blood on the pages
September 14, 2009 1 Comment
I recently learned my sister-in-law Carla has an exceptional talent for grammar and sentence structure. She loves my parents story and was happy to edit my memoir. She began three weeks ago. On Friday, I opened the mailbox and saw a large, thick, envelope. I felt the familiar gut clench of rejection, the “not right for us”, the “pass”.
I told myself, this is silly! I shouldn’t be feeling this from Carla! I carried the returned memoir into my home feeling a familiar trepidation and disappointment. It’s too soon. I knew Carla barely had time to unpack from her trip before the school year began, and she was back at work. I opened the envelope immediately, knowing it’s better that way. I expected the letter would state she hadn’t the time, it was too much work.
There were red comments and punctuation corrections, all-the-way-through, to the final page! Writers call this “blood on the pages”. Many writers feel their work is their baby, and every red pen stroke a slice to the heart. Not me. I’m utterly thrilled! Thank you Carla! This is so much more than I hoped, and so fast! Her letter included her overall opinion of the book. Cool. I have no overall opinion of it. An author gets less distance from memoir than any other style of writing.
On Saturday I was at my monthly writers meeting/workshop. I told a few friends about this, and yes, they believed me when I said I was thrilled to have so much blood on the pages. The evil red pen must be unleashed for a writer to find her voice.
Carla stated she felt honored to do the work, then said she will have foot surgery in December. She’ll be happy to edit more for me, then. Yahoo! I want her evil red pen to unleash blood all over my novels too!