Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Editors Needed

 I need your help.

I've started to write my memoir and I don't have an editor.  I do know that one of the worst mistakes one can make while writing is editing as one writes.  I also know the importance of openers, how I can either draw a reader further or lose out from the start. Sooooooo, I have started my opener, and it appears below, un-edited, a veritable feast for those who would like to have the opportunity to add their "two cents" without impunity.  I'm asking you to bring it on.  I'll try to keep this simple.  You may have already read my little blog piece, written in January, called "Nun on the Run".  I've selected that particular scene, the one in which I came across the young nun who appeared to have been working at the home for the aged and was taking an evening break from her duties.  My memoir piece will be about the time I spent in Assisi and the six months before, when I too, was caring for an elderly person.  In my case, it was my mother.  This first paragraph will set the tone, give the reader an idea that I understood how challenging the work of caring for the sick and aged can be and how much that break means to the caregiver.  It will be my jumping off point but I haven't a clue yet about what will follow.   I just need to get started and I have.

So, what can you do to help me?  Well, at the bottom of the post, there is a little business about making a comment. Hit the words "No Comments". I've been told by one reader that she has tried many times to do this but it does not work. I have had comments in the past so it must have been working at some point.  Give it a try or, email me at the address that you normally do.  I'm assuming that you have that address.  If you don't, it's probably because I don't know you and probably do not want to communicate with you. I hope this is clear.

Comment, suggest, criticize, do whatever you want.  I'm a big girl, I can take it. Maybe some day, I will actually publish and if I do, your name will appear in the "Grateful Acknowledgements" section, way up front.
As for a title, don't even bother. I have one that I will not divulge nor will I entertain any other ideas at the moment.  I am very comfortable with it and it is the framework for everything else.

Here's the first paragraph of the first draft of the first attempt of the first page of the first rejection...

And, I thank you.

P.S.  You don't have to leave your name if you post here at the end of the blog...
It was just before sunset. The door to Casa Reposo, the town's home for the aged,  flew open. With a movement much like that of an angel gliding through a cloud, she exited onto Via Metastasio. I watched her as she took in her first quick breath and then exhaled, long and slow. I felt as if I were back in the delivery room witnessing a birth.  I could almost see her lungs expanding as she stopped for a moment before turning to the left and making her way up the street towards the Piazza Alugi.  Her short black veil flying in the cool November breeze seemed to point the way; she quickened her pace in response to what I imagined was an inner voice.  My eyes followed as she approached her final destination, a carved out area of pavement which held a spectacular view.  I also stopped to take in the view of the Umbrian valley below.  I smiled. She smiled back and we both returned our gaze to the restful scene before us. 


  1. It's grabbed my interest!

    Two very minor suggestions:
    Either take the comma out after "Her short black vail" or, leave it in, and add another one following "November breeze." and,

    In the following "I also stopped to take in the view. I smiled. She smiled back and we both returned our view" I'd change it to "we both returned our gaze"

    There now, you'll probably wish you'd never asked!! Keep up the good work. Cam
    (Who the heck is Minnie(Google?) Weird!!

  2. The comment thing-y works for me. Your empathy with the nun is a good introduction. ON the editing side, the first sentence would be stronger if we see the figure like an angel immediately, the door behind her a real place, not the clouds of heaven. (immediately you have us seeing her "being born" as you mention the delivery room. It's poetic and might be just right but after you explanatory note about caring for the elderly, the image of birth didn't seem right. That may be the kind of decision to make when the whole piece is written.

    There are a lot of "ing" words. That usually makes a sentence weaker than if you say she turned and made her way down the street. Somehow the parking lot is a let down, is there a way to show us that she's seeking a place she may often go to watch the sunset, and maybe just a few more words about the view that's relaxing and refreshing. I hope in the next paragraph there will be a connection between you two -- maybe just in your mind as you reflection back on your own duties.

    Go on and write more, it might bring up more images that will clarify why this little encounter seems the right place to start this story. Then you can come back and make it just right.

    1. Thank you June! That's just the stuff I need. Yes, the next paragraph will be one that will make the connection and allow me to start the story of how my mother's illness and death led me to the place where I found my peace.