Saturday, July 19, 2008

Not my favorite thing

So far I've deleted approximately 6000 words from The Ruby. Only about 40,000 to go. I hear from listeners all the time who state their preferance for unabridged audio, but unfortunately sales on audio books aren't high enough to justify paying a reader and technicians for the extra time and supplies that go into an unabridged CD book. We're getting close, so maybe next time around, but on a book as long as this one, the powers-that-be said they couldn't justify the higher production cost. Did I tell you, I really, really hate condensing? Only another writer who has gone through the condensing process can truly understand how hard it is to throw away words we so recently labored over to make just right. My husband is wonderful when I'm condensing, he takes over everything he can to leave me free to work---and throw a tantrum or two. It's not easy deciding what is not essential. Afterall, I wouldn't have put it in my manuscript in the first place if it wasn't essential.

I've met some lovely people at the temple. Some I knew at other times and places. Some recognized me by my name tag and the awful pictures in the backs of my books. And some are just delightful people I hadn't met before.

I'm a little sad and introspective today. My son and daughter-in-law have had a black Lab since shortly after they got married. He's been one of those pets that holds a special place in the hearts of all my family. He was never just a dog, but a distinct personality in his own right. He's worn a costume and gone trick or treating with my grandchildren. He captured my garden ornament squirrels and hid them under the deck one year, but left my other critters alone. He loved to sit with his head in my son's lap to watch Jazz basketball games and he loved long walks through Wheeler Farm. He visited me whenever my son and his wife took vacations or business trips. He's fought a three month battle with cancer and today the cancer won. My five-year-old grandson assures me that when our family gets to heaven, Augie will come running to meet us because he's an angel doggie now.

Have you had the experience of driving past a place you once knew very well then didn't see for a long time? Today I drove past the church where all but one of my children were blessed as infants. It's an old Army chapel that later became a Catholic Church, then was remodeled as an LDS church. Now it belongs to a Catholic Vietnamese congregation and it looks the best it ever has. They've remodeled it again, changed the windows dramatically, and installed beautiful landscaping. Somehow it makes me feel good to see that old building where my testimony grew, where I held my first leadership positions, and where I saw my children take some of their first spiritual steps cared for so well and receiving the respect it rightfully deserves.

My July reviews were posted on Meridian Thursday. You can read them there or go to my web page and look under reviews. I'd love to hear from any of you who read my reviews. Of course I love to hear from you anyway whether you comment on my blog, any of my books, or if you have LDS Fiction oriented questions.

I'd better get back to work condensing.


Tristi Pinkston said...

I've never had to condense a book, but I can imagine how hard it must be. Hang in there!

Doran & Jody said...

I love your books!
And we are some of the books on CD fans! We love to listen to them to work and back and on trips.
I can't understand your pain when your books are condensed but I do know when I read a book and then listen to the 'condensed' CD, there are things that are missed and I wish they wouldn't take ANYTHING out.
Good luck and keep the stories coming!!!

Rebecca Talley said...

My mother gave her father a siamese cat shortly before she died. Since I was a little girl when she died, I went to live with her parents. That cat seemed to be a connection to my mom and when he died of leukemia in my arms I felt as though I'd lost my mom again. Pets can really be a part of your life.