francine's blog

Bridge to Haven - Coming Soon!

Yesterday, I emailed my third and final scene to my editor.  She has already completed the deletions and sent me the “clean copy” and will be dropping the new scene in when I’ve finished my read-through.  I must admit, when I saw the small pile of work, I gulped.  Is that all that’s left of 200,000+ words and eighteen months of hard work?  But then, it is single-spaced with wide margins, and not the double spaced manuscript format I submitted.  Whew.    

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Oregon or Bust!

            When my children were young, I took them up to Brookings-Harbor, Oregon each summer to visit with my parents who lived up the hill and across the highway from Whaleshead Beach.  We usually spent 7-10 days.  Mom always had “stone soup” waiting for our arrival – and a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies.  Mom got up early every morning and prepared a picnic basket.  Dad often kept the kids occupied in the forest behind their house or making sling shots or hunting salamanders.  We’d a

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Pot Farming and Snowy Owls

A number of years ago, environmental groups went to war with the lumber industry over the plight of the snowy owl.  It nests in redwoods, and people wanted its habitat protected.  People climbed and camped in trees.  Some chained themselves to redwoods.  Eventually, they won and lumber mills were shut down in northern California.  Some towns went into rapid decline with high unemployment.  Some are still struggling to survive.

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Taxes

No one likes paying taxes, but they’re necessary to keep the country going.   However, the last thing we want to see is a bunch of IRS workers doing line dances and dressing up as Trekkies on  taxpayer money at conferences that tally up to $50M.  And we don’t want to hear the IRS targeting any group, be it conservative, religious or liberal.  Targeting anyone is not what our country is all about, or wasn’t until recently.  We don’t want a government that behaves like a kingdom.

Here’s my solution, not that anyone will listen.  

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Playing Tourist

Over the years, Rick and I have played tourist wherever we’ve lived.  Sonoma County is no different, except that people come from around the world to visit the wine country, redwoods and Pacific coast, and we have it close at hand.  When I’m neck-deep in a project, I don’t have time to wander too far from my computer.  Once the manuscript is turned in and I’m waiting for the editorial conversation on what more needs to be done, we are free to explore. 

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Final Touches on the WIP

After numerous reader critiques in-house and a conference call between agent and editors, the  comments and concerns were compiled and made ready for presentation to the writer – me.   I got the call early Monday morning and already knew what to expect.  Too long.  Needs major cutting.  This seems to be a common thread in my work.

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Dealing with Editors

I’ve been writing for over thirty years and still get nervous when I turn in a manuscript.  Have I succeeded in bring the characters to life?  Will the story comfort, encourage, challenge readers?  Is there any “take away” value? 

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What's happening?!

I remember this line from “Poltergeist” years ago when the teenage daughter was standing on the street as an entity was wreaking havoc inside the house and everyone was fleeing.  I’m beginning to feel that way when I read the newspaper and wonder. 

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POW Reunion and Memorial Day

My brother and sister-in-law stopped for a night with us on their way south to attend the Vietnam POW Reunion at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum that coincides with the 40th anniversary of a White House dinner hosted by President Nixon to honor their sacrifice.  Finally, after so many years, these survivors who suffered so much are again being honored. 

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Post-Project Blues

I’ve just spent three months working five to six full days a week, sometimes late into the night, to finish revision work on my current work-in-progress.  After a conference call and some brain-storming, I knew what I needed and wanted to do.  What started out as a few changes and tweaks turned into a major re-write.  I love these characters and want readers to love them, too.  But I was also trying to do an allegory, and in some cases, two in particular, the people were just too perfect.  Real people have lots of flaws.  Now the characters do, too.

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