It's a little after 2AM on Tuesday morning and I'm deep into final edits on this next book, the "last look" I'll get at this manuscript before it comes back to me in galley stage before it goes to press. With the benefit of time having passed, I'm able to see the story a little clearer and it's amazing at how a sentence or paragraph that I thought was so crucial to a scene...isn't.
So I'm tweaking here and there. Removing sentences, moving things around, taking things out (did you just hear that scream? It was my editor, Karen), and now I've got this brief document full of stuff that I need to work in elsewhere. Maybe. It's information that either the character, or the reader, didn't need to know (or ponder) at that point in the story. It slowed the pace. Or simply wasn't crucial to the scene. So, it had to go––to my Final WMH Excerpt File.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could do that with life? Simply review life and decide, "Um, no. Let's not do that there. Let's move that event here. It'll fit much better with the flow and my schedule will accommodate "fill in the blank" much better then. And heavens, let's not let that happen at all!" But as we all know, life doesn't work that way.
Life comes, sometimes in sputters, sometimes in a gentle flow, and sometimes in torrents, and we deal with things as they come with God's strength while, with His grace, keeping our eternal perspective. But you know, in the midst of everything––the highs and lows of life, the "troughs and peaks" as C.S. Lewis phrases it in The Screwtape Letters––it's definitely the thinner times of life, the troughs, that draw me closer to God.
If you haven't read this book, get online today and order a copy. It's a forever book. One you'll read again and again. Chapter 8 is a personal favorite. I ran across my first copy (held together by a rubber band now) while packing and kept it out to read the parts I'd underlined during my college days. They still resonate within me after all these years, as does my firm belief that nothing happens to a believer in Christ that doesn't first filter through the loving hands of their Heavenly Father. Nothing. So, I'll leave the "life editing" safely with the Master Storyteller. He writes with a point of view I simply don't have.
A quick update on the family––
Last week we celebrated our son's 21st birthday. Can hardly believe my baby boy is so grown up. We ate at the Olive Garden (delicious) then came back home to celebrate with a buttermilk pie that didn't turn out as well as I wanted it to. I couldn't find my recipe so used another. Not a good move. So, Kurt, I owe you another pie, buddy. As soon as I unpack my pie plates.
Kelsey and Joe were slightly less thrilled when I whipped out the camera that night.
Ah well...they got over it.
We're about half moved at this stage and will finish up next week. We'll also make a quick trip to Atlanta to move Dad's stuff here. Plus I'm finishing these edits. Things are hopping, but it's all good. God is gracious, and He's been so generous in allowing our house to sell so quickly, especially in this market, and to have Dad and Mom's condo sell quickly as well. I'm grateful.