Edits

Editing is time consuming. Apparently I like the words “directly” and “suddenly.” Good news for me, punctuation is tight and my manuscript is more active than passive. Some changes, ok ok, many changes in the first four chapters. But it’s a task well worth the time. It’s what I’ve been up to lately. I needed a break so here I am to share an excerpt from one of my chapters. Since I’m in the process of editing it’s subject to change but here goes:

Liz got to her feet and steadied herself against the wall. Her dark blonde hair mangled, clothes twisted. Bill, Margaret, and George looked about the same, like they went through a twister.
“I can’t believe this,” Liz said as she looked around the room.
A second before a fierce fight between the serial killer and her ancestor abruptly ended, both apparitions disappeared, to where she had no idea.
George helped Margaret get to her feet, she more anxious than he to get to Liz. She dashed across the room excited.
“Liz, are you all right?”
She and Liz both looked around at what they expected to be a mess. Everything in the room, a war zone seconds before, was intact.
“We don’t need a séance now.” Margaret said with a wide grin.
“The clock, Margaret, did you hear the clock?” Liz asked.
“Hear it! My ears will ring for weeks!”
“Hey, everything… looks normal,” George said, scratching his head.
Bill laughed and said, “Everything except you three.”

Overall the story is dark. Some scenes aren’t meant for all readers. This is an example of me attempting to lighten things up to give the reader a break. The fight ended. The characters are excited but see how things are getting back to normal, from, “I can’t believe this,” to wide grins and laughs.
Yes I did notice the words like, twisted and twister. May change when I edit chapter six.
My manuscript needs work. I’ve decided not to rush the process. I’m concentrating on active vs passive, conciseness, word usage and well rounded characters. My goal, try not to drive the editor crazy. Not me. The real editor. I’m a self published author who has learned the hard way, editing matters.

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The Genealogist’s Guests Preview

The existence of ghosts dates back to ancient times. Having been sighted in Europe, Japan, China,  Canada, London, Germany, the United States and other parts of the world it’s a wonder some dispute their existence.  The non-believers, the ones whose perceptions tell them their brains are playing tricks on them hear the thumps around the house, they smell their deceased mother’s perfume, and they see objects move. Supernatural events that frequent their everyday lives. Yet, they refuse to believe their loved ones have returned. All things strange have  reasonable explanations they say. But they feel the ghost’s presence and the anxiety associated with the experience. Perhaps they refuse to accept their own fates, that they one day will live a parallel existence into the unknown.  

Liz Taber journeys into the unknown. Captured by an evil that plagued her family since 1885. It is there Liz finds the strength passed down to her through generations to combat forces the living fears. It is there she meets her fifth generation grandmother, Isabella Hay. A fiery spirit of Scotland. Together they battle Wilbur Savage, a psychotic child rapist and murderer in life, a deranged demonic being in death.  They must find a way to save future Taber children from the wrath of evil. To the non- believers who read this post, happy dreams. Don’t worry about the thumps in the night. There’s a reasonable explanation.

The Genealogist’s Guests. Coming soon.

Dare to Write and Share

I recently wrote and published, Compelled, by Ann Simpson, an intense story in a jail setting about a young couple’s encounter with a dangerous criminal subculture. It’s a crime novel, a romance, a drama, and is available at Amazon, CreateSpace, and Smashwords. Many published indie authors understand the work that goes into each of these, the writing, editing, book cover, formating, and marketing! While marketing I was drawn to the many first pages or chapters offered for view at Amazon, believe me one could spend hours just reading these excerpts from our fellow indie author’s works.

I asked a reader, a friend of a friend, what exactly grabs her attention when choosing a book to read. She said the cover first, then the first sentence or couple of sentences of the first chapter. If that grabs her she said she closes the book and looks on the back cover for a synopsis. If she gets that, I want to read this, feeling, she purchases the book. First impressions seem critical! And so I have decided to share an excerpt of my upcomming novel The Genealogist’s Guests, albeit minor changes with editing could happen,  I thought it would fun to share.

Coldness throughout the house couldn’t stop her.  The fire she set hours before was a mere hint of smolder that barely lit the large room outside of her small home office. Stacks of papers and books lay all around. A small lamp was placed on the floor to her right.  The sixty watt bulb faced a wall illuminating the family tree painted onto the canvas from floor to ceiling.

The wind outside howled as the storm approached, and mother nature’s threat to cut power to Liz’s computer rushed her as she searched almost desperately for clues about Isabella Hay Taber, her third generation great grandmother.  The lights dimmed as the computer prepared to shut down, “No!” Liz held the monitor with both hands, “I haven’t saved it.” The sound of the computer tower’s hum went silent right after the click Liz heard shattering her pleas for just a little more time. She was close to finding out how Isabella came to Rhode Island from Saint Nicolas, Aberdeen, Scotland.

She looked over to her wall at the tree she painted, nearly three thousand ancestors smothered by darkness as the storm outside beat the wood siding of Rhode Island Colonial, a sturdy structure built in 1920. She stood in the darkness facing her family tree visualizing the names she had painstakingly wrote with the tip of a paint brush, Isabella’s name called to her, a feeling she couldn’t escape. Something about the young girl from Scotland who married her third generation great grandfather Edward Luther Taber sparked her curiosity but with the power out she would have to wait to continue searching for answers.

Liz purchased the twenty four hundred square foot home several years back with hopes of entertaining family who all remained in Virginia when she moved north. They said she was crazy for leaving but Liz had a passion for ancestry and she wanted to be near her ancestor’s graves, their old homesteads, and the towns they lived in, she needed to connect.  She especially liked the Town of Norwich, Connecticut.  A Dunkin Donut shop on Main Street served up a hot cup of coffee on cold New England days. Liz walked many a day down the walkways and roads surrounded by buildings built long ago. She laid her eyes on the Carroll Building built in 1887, and the Norwich Town Hall built in 1870, in fact the very ancestors she’d come looking for walked the same path as she and saw the same landmarks.

She closed the office door and tended to the fire incased in a brick mantle and mused at the size of it. It took up the entire wall leaving no room for cozy corners. She made the best of it and circled her sofa and chairs facing the fire. She’d sleep right there on the sofa to keep warm until the power resumed. She wouldn’t have minded a cup of hot tea but she was feeling tired and the idea of heating the water by fire seemed too much for her to do at the time so she settled for brandy. She never really felt lonely with all her dead ancestors occupying her time but situations like this when the power was out she’d allow herself to hope that soon someone from Virginia would come visit. She sipped her brandy and eventually fell off to sleep.

The storm continued through the night and the house fell silent except for the howling wind and rain outside. Liz lay fast asleep in the large room lit by the fierce fire she built. Adjacent to the room, the home office door was closed to keep the warmth in the main room she occupied. A hum of soft musical tones lingered in the background of the office.  The tree of many names was shadowed by darkness. Close to the base of the tree Isabella’s name was bright. The humming continued as the office door slowly opened and as Liz laid on the sofa covered with her favorite throw a woman wearing a black dress that hung to her ankles sat in the chair next to her. Her hair was pulled back in a neat bun, her face was aged but revealed a beauty that once was, and her adoring eyes rested on Liz.

Liz turned to her side and opened her eyes. She felt the unease and looked to the empty chair, she had an overwhelming sense she wasn’t alone. She closed her eyes and mumbled, Go back to sleep. She hummed a tune she hadn’t heard before and assumed she’d made it up in her brandy induced fog, then fell fast asleep. Isabella rose from the chair and hummed the same tune until her spirit reached her name on the handpainted family tree in the tiny home office where Liz called for truth about her ancestors.

Dare to share yours!

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