Today I spoke on the phone for 2 hours with my new reader, a friend who now lives on the opposite border of the US, but remains close to my heart. I trust his opinions, and am thrilled that he has the time and inclination to read my manuscript and help me identify and shake loose the kinks in the plot and characterization.
Choosing a reader is not something to be taken lightly.
I took a long time considering whom to ask for this really important stage of revision. I wanted to find someone who was an avid reader, who had dabbled in writing (or had published already), who knew the mechanics of story writing--structure, arc, dialogue, so many other aspects. Someone who had the patience to read through my entire novel manuscript slowly and thoughtfully, and the stamina to respond to it each week. Someone who would make a suggestion on one page that would blow me away with its dead-on appropriateness, and who also would not get offended if I disagreed with the suggestion on the next page. Someone I trusted. (And yes, I think most writers need a reader in addition to their husbands/wives.)
It's funny that I hadn't thought of Fred as a potential reader until I'd already taken up his invitation to bring the family on up to his lakeside home for the family vacation this summer. So, when the idea that it was he, He, HE who was the reader I'd been looking for all along, I felt a bit slow in the brain.
But I'm so happy now. I have the first 60 pages revised in only two long sittings, and I can't wait to get back to the draft this afternoon.
This is really good news. Now. I must confess that I promised my younger son that, as soon as I finished remodeling the kitchen, I'd build him a "tree house" in the back garden. We have no tree to build it in, so it will be more like an elevated fort. I was going to start this weekend, but I'm going to postpone, delay, make excuses so I can spend more time surfing this writing wave.
The reading at the Dallas Museum of Art was so fantasmic, I can't even describe in words (which is bad for a writer, huh?) how thrilled I was to be part of the Texas Bound Series. It's an incredible feeling to be sitting in an auditorium filled with people who are laughing, hooting, wiping their eyes at your story. The actress who read my story, "The Epidural," was Lydia Mackay. Her reading was perfect. The reading, the dinner afterward, the good company of writers and actors--just amazing all around. Thank you, Katie Hutton, Lydia, DMA, everyone who made it happen.
Even more news:
If you live in Plano, in two weeks, open up that Plano Profile Magazine and flip to the Author Author interview in May. I'm still afraid that my picture will be scary--I just don't do well with posed studio photographs--and it won't really look like me at all. But the interview, which I got to pre-read yesterday, is so fun. Thanks, Brit!