Making Mistakes

"The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way." -Dale CarnegieI’m not actually much of a Dale Carnegie fan, but something about this quote from him struck me as appropriate for any writer facing edits. I now have all three edits back from Liana, and actually began work on book 1 this week. The good news: Liana reported significant improvement in my writing between books 1 and 3. The bad news… there’s a lot of work to be done on all three books. I had hoped to churn through edits on the first before the end of the month, but neglected to take into account my work load.

Last week was heavy with reporting and oodles of other activities, so I don’t have much time before my promo effort kicks off July 1–especially since we have plans both of the next two weekends. And because we seem to be entering another phase of illness and hospitalization in the family. Worse, they’re happening in other states, so all we can do is sit on the phone to gather and disseminate updates, providing what moral support and spiritual encouragement we can from a distance.

Oddly, this week seems to have been the week of considering travel. It kicked off with hubs sending an article about a student who had visualized the major roads of the Roman Empire as a subway transit map. Then he forwarded a “bucket list” of Virginia spots to visit (a few of which we have already seen). And today I discovered that a friend from what feels like a former life has started up her own blog… focusing on travel.

In between I got sucked down the rabbit hole of research for my books, and learned more about Yakutia, the largest “statoid” in Russia, or the world. I also learned more about journalist Anna Politkovskaya via a review of her posthumous book “A Russian Diary”. The latter plays into why the long arm of the KGB (which Liana keeps pointing out to me no longer exists… except that it was the source of training for the most senior Russian politicians and leaders of the FSB) is such a bogey man in my Red Slaves books.

And then there was the link to visual art as social commentary that hubs sent. The author of that post starts with the quote, “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable,” but doesn’t attribute it to author Cesar A. Cruz. However, that quote in the introduction is perfect for the kinds of think-pieces presented. While all the images spoke to some level of truth, the one most ironic to me was the commentary about Facebook feeding the ego. Potentially that ego trip trap exists for all authors.

Which brings me back full-circle to the need to focus on editing for the next while. Strip my ego from my words and make the stories sing for my readers.

Meantime, we keep walking. Through what feels like a swamp, since the average humidity in the area has hovered in the mid-70 percent region. (One night, our household weather station reported 96% humidity… but no rain and 71 degrees. It felt like we were walking in a bathtub.) Still, my phone says I averaged 5,490 steps per day, which is another jump for me, and I hope represents some improved conditioning for both of us.

For some silly reason, I’ve also gotten active on NetGalley again, picking up three books there in the past week. I’m about a third through one of them for which I’d had high hopes, but so far it hasn’t actually grabbed me enough to make me want to finish it. Still, each of the books has a deadline for a review, so those are now part of my goals, too.

I’ll be back next week to report on my progress, but in the meantime, encourage you to see how the other ROW80ers are finishing up this round.

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