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Saturday, February 26, 2011


This week, my executive brown chair and I became closer than ever.

Perhaps too close.

There was no school this week due to a little thing called "ski week." True.

I only know one person who was actually going skiing. Everyone else......well, off to do fabulous things. For example, my boss went to ROME! Yes, that Rome. The one with the Colosseum and all of that cool Roman stuff.

I am trying hard not to be jealous.

I mean, I got to do something cool, too.

I got to sit in my chair.

A lot.

The first half of the week, I spent revising Keelie of the Lake before it went off to my writing group. (I have a love/hate relationship with sending stuff to terrifying and yet completely freeing. Nice to have something out of your own hands for a bit.) But not five minutes after I finish, the line-edits for Trinket arrive.


What is a line-edit? I wish I could scan a page and show you, but that would take precious time away from me and my chair...I mean, I would have to stand up and go over to the scanner....too much time away from chair.

We are as one now, executive brown chair and I.

But a line edit is when your editor lets you know that you used the word looked already three times on the same page, and perhaps you should save italics for when you really need them, and my, aren't you fond of those little dots....(there they are again!) and how can your character possibly see if the other character gulped when you said on page 137 that she is behind the character? And how could she pull such and such from her pocket on 198 if she left it on the table on 195? And you explained the situation this way on page 145, yet this way on 215...which is it? (You used those dots again!) Can you tone down the hungry bits? Your characters are always starving.

In other words, line edits for me = hard work. Brain work.

But I am getting there.

I'd like to have the line-edits done in a few weeks. Hopefully. March is one crazy month. (Remember, I am the mother of Irish dancers.) And next week, my lovely Writing Club 5th graders are performing the world premiere of A GOOD KNIGHT'S REST to kick off Read Across America.

And one of my babies has a birthday in early March.

Busy, busy, busy.

(Shhhhh...I kind of have an idea for a new picture book.....shhhhh....not allowed to work on it now or anything.........or am I?)

Get back to work.

Uh oh. Executive brown chair is bugging. Sheesh.



Stasia said...

Happy writing, Shelley. I just love stopping by your blog--even though I write YA. You've got style, lady :)

Janet Johnson said...

I need to get better acquainted with my executive black chair. :) And thank you for the bits about line-edits. Work, but they sound kindof fun (I know, I'm weird).

P.S. I really like to use the dots, too.

Karen Akins said...

I need to get a more comfortable chair. My current one gives me a heinyache.

I got the package, by the way. Thank you so much! The Pea thinks the dragons are *hilarious* (and according to Hubbykins' dramatic reading interpretation, apparently one is Italian, one is from the Deep South, and one kind of squeaks).

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Why can't those darn characters just remember what they're doing from page to page? Sheesh.
I love reading your writing posts. I know you'll whip those line edits out and get to snuggle up with the new idea real soon.

Dawn Simon said...

It's great you're getting so much time to work. Who wants to go to Rome, anyway?! Okay, I do. But work time is important too.

I love hearing what's going on in your writing life. :) Good luck with those line-edits!

erica and christy said...

Wonderful, fun post!! Your brown chair is no doubt in love with your, um, bottom, by now! (and I sorta like line-edits. how else would I know my character stood in the middle of a DMV for over a week??). Good luck and happy almost-March!

Jemi Fraser said...

Ski week? Wow - never heard of such a thing!

I hope our winter break creates some time for me as well... although it's not looking promising at the moment! :) (Those dots keep showing up!)

Stephanie Faris said...

I always love doing things like feels so writerly! I'm sure it'll get old after a while but for now, revisions don't bother me so much.

They let people off work and school to ski?

Catherine Denton said...

Good for you!! Executive brown chair would've been so lonely if you'd gone skiing.
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Dangerous With a Pen said...

Wow, it sounds like you have a lot of great forward motion going on!

My school doesn't have any winter break (besides Christmastime) or ski week or any such fun thing. Bummer! Enjoy your chair time! :)

MG Higgins said...

I'm still stuck on ski week. Ski week? Really? Lucky you! I'm in the market for an executive chair. My butt is not in love with my blue/gray task chair.

storyqueen said...

Stasia-OMG, I just saw your cover! (I forgot which blog it was was very early this morning then I had to go to work and I just got home. I will make sure to pop over and see it again!)

Janet-They are getting funner....the more I get done, the funner they are.

Karen-Yay! I am glad you like the book. Funny about those dragon voices. When I do them, they sound a bit like they just inhaled helium.

Tricia-I know, right? And why are they always hungry??

Dawn-So, my boss is looking at the Sistine Chapel and I am on the potty chair aisle in Target getting a prop for a play. How is this possible?

Erica and Christy-No, I think the chair hates my butt. It is really, really tired of it.

Jemi-It is our first ski week. It is also our last ski week. Too many complaints from parents.

Steph-Well, they do it because of presidents' day and the fact that when it was a four day week, lots of kids missed the whole week anyway and because of the way California funds its schools, on days when there are heavy absences, the school does not get the money per child is does on heavily attended days. Therefore, they decided just not to hold school on days when they expected lots of kids not to be there. I head hurts just trying to figure it out, too.

Catherine-Yes, and then there's the fact that I don't ski.

LInsdey-I don't know if enjoy is the right word.

MG-Task chair?? Come one! You deserve an executive chair!!