on the writing & reading trail

Posts tagged ‘Eyemouth’

Editing and writing

29 November

Editing: Steady progress. Nothing startling – the usual changes – rejig sentences and paragraphs, chop some adverbs, get rid of repetitions, turn passive into active, and transform ‘tell’ to ‘show’ where possible.

I’ve included a short extract from Past imperfect – Eyemouth again but from an earlier time. This is where Freya’s father grew up after the war after being found alone on the shore as a baby.

Freya remembered their family visit to Eyemouth in 1970 when she and Jacob walked to this same cottage all those years ago. Claire and Nessie and Douglas were unpacking in the little house they’d rented for a few days. All of them were excited to be celebrating the fiftieth wedding anniversary of their Dunbar grandparents over the weekend. Seventy-something had seemed so old, beyond imagining. Before they arrived, Freya had pictured them as tiny, wizened and helpless. It was mind-blowing that old people could be energetic and full of laughter and thankful for their lives. So different from Gramma.

The breeze had blown sharp off the North Sea, ruffling their hair and stinging their cheeks. Papa’s words were still clear in her mind. ‘Feel that bracing air, Freya, seaweed and salt, it makes your lungs hungry for more.’ He pointed out the harbour wall where he used to chat with the fishermen and the boat-builders at weekends and after school, and to the large shed where he learned so many of his carpentry and building skills.

For Papa he’d been quite talkative. ‘I hope the old pair are not too frail. Their writing has been getting spidery lately. I suppose that happens after seventy.’ He’d suddenly turned and touched her shoulder, ‘Don’t say anything about the war, Freya, unless they do. Remember they lost their two boys when they were teenagers. So sad. I only got to know the younger one vaguely, he left when I was four, but those boys were the ones who found me.’

Writers Group get-together: Carole recently travelled to the US and hosted a wonderful show of carefully selected photographs from Hawaii, California, the north-east and New York. What a wonderful range of experiences. Thank you Carole.

We were also pleased that the launch of our Ten Minute Tales anthology (find it on Google) had local press coverage with quotes from two of the group, Carole and Nene. The anthology is free on Smashwords.

On the way home I stopped to photograph the wonderful avenue of Poinciana trees.

Reading: I finished the Koomson book – a satisfying end. Had to be like that. Ready to read a book I bought recently I am frustrated – it has disappeared and is not to be found in the usual places. Time to clear all surfaces.

Writing: Hopefully I’ll manage to complete the second story with a twist, probably destined for our next anthology. There are so many stories buzzing – fiction and some memoir fragments. Will I live long enough? Probably not because I’m sure the font won’t dry up.

Edit diary – getting there & Anthology progress

Day 52 (April 18)

Saga editing: Worked three chapters that have had a fair bit of attention before, as a result of Writer’s Group input and my own additional changes, but still found a lot to improve on.

Raises a couple of interesting questions: When will I be satisfied? And then what happens when more expert opinion than our Group garners, provides feedback? It could go on forever even for Book One, and there are two more books to go through the process, and there are two other novels itching to be written, and my mind keeps straying towards them as well as some short stories between times.

However, I enjoyed today’s delving. In Glasgow, Alexander married Catriona and she was soon pregnant. That chapter needed some expansion to explain Catriona’s reluctance to involve her family initially. Alexander’s parents in Melbourne are trying to encourage an early trip to Australia to meet the new family member and are happy he has recovered from the unhappiness over Freya.

In need of change

In another chapter: Meantime Freya picks up her sister from Edinburgh Airport. Ness is seeking advice and solace from Freya about her slowness in starting a family. On an overnight hiking trip along the coast south of the city, from St Abbs to Eyemouth, the sisters pool information and memories that fill in a few of the gaps in their family history, even as they accept much is unlikely ever to be uncovered.

Although I’d already acted on substantial feedback from Group colleagues, I made many more changes, some quite significant. At this time Freya believes she will remain single and childless.

For attention tomorrow

Anthology: Also managed to compile more of the stories for our proposed e-anthology of Ten Minute Tales. Looks like I culled my email inbox a bit too soon as I don’t seem to have copies of all the submissions. In the meantime I took a unilateral decision to format the ones I have into Times New Roman font and to develop a draft presentation layout for comment; at least there’ll be a starting point for change suggestions. Will check USB tonight to see if I can find a few of the missing ones. Attendance at our May meeting will be a little thin as a couple of members are away; one for sad compassionate circumstances, another for a joyous family occasion. Life is like that. And who knows what might happen in between?


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