The Editing Stops Somewhere #MondayMusings #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “How do you know when you’ve done all the editing you can on your story, or that you’ve gone too far?”

In my opinion, you can never go too far with editing. But you can edit and edit and edit till the cows come home and never get anything published.

Since my late husband was a baseball fan, I’ve developed the three-strikes approach to editing. I read through a piece at least three times. If, upon third reading, I see nothing needing to be changed or corrected, it’s ready to go.

Of course, after something’s been published, I might read it again and find something else needs changing. But by that time, it’s too late unless I want to send it somewhere else that welcomes previously published work. In the case of a novel, as Shakespeare once said, “What’s done is done and cannot be undone.”

Okay, you writers out there. It’s time for you to sound off. How do you know when you’re done editing or if you’ve gone too far? You can click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ responses.

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New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

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Hurrying Through the First Draft #Open Book Blog Hop

This week’s question from blogger Stevie Turner is this. “Do you hurry through a first draft, or are you conscious of flaws as they go down? Has that changed over time?”

My policy is to write now and edit later. This applies to everything, not just books. The idea is to get the words and ideas down, then go back and organize them.

That having been said, my novels and memoir were written one chapter at a time. By the time I started writing my first novel, We Shall overcome, I’d met my late husband Bill. He was living in Fowler, Colorado, and I, here in Sheridan, Wyoming. When he expressed an interest in my writing, I emailed him each chapter after I’d written and edited it, and he offered suggestions and feedback. Since he wrote mostly computer manuals, most of his ideas were from a reader’s point of view, but I still found them helpful.

After Bill passed, I started writing My Ideal Partner, which tells the story of how I met and married him, then cared for him after he suffered two strokes. By this time, I’d joined a writers’ group that met once a week and critiqued each other’s projects. So, I had another outlet for feedback on my work. Members of this group also supported me through my writing of The Red Dress and my current young adult novel-in-progress, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, which is now finished.

Speaking of which, when I’m done writing a book, I put it aside for about a month, then go back to it with fresh eyes. I read through each chapter one or more times, depending on if I find any serious rewriting that needs to be done. Then, I read through the whole thing one more time. By this time, it’s usually ready for publication.

I don’t set goals for when books will be published. It would be nice to have Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me published in time for Christmas, since it ends during the holiday season, but I’m not going to rush it. As the song goes, “You can’t hurry love.” It’s the same with books. You can either have it fast or have it good, and I’m sure my readers appreciate it good.

If you’re an author, I’d love to hear how you write your books. Please let me know in the comment field below, or click the link above to learn how to participate in Stevie’s blog hop.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading. Stay safe, happy, and healthy, and may you always have positive experiences.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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Previously Published #Open Book Blog Hop

This week’s question from blogger Stevie Turner is this. Are there any generic rules you had when you first started writing that have since gone out the window? Well, it was the other way around for me. I never had any rules when I began, but I’ve since developed one.

When I started my website in 2005, I didn’t know that material published online was considered previously published. So, I posted my stories, poems, and essays left and right, not realizing that many publications wouldn’t accept my work once it appeared on my site, even if I took it down. It wasn’t until two years later when I attended a workshop on publishing at a writers’ conference that I learned the truth. By then, I’d started a blog, and I’d posted some of my work there as well.

Now, my rule of thumb is this. I don’t publish anything on my blog or website unless it’s been published elsewhere. Not a lot of my work is published these days. So, it’s tough to find new material to post on the fiction, nonfiction and poetry sample pages on my site. Since I’m working on another novel, I’m trying to balance that with submitting work to journals such as Magnets and Ladders and The Weekly Avocet. Because of COVID-19, I’m not entertaining regularly at nursing homes and other senior facilities. So, I have more time but apparently not enough, unless I want to work weekends, which I avoid doing unless it’s absolutely necessary. Oh well, life goes on.

By the way, from now until July 31st, you can download My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress absolutely free from Smashwords as part of its annual summer/winter sale. Click here to visit my Smashwords author page.

Also, for those of you who use the National Library Services for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. Thank you for reading. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

The Red Dress Now Available

It’s official. My new novel, The Red Dress, has been released and can now be purchased in print and eBook formats from Amazon and Smashwords. It’ll soon be available from Apple, Barnes & Noble, and other online resources. The Kindle version is text-to-speech enabled, as you’ll note in the following advertisement, written by Leonore Dvorkin, editor at DLD Books. It’ll eventually be available from Bookshare and through my regional talking book library. If you visit my website, you’ll find an excerpt, ordering links, and more. Happy reading!

Front cover image contains: young, dark-haired girl wearing red dress. Back cover contains: synopsis, bio, and author photo.

Just released!

 

THE RED DRESS

A novel by Abbie Johnson Taylor (C 2019)

 

In paperback ($11.95) and e-book ($3.99) from Amazon and Smashwords.

236 pages in print. The e-book is text-to-speech enabled.

Editing, print layout, e-book conversion, and cover design by DLD Books.

 

Synopsis:

 

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

Abbie Johnson Taylor lives in Sheridan, Wyoming. Please visit her website at http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com/

 

My Other Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to purchase My Ideal Partner from Smashwords absolutely free!

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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