and those I meet at conferences, I wandered through quips and wisecracks until this popped up. The "only you don't see them" is the gemstone. When all that is unsaid is apparent in the here and now of the novel, it has not been lost. It has not been forgotten or swept away under a thick black line. The life of the character and the enchantment of the setting are richer for things experienced by the bye.

If you are in need of editing, I am now, as of this very moment, a "professional" in that I have secured my first for-payment client, a talented writer named Beverly. Five books and going strong. If I've made her life a little more exciting by handing her a list of challenges after reading one of the books, then I'm happy.

And while I love the slow pace and great Ozark weather, summer is a huge chunk of wasted time for me. I need deadlines. I need to have someone else's welfare resting on my keeping promises.

So I am launching a CALL for MANUSCRIPTS.  I am willing to edit for writers under these conditions:
$20/ hour for general structural comments on plot, character, and writing technicalities.
$35/hour for specific line by line, scene by scene critique.

Contact me with a comment to this message or at
Or call me at 479-442-8028.

Who said summers can't be just as busy as the school year? Go out in the sunshine and WRITE!

Kate Lacy

May 8, 2010

What Price Freedom?

School is almost out. Four wonderful and cruel weeks. Friendships forged and melted as students begin clearing lockers and backpacks and neglecting to study for Finals that loom ahead. Lab plans and good intentions thrown out with the recycling cardboard of old copy paper boxes. Every plan for vacation fun bumped lower in the To Do list by niggling tasks that should have been completed in the dark days of February or during the enforced stay home during the ice storms of March.

It's Summer around the corner calling, calling. Answer to 1-800-GetBusy.

And I'm ready and willing--but not able to dial that number. I am, sigh, a concrete random list maker.

Every i must be dotted and every t crossed, so I can go outside and play.  Unless I think of something else that needs to be done first. This is the curse (and blessing) of too many fiction writers. Right?
  • The Rosicrucian Order has just asked me to be their friend on FaceBook. Can a wayward Presbyterian refuse a religious invitation? Will it hurt my chances at impressing an agent?
  • An old sweetheart sent a picture of himself at the top of a tree cutting away wind damaged limbs---complete with belt, hard hat and boots. Can you love a man who calls himself an 'old coot' and teeters in the tops of trees?
  • My daughter sent me a lovely pink house rose for Mother's Day. Lovely. Simple. But now I'm worried it won't survive June's rainy season in the Ozarks.
  • I've started inviting carpenters to bid on finishing the bathroom remodel fiasco from 2006. It's got to be done; I might want to sell the house and move in the next decade. Stop laughing, I'm serious.
  • I've glanced up and realized I listed "belt, hard hat and books" above. Went back and righted it.
    It wasn't sexy/sexual, but can't that count as a Freudian slip anyway? After all, don't I live and breathe writing and books more days than not? Aren't Freudian slips an interesting literary device? Wouldn't it be fun to write a short scanky romance about a woman who says them all the time and isn't aware of it? I'd name her, oh, something formal like Cecily or something suggestive like Chastity or Patience or Obedience.
Can you see the stress I'm under? Even in an effort of putting order into my life, I am besieged by wayward dangers, fears for the future, a streaming consciousness of stories that need to be told and the inability to type without producing a foreign language on the screen.

Maybe I'll win a Pulitzer for Creativity under Fire. aftenl;all whein youre manuspd'[tjpt looks alike least before you've spent an equal amount of time fixing it all, need I say more?

If I'm ever to enjoy summer, the list must be cleared. Starting now. Today. Before Lunch. Right after I put the clothers into the dryer and hang the sheets on the line. Just as soon as I scan Poets and Writers list of upcoming writing contest deadlines again and mark them on the calendar. OMG, I've forgotten to check my bid placing on the items I want to win at Do the Write Thing for Nashville at
.....and that's been on my mind all morning!

This is really important. Writers, never fear the creative and impulsive muse. When she works on you long enough, you always know where you're going. I am going to win one of those critiques on DWRTN!!

List making is essential so you have a trail of breadcrumbs to follow back--when the time is right, when the BID is made, when the clothes are forgotten, and when you're no longer afraid of failure.

Fear is the mind-killer. Right? I'm off to take care of the business of embracing my fears.

Write ON!