Last night I met with my new critique partners for the third time, the second time where they actually had chapters of my novel to critique. It was affirming that they agreed with my self discoveries this past month about my own writing. It felt wonderful that I could present clear and honest encouragement about their writing as well.
Our only point of contention is whether my heroine is dry for the initial cute-meet with the romantic hero or if she looks like a drowned rat after having fallen into the icy Columbia River. I’ll be considering this because first contact is always a big deal, not just for the characters but the readers.
Today I had that on a personal level (not by plunging into icy waters) because I met with the editor who’s worked on my memoir. I researched editors (I have many contacts) for the past two years and finally approached Marian Pierce. She checked out my website and agreed, yes, it was a project that interested her.
The initial meeting was fun and professional but still two strangers meeting for the first time. She was impressed at the scope of the story and the extent of work I had already invested into the project. Today we had already exchanged emails regarding the overview of what we would attempt to cover in our two hour meeting. I was pleased to know there were some things she thought were absolutely stellar and others that were horribly clunky.
It was a glorious moment in the day as I walked along the side of the Active Space building. The sun shone, the temperature in the 50’s, the breeze light. Then I reached the corner and turned. Marian was standing on the street chatting with a friend. Then she saw me and her face lit up and she came toward me and embraced me in a hug. (I LOVE HUGS!)
“I feel I really know you, and your parents,” she said. And we laughed and made our way up to her friends bigger office, with couches, and had tea, and chatted about how to make the details of my life well presented in words.
Two hours later the little voice in my head was trying to count how many times she used the word “brave” in reference to me (six?) while being tickled that my stronger voice appeared around page 60 (instead of page 135 as the first editor claimed).
Then there was the topic of half a chapter that could be a whole book of its own. Yes, I am considering two other (brave!) memoirs. But the delight was how Marian stumbled over how invested she was in my story and wants to see it in print. She’ll discount her rates and invest hours into getting it polished. This is so awesome! I’m imaging future events where readers want to hug me! How cool is that?
The primary issue is, I know many consider my memoir as the ultimate horror story while also being the ultimate love story. The difference is – I think it is a rather common story. Therein lies its power, it’s so common it is untold.