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February 6, 2018:

REVISIONS, REVISIONS

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, it was another day of heavy proofing around these here parts. I am ready to not proof for a while. My eyes are bleary, but every change I’ve made has been helpful. But I really thought that part two would have a lot less of the fixes, but that proved not to be the case. While most of them were very small changes – words, the order of something or smoothing out – there were a few more cuts, some as much as a third of a page. I’ve been pulling out certain recapitulations of events that are talked about in part one, and even in part one I took out several events in total.

But it’s just what I’ve been doing on this pass. It helped to be away from it for a week – fresh eyes and all. But the most interesting thing today was the end of the book. I’d hated the first version I wrote, and had rewritten it in total. I liked that version, made a few adjustments, and Muse Margaret liked it, too, and it seemed satisfying to me. But when I read it yesterday afternoon it just rubbed me the wrong way and I couldn’t put my finger on why. I was just standing there thinking about it, and I began to write something, just a different way of saying something and as soon as I did that I realized what was bothering me. I went to the computer and the end of the book, cut and pasted the ending onto a new page and completely revised the entire ending. Some of it didn’t change and a lot of it did – for starters I cut an entire page, but the big change was the tone of it. It was just wrong for the character and knowing that finally enabled me to write it in a whole different way, even though, as I said, some of it didn’t change much.

I called Muse Margaret and we went over all the changes (we’d left off on page 117 so there were a lot to go through, all the way to page 296. The first thing I read her were the little additions I’d added to an earlier part and those she absolutely loved. Then we went through the rest – it really only took fifteen minutes because most of it was small stuff and a few cuts, all of which she liked. Then I got to the ending. I read her the entire six-page ending as I’d first written it. She still liked it and it was definitely okay. Then I read her the new version and her reaction was instant – she liked it much better because it was now subtle, my lead character was in charge of her emotions and the scene and it just felt so much better.

I then spent an hour entering everything. The book before doing today’s stuff had been 295 manuscript pages. After today’s stuff it was 292. So, overall I really only cut about six pages total out of the entire book and I added stuff that made up for that – in the end we lost three more pages today – the original draft ran 296 so a total of four altogether. Later in the evening I wrote a couple of additional lines for the ending – not sure I need them but I’ll run them by Muse Margaret and if she likes them or think they help (they’re for a secondary character) I’ll add them and then that’s it.

I did hear back from the hard-copy proofer and she said she loved the book and, of course, she hasn’t seen any of the cuts or changes. But I asked to read the revised ending – and I think she’ll like it better. Another proofer read both versions and liked the revised much better. I have never done this much revising on any other book, but this book is very different from anything else than I’ve written. I do think we’ve addressed all of Muse Margaret’s initial concerns and we’re both much happier now. Even as it was before the changes, I still find the book an emotional experience and that pleases me very much.

Otherwise yesterday was okay. I got seven hours of sleep, had to deal with some serious merde, which of course put me in both a foul and fowl mood. There are times one simply wants to walk in front of a damn bus. I answered e-mails then went and had an egg salad and bacon sandwich and a side Caesar salad, both very good. I proofed quite a bit whilst eating and after. Then I picked up packages, then came home and finished the proofing, wrote the revised ending and the rest you know. At some point I tried watching a couple of things on the Flix of Net but they did not engage me. So, I just listened to some music, made some scrambled eggs for my evening snack, took a hot shower, and relaxed.

Today I will solely work on the Kritzerland show – I’m waiting to hear from two people and if they can do the show then we’ll be all set. I’ll eat, hopefully pick up some packages, hope for the miraculous miracle that is so needed, and then I’ll relax at some point.

The rest of the week is meetings and meals, then on Saturday I’m seeing a high school production of Guys and Dolls at my alma mater, Hamilton High – seeing it with someone I went to school with. She contacted me out of the blue and asked me to join her, her daughter, and her daughter’s kids.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, work on the Kritzerland show, eat, hopefully pick up packages, pray for a miraculous miracle and then relax. Today’s topic of discussion: What was the first submarine sandwich you ever had? Where was it, what was it, and what are your favorites these days, especially the chains? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to hopefully be through with the revisions, at least the major ones.

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